President signs FAA funding bill that includes aeromedical reform language
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — (July 15, 2016) — A huge number of EAA members and other aviators will now be free from many of the expenses and hassles of the current FAA medical certification system under legislation signed today by President Obama that reforms that system. The provision was included in an FAA funding extension that replaces a short-term funding measure that expired today.
“It’s important to celebrate this moment, which has been a long time coming and resulted from an incredible amount of work over the past five years,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO/Chairman. “EAA was a leader in getting this done because it was the right thing to do for members, working in cooperation with fellow aviation organizations, congressional leaders, and others to persistently pursue this path against many challenges. This win is for everyone who loves recreational flight.”
Details of the new provision, its timeline, and what it means for pilots are outlined in EAA’s Frequently Asked Questions sheet on third-class medical reform. More information about it will also be available at the Member Welcome Center during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016, which begins on July 25. EAA’s advocacy and membership teams will also be talking with members to review any specific language of the bill that is expected to be signed into law this week, and what it means for individual members.
Also, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), a longtime pilot and EAA member who authored the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 that contained the medical reform language, will also be in Oshkosh to discuss the new law. Sen. Inhofe will speak on Saturday, July 30 at 10 a.m. in Forum Pavilion 1. Reps. Sam Graves (R-Missouri) and Todd Rokita (R-Indiana), who led the effort in the House, are also expected to attend AirVenture.
The aeromedical reform was indicated as a top advocacy priority for EAA members for a number of years, and led to EAA and AOPA initially petitioning the FAA for changes in the third-class medical certification process. The goal was to reduce the unnecessary regulatory and expense barriers that pushed aviators out of recreational flying and kept potential pilots from engaging in aviation. This new law, which will fully take effect within the next 12 months, surpasses the initial petition request by including more pilots and aircraft.
“This gives a tremendous win to celebrate at Oshkosh this year,” Pelton said. “The aeromedical reform, along with the announcements of the initial STC for reduced avionics costs and the recent clarified and improved hangar use policy within the past three months, shows that EAA gets it done for its members with hard work and solid relationships with policymakers.”
EAA embodies the spirit of aviation through the world’s most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA’s 195,000 members and 1,000 local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building and restoring recreational aircraft. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 800-JOIN-EAA (800-564-6322) or go to www.eaa.org. For continual news updates, connect with www.twitter.com/EAA.