Medical Reform Moving in Congress

Amendment to highway bill includes third-class medical reform language.

There is hope for third-class medical reform and it may become a reality soon. A bipartisan amendment to the Senate highway bill was filed this week by Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and John Boozman (R-Arkansas), adding language to support third-class medical reform.

The language introduced in the highway bill mirrors suggested medical rules included in the Pilots Bill of Rights 2, which was presented to Congress earlier this year by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma). Support for the bill has been gaining momentum in the House and Senate, AOPA said.

“We are determined to get third-class medical reform, and lawmakers have heard our message loud and clear,” said AOPA’s president Mark Baker. “But this doesn’t mean we can or will rest. We’ll keep working for medical reform every day, and through every possible channel, until we get it done.”

Should the bill go through, many pilots would no longer need to go through the regular medical check ups that are required for Private, Commercial and Airline Transport Pilots. Instead, in most situations, Private Pilots would follow the medical standards for Sport Pilots, who can use a driver’s license in lieu of a medical certificate as long as they are in good health.

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