The New BasicMed Rule for General Aviation

Recently the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a rule that those in flight are excited to learn will soon come to fruition. As of May 1, 2017, the FAA issued the BasicMed rule which will come as a very welcome relief to affected pilots. “Much of the general aviation community is ecstatic about BasicMed,” AOPA President Mark Baker said of the new alternative to medical certification. “May 1 can’t get her soon enough!”

In order to qualify for BasicMed, pilots are required to get a physical exam by a state-licensed physician and continue to have examinations every four years, have the associated checklist completed, and then complete the online aeromedical course. However, the FAA will no longer require an FAA medical certificate as a requirement for flying. To continue using BasicMed, pilots will be required to comply with aircraft and operating restrictions:

  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Have held a medical certificate at any time after July 15, 2006
  • Have not had the most recently held medical certificate revoked, suspended, or withdrawn
  • Have not had the most recent application for airman medical certification completed and denied
  • Have taken a medical education course within the past 24 calendar months
  • Have completed a comprehensive medical examination within the past 48 months
  • Be under the care of a physician for certain medical conditions
  • Have been found eligible for special insurance of a medical certificate for certain specified mental health, neurological, or cardiovascular conditions
  • Consent to a National Driver Register check
  • Fly only certain small aircraft, at a limited altitude and speed, and only within the United States
  • Not fly for compensation or hire

The FAA does state that the use of this rule by any eligible pilot is voluntary and persons may choose to use this rule or continue to operate using any valid FAA medical certificate.

Read the full FAA Final Rule here.

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