Jan 10, 2017 Issues: Transportation



Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Todd Rokita issued this statement following the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) announcement of the updated third class medical reform rule:

“The updated FAA third class medical rule closely follows Congressional intent, with the comprehensive medical examination written exactly as we laid out in the law.  This is a true win for the general aviation community.  We have fought for years against these burdensome regulations, and I am pleased to see a third class medical reform rule that does away with unnecessary government red tape to keep the skies safe and accessible for all aviators.”

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) also commented on the rule, issuing the following statement praising Rep. Rokita’s work on third class medical reform:

“Third class medical reform is the best thing to happen to general aviation in decades,” said AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker. “AOPA’s new Fit to Fly resources, including the free online medical education course, will ensure that pilots and doctors have the tools they need to take advantage of the reforms and we thank Congressman Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) for his instrumental work to pass legislation that will save pilots time and money.”

During the 113th and 114th Congresses, Rep. Rokita introduced the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act (GAPPA), leading the way on third class medical reform.  Reforms to the certification process were included in the FAA reauthorization signed by President Obama in July, 2016.

Under the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016, pilots who have held a valid medical certificate prior to July 15, 2006 do not need to take another FAA medical exam.  Pilots whose most recent medical certificate was revoked, suspended, withdrawn, or denied will need to obtain a new medical certificate before they can operate under the reforms.  Pilots who have never held an FAA medical certificate will need to go through the process one time only. 

After meeting the initial requirements laid out in the regulations, pilots will need to visit any state-licensed physician at least once every four years and take a free online medical course every two years.  A certificate of completion of the course and the checklist from the physician must be kept in the pilot’s logbook. 

Rep. Rokita is a commercially-rated pilot, a member of the General Aviation Caucus, and served as the only Hoosier Republican on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during the 114th Congress.