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FAA Proposal Responds To EAA, Industry Requests To Extend Duration Of Airmen Medical Certificates

NPRM Aimed At Pilots Under Age 40

April 10 , 2007 — The FAA?s plan to extend the duration of first- and third-class airmen medical certificates for pilots under age 40 was announced in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published Tuesday, April 10. The NPRM (Docket Number FAA-2007-27812) echoes Marion Blakey?s announcement made during her ?Meet the Administrator? session at EAA AirVenture last year: First-class medical certificates for pilots under age 40 would be extended from six months to a year and third-class medicals from three years to five years. Such action will help to make more resources available to accelerate the medical certification process for private pilots that need third class special issuance medical certificates.

EAA, whose Aeromedical Advisory Council works continuously with the FAA to remove medical certification barriers, has been highly supportive of this effort.

?The evidence of the periodic medical examination is of certain value, but not many significant conditions are discovered on routine examinations performed on pilots below the age of 40,? said Council Chairman Dr. Jack Hastings. ?We also recognize the finite resources of the Aeromedical Certification Division to handle the large volume of medical certifications. This change will hopefully allow the division to devote greater time and attention to problem aeromedical certifications and achieve the goal of timely decisions.?

FAA estimates that 175,000 fewer first class certificates and 90,000 fewer third-class certificates would be renewed over 10 years, resulting in a cost savings to airmen estimated at $85 million.

In 1996, the FAA extended the duration of third-class medicals for pilots under age 40 from two to three years. It has had no adverse impact on safety and supports the foundation for the current proposal. The FAA has never extended the duration of first-class medicals beyond six months.

?Hopefully this experience will also be positive and even open the door for further relaxations in the future,? Hastings added.

The FAA will accept public comments to the NPRM through June 11, 2007. For more information on submitting comments electronically, visit http://dms.dot.gov or http://www.regulations.gov, specifying Docket Number FAA-2007-27812.

Comments can also be submitted via U.S. Mail at:

Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401
Washington, DC 20590-0001

Comments can also be submitted via fax at 202-493-2251.

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