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AOPA issues call to action on medical reformAOPA issues call to action on medical reform

Asks members to contact elected officials

AOPA has issued a call to action on third class medical reform. The association is asking its members to contact their Representatives in the House and urge them to take up and pass S.571, better known as the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2.
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The Senate has passed Pilot's Bill of Rights 2 language three times in the past six months. In December, the Senate unanimously passed Pilot's Bill of Rights 2 as a standalone bill. It also included Pilot's Bill of Rights 2 language in the Senate FAA reauthorization bill that passed by a vote of 95-to-3 in April. On June 14, the Senate passed Pilot's Bill of Rights 2 language again on an 85-13 vote as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.

“Third class medical reform is vitally important to AOPA members and the entire general aviation industry,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “Elected officials listen to their constituents—that’s why we’re asking our members to reach out and help get these reforms over the finish line. The bill has strong bipartisan support, and it’s time for the House to take action to get it into law.”

Pilot's Bill of Rights 2 legislation has 178 co-sponsors in the House, where all aviation-related bills have been held up because of ongoing debate over a proposal to privatize the air traffic control system that’s part of the House FAA reauthorization bill. That bill also includes medical reform language.

"Medical reform has nothing to do with air traffic control privatization, but it has everything to do with improving safety for general aviation pilots,” said AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Jim Coon. “Having passed the Senate three different times over the past six months and with nearly 200 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House, we believe this shouldn't be held up any longer.”

Under Pilot's Bill of Rights 2, most pilots who have held a third class medical within 10 years after the law is enacted would never have to visit an aviation medical examiner again. Instead, they’ll need to visit their own personal physician once every four years and keep a signed form verifying the visit in their logbooks. They’ll also be required to take a free online medical education course every two years.

Pilots who participate in the program will be able to fly VFR and IFR in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds and can carry up to five passengers at altitudes below 18,000 feet and speeds up to 250 knots.

Elizabeth Tennyson

Elizabeth A Tennyson

Senior Director of Communications
AOPA Senior Director of Communications Elizabeth Tennyson is an instrument-rated private pilot who first joined AOPA in 1998.
Topics: Advocacy, Capitol Hill, FAA Funding

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