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Insulin-Controlled Diabetics Can Obtain Second-, First-Class Medicals

November 14, 2019 - The FAA has released a new protocol to allow individuals with insulin-controlled diabetes to apply for and obtain second- and first-class medical certificates. Previously, these airmen were limited to third-class medicals.

The protocol makes used of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology, which has seen widespread adoption among patients with insulin-controlled diabetes in recent years. The blood glucose history these devices provide allows the FAA to make more informed decisions on issuance, and simplifies the procedure for pilots to monitor blood glucose before and during flight. The FAA will also make this CGM-based protocol available to holders of third-class medicals as well.

For diabetics not dependent on insulin, the FAA has a relatively straightforward process for special issuance certification that has been in place for many years, and many medication-based treatments are acceptable. The FAA has a worksheet to assist medication-controlled diabetic pilots in certification. Diet-controlled diabetes with documentation of successful treatment is eligible for certification without a special issuance.

Comments will be accepted on the new policy through January 6, although the policy went into effect last week.

EAA members can contact the Government Advocacy team for questions on their personal health and implications for medical certification, including BasicMed and Sport Pilot. Contact us at 800-564-6322 or govt@eaa.org.

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