What’s the latest on the third class medical reform?
The bill gave the FAA 180 days to come up with new regulations and officials with both the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) believe the agency is on track to deliver in time.
“The FAA is making every attempt to be as expeditious as it can to put the regulations in place,” said Jim Coon, AOPA’s senior vice president of government affairs and advocacy. “Every signal we’ve gotten is that the FAA is anxious to meet the deadline.”
EAA’s Sean Elliott agrees.
“There’s a strong desire from the FAA administrator down through the senior levels of FAA management to be as quick and efficient as possible in pushing this through and getting something that’s final,” he said. “They don’t want to miss the deadline.”
He added FAA officials “certainly don’t want” to have the legislation automatically enacted, which is one of the bill’s provisions.
“It was very cleverly done so that it says, “Look FAA, you’ve got six months to create this reform, and then there’s a six-month window after that deadline that you better catch up if you’re behind.”
The snag may come once the FAA comes up with the new regulations. Before they can be enacted, they must go to the Department of Transportation for review, Coon noted.
GA advocates will be watching the entire process “like a hawk,” Elliott promised, noting, “We’re going to be working closely with the policy makers and the rule process as it goes through the FAA senior ranks, and we’re going to be connected with this so that we can hopefully convert or influence any bad turn that’s not aligned with the intent of the law.”