Published in Midwest Flyer – Aug/Sept 2016
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) released the following statements after the announcement that Congress will include Third Class Medical Reform in proposed FAA extension legislation.
“Including Third Class Medical Reform in this package is great news for general aviation and we’re very pleased to see it moving forward as part of the FAA extension,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “We appreciate the efforts of general aviation advocates in both the House and Senate. This is a vital issue for the general aviation community, and AOPA has worked with lawmakers day in and day out to build bipartisan support for these commonsense changes. Medical reform is long overdue and we look forward to seeing the House and Senate pass this legislation in the coming days.”
“This has been slow, painstaking work, but important work, as EAA members have told us this is the top legislative priority,” said EAA CEO/Chairman Jack J. Pelton, who has been part of the EAA team working the issue with congressional leaders. “As we mentioned often since the beginning of this effort, bringing change through legislation is not quick or easy. EAA and AOPA have fought every day to overcome significant hurdles in Congress and will continue to do so until aeromedical reform is signed into law. The medical reform proposed in the Pilots Bill of Rights 2 is a major step forward in changing the landscape of medical certification for recreational and personal flying. It provides relief for pilots while maintaining safety – and in some cases, enhancing it.”
The provisions of the FAA extension package have been negotiated over the past several weeks, and it is expected that the House and Senate will pass the legislation and send it to the president to be signed into law before Congress adjourns next week.
After the president signs the bill into law, the FAA will have up to one year to develop and issue regulations before the Third Class Medical provisions become effective.