The FAA published in the Federal Register a notice on a new protocol for pilots with diabetes seeking a private pilot, commercial, or Air Transport certificate.
Published Nov. 7, 2019, the “innovative new protocol makes it possible for airline transport or commercial pilots with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to potentially receive a special-issuance medical certification,” FAA officials said.
“Medical science has come a long way in the treatment and monitoring of diabetes,” FAA officials said in announcing the new protocol. “This new medical protocol takes into account medical advancements in technology and treatment and opens the door for individuals with ITDM to become airline pilots.”
Since 1996, private pilots with ITDM have been issued medical certificates on a case-by-case basis after assessing their risks.
The new protocol is based on established advancements in medical science that make management and control of the disease easier to monitor, mitigating safety risks.
To be considered under this protocol, applicants must provide a comprehensive medical and overall health history, including reports from their treating physicians, such as their endocrinologist. They also must provide evidence of controlling their diabetes using the latest technology and methods of treatment being used to monitor the disease.
The FAA developed the new protocol based on the reliability of the advancements in technology and treatment being made in the medical standard of care for diabetes and on input from the medical community, officials noted.
The new protocol became effective when the notice was published. Public comments will be accepted for 60 days from the date of publication, with FAA officials noting they “may revise the new protocol based on comments.”