Bill to eliminate medicals for more pilots introduced in Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three members of the U.S. Senate introduced a bill Tuesday, March 11, which mirrors one introduced in the House of Representatives last December, which would eliminate the medical requirement for non-commercial pilots flying day VFR below 14,000 feet in aircraft weighing less than 6,000 pounds and carrying no more than six people.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Experimental Aircraft Association had petitioned the FAA in 2012 for this rule change. The bills go even further than AOPA and EAA had asked.

Senators who introduced the bill are: John Boozman (R-Ark.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). They are members of the Senate GA Caucus. The House bill now has 52 co-sponsors.

Boozman said, “thousand of pilots have asked the FAA to expand the light-sport aircraft medical exemption to cover additional small aircraft.”

If the FAA continues to delay, he added, this bill will start the discussion toward a legislative solution.

With passage of the legislation, pilots will continue to assess their fitness to fly and undergo regular flight reviews with a flight instructor, said Jim Coon, AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.

“It is good news to see this bill introduced in the Senate,” said Dick Knapinsky of EAA. This might make the FAA move faster, he added.

Representative Todd Rokita (R-Ind), who introduced the bill in the House, expressed his thanks to the Senators for introducing the Senate version of the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act.

“I look forward to working with them to pass this bill in both chambers to spur job growth in the GA industry,” he said.


  1. Bob says

    If you want to get rid of the third class medical, start writing. Letters to your Senators and Representatives may make the difference.

    • LARRY says

      You bet, Bob. I wrote to my Rep in Wisconsin who had not co-signed on HR3708 and … guess what … within that same week, he did. Unless and until each and every pilot does their part and at least tries, the FAA won’t budge.

      They’re under ‘attack’ on SO many issues these days that sooner or later they are going to have to start bowing to public pressure. If not, their own jobs will begin to be in jeopardy.

  2. Mark says

    How about expanding it just a bit to include night VFR. I don’t mind not flying IFR, but it would be better not having to rush a cross country to get home before sunset.

    • Tom says

      You still have an hour after sunset until the “end of evening civil twilight” or did you need to fly longer than that to avoid “rushing home”?

  3. Mooney says

    Can this be passed before my next unfair FAA gamble? I would much rather spend the unnecessary dollars the FAA forces me to needlessly spend (according to my Board Certified Cardilogis), and spend them on some upgrades for my Mooney which will make for safer flight, something the FAA medical certticiation doesn’t do. It is about time someone puts a premium on training; accidents will drop.

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