Inhofe Applauds Rollout of Third Class Medical Reform Rule

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), member of the Senate General Aviation Caucus and certified flight instructor with more than 11,000 flight hours, today praised the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) announcement of the third class medical reform rule named BasicMed, as required by the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016, which was signed into law on July 15, 2016. Third class medical reform was a key provision in Inhofe Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2.

The implementation of BasicMed is a huge win for the general aviation community,” Inhofe said, “The rule will cut bureaucratic red tape and will encourage pilots to disclose and treat medical conditions that may affect their ability to fly. Further, the new rule will ease the medical certification process for pilots while increasing their knowledge of risk and requiring treatment of recognized conditions. I look forward to FAA’s swift approval of AOPA’s online medical education course ‘Fit to Fly’ and look forward to working with the agency throughout its implementation process.

The reform has the strong support of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA):

BasicMed is the best thing to happen to general aviation in decades,” said AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker. “AOPA is developing Fit to Fly, a suite of resources for pilots and physicians that will help people take full advantage of the program, including the free online medical education course, and we thank Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) for working tirelessly to pass these reforms that will improve safety while reducing the burdensome and ineffective bureaucracy that has thwarted participation in general aviation.”

“This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, as the hope of aeromedical reform has become something that pilots can now use. It is a major breakthrough in reducing the cost and administrative burdens on pilots flying recreationally, while maintaining important elements of aviation safety,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO/chairman. “Our thanks go to Sen. Inhofe, who fought tirelessly for this measure and whose leadership helped overcome challenges in moving this important legislation for aviators into law.”

Background

  • On July 15, 2016, FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 was signed into law and included provisions of Sen Inhofe’s Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 reforming FAA’s third class medical certification process.
  • On June 14, 2016, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017 by a vote of 85-13, which included Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2.
  • On April 19, 2016, the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 passed the Senate a second time, this time included in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016, which passed the Senate by a vote of 95 to 3.
  • On Dec. 15, 2015, the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 passed the Senate by unanimous consent. 
  • On Feb. 26 2015, Inhofe introduced the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, legislation that would reform the third class medical certification for recreational pilots and broaden the protections provided in the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights authored by Inhofe and signed into law in 2012. The Senate Commerce Committee reported S. 571 as amended to the Senate by a voice vote on Dec. 9, 2015.
  • On Aug. 3, 2012, Inhofe’s Pilot’s Bill of Rights (S.1335) was signed into law, which made FAA enforcement proceedings and NTSB review fair for pilots; streamlined the NOTAM Improvement Program; and required a GAO review of the FAA’s medical certification process and forms in order to help bring clarity and reduce instances of misinterpretation with medical forms for pilots.