Inhofe Praises Beginning of BasicMed

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 BasicMed requirements, which will go into effect May 1. BasicMed provides a new alternative to the FAA’s existing, onerous process to qualify for third class medical certificates. These needed reforms were required by the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016, and were the key provision in Inhofe's Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2. 

To take full advantage of these reforms, pilots can learn about BasicMed online medical courses here. 

Previously, the third class medical process was so burdensome that it encouraged pilots to hide medical conditions and in some cases leave flying all together,” Inhofe said. “These reforms, which have enjoyed broad bipartisan support, provide much needed regulatory relief and encourage pilots to disclose and treat medical conditions that may affect their ability to fly. While BasicMed does not go into effect until May 1, I encourage general aviation pilots to learn and prepare for these reforms now. AOPA has developed Fit to Fly resources to help pilots as they navigate the new process. ” 

“AOPA has fought long and hard for third class medical reform on behalf of our members and we’re excited that pilots can now start the BasicMed process,” said Mark Baker, AOPA president and CEO. “We could not have done it without the help of leaders in Congress like Sen. Inhofe who understand the freedom to fly and issues that affect pilots.” 

To qualify for BasicMed, pilots must hold a valid driver’s license; have held a valid FAA medical certificate on or after July 15, 2006; and not had their most recent medical revoked, suspended, or withdrawn or most recent application denied. Pilots with a medical history or diagnosis of certain cardiac, neurological or mental health conditions, will need a one-time only special issuance for each condition. 

Background 

  • On March 29, Inhofe introduced S. 755, the Fairness for Pilots Act, which continues to broaden protections for general aviation pilots.
  • On Jan. 10, The FAA announced the reforms to the third class medical rule named BasicMed.
  • 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.