Revised sleep apnea policy responds to GA’s concerns

For moderate to severe sleep apnea, the most common treatment is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) device

More than a year of lobbying work by general aviation’s advocacy groups on the FAA’s sleep apnea policy has brought considerable revisions to the agency’s original proposal, which would have forced costly sleep studies on pilots even if they had shown no symptoms of the disorder.

The new policy, which takes effect March 2, will not disqualify pilots from receiving a medical certificate based solely on body mass index (BMI). Pilots believed to be at risk for the condition will receive a regular medical certificate and be required to undergo a follow-up assessment. Those who are diagnosed with the condition must receive treatment to continue flying. [Read more…]

I could lose sleep over this!

Ever go to a car show and marvel at the British sports cars of our youth? MGs and Triumphs, how small they look now! How could I ever fit? Answer: We were slimmer then. After decades of fast food, career stress, no time to exercise and skimping on healthy foods, we are a nation heavier than before.

And now, your FAA medical will apparently include the assumption of sleep apnea based on body mass index (BMI.) Not to diminish apnea’s serious medical consequences, this is a heavy wet blanket for GA. It’s like a bad dream, isn’t it?

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One pilot’s experience with an apnea diagnosis

Mike, a Chicago area pilot, shares his experiences with apnea on his blog, as well as his thoughts about what the new proposal means: “As a pilot with apnea I thought it time to share my experiences and weigh in on the long-term FAA requirements that come from an apnea diagnosis. I’m against this proposal, but not for the reasons you might think… and I have a proposal of my own.”

House Committee moves to slow proposed sleep apnea policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress took the first step Wednesday, Dec. 4, toward slowing the FAA from testing overweight pilots and air traffic controllers for sleep apnea.  The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring the FAA to go through the normal rule-making process. The action is in response to the efforts of FAA’s Air Surgeon Fred Tilton to require medical tests for sleep disorders.

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