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Questions Linger on Medicals During Pandemic
April 2, 2020 - Late last week, the FAA announced it would not be enforcing the requirement to hold a medical certificate for airmen with first-, second-, and third-class medical certificates that expired on or after March 31, for a period ending June 30. The directive, effectively extending medical certificates for the three-month window, was welcome news to many pilots who have difficulty scheduling time with AMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many questions remain unanswered, and EAA is working to better understand the implications of this rapidly evolving issue.
The chief concern about the FAA's medical policy revolves around insurance. Is your insurance contract still valid if it requires you to have a medical and your medical is expired? EAA has received informal indications from at least one insurer that it plans to honor the policies held by owners and pilots who operate under the FAA's discretionary enforcement statement, but we encourage all members who are concerned to seek written confirmation that their policies are valid if the aircraft is operated without a valid medical but with the FAA's consent.
EAA expects several more emergency policies to be released by the FAA shortly, to address pilot currency and other time-sensitive items. This week EAA signed a letter to FAA associate administrator for aviation safety Ali Bahrami highlighting the important nature of general aviation operations to the national economy and the critical transportation infrastructure, and the need for relief from many currency requirements during this time of national emergency.
EAA continues to caution members to check state and local isolation orders before flying and to use careful judgment in slowing the spread of the virus. The faster we can bring COVID-19 under control, the faster all of us will be able to return to the activities we love.