The FAA has reviewed the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s aeromedical online course and confirmed that it meets the third class medical reform requirements that Congress created last summer. Pilots would need to complete the course, which AOPA will offer for free, every two years in addition to seeing their personal physician every four years to operate under the law.
“We worked with a lot of constituents to get this course done…. We’ve worked with a number of doctors, general practitioners as well as AMEs,” said AOPA President Mark Baker.
The course covers a variety of health subjects, including the importance of exercise and diet and their effect on your performance in the cockpit, as well as providing in-depth information on heart health and diabetes. The course concludes with a quiz. Pilots must pass in order to earn the certificate that is kept in their logbooks for reference if the FAA were ever to ask. Those not passing the first time can review the course and retake the quiz until they pass. AOPA will notify pilots when the course is available to take.
The FAA is expected to publish the third class medical reform final rule soon. In December, the agency indicated that it would release the third class medical reform final rule in January. Based on the legislation that President Barack Obama signed into law July 15, 2016, the FAA must publish the final rule within 180 days of that date. The final rule is expected to include the effective date that pilots can begin operating under the new reforms.
“We’re looking forward to the final rule and implementation date from the FAA,” said Baker. “This has been a long time coming. AOPA and our members fought hard for reforms, and we hear every day from pilots who can’t wait to fly under the new rule.”
AOPA will notify members as soon as the final rule is published and will review it in detail to provide answers for any questions pilots might have. AOPA also is preparing a suite of online resources for pilots and physicians to help them make use of the new rule and ensure implementation goes smoothly.