House Passes Sleep Apnea Bill

** (Credit to Habib M’henni / Wikimedia Commons)**

The FAA's airman medical branch wants pilots with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher to undergo testing for obstructive sleep apnea, a change many pilots argue will cost them big bucks while contributing dubious safety value. The FAA's Federal Air Surgeon, Dr. Fred Tilton, planned to require screening for obstructive sleep apnea in overweight pilots before Congress stepped in late last year.

Aviation leaders applauded the action in the House on Tuesday.

"We appreciate the strong bipartisan leadership on this issue in both the House and the Senate," said AOPA President Mark Baker. "We all want pilots to fly safely, and any policy changes should be based on transparency, public comment and the opportunity to work together to identify more effective and less intrusive solutions."

An identical bill is set for a vote soon in the Senate.

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