FAA on Tuesday issued a final rule that allows general aviation pilots to fly without holding an FAA medical certificate as long as they meet certain requirements set by Congress.
Until now, the agency has required private, recreational and student pilots, as well as flight instructors, to meet the requirements of and hold a third class medical certificate. They are required to complete an online application and undergo a physical examination with an FAA-designated aviation medical examiner.
Beginning May 1, pilots may take advantage of the regulatory relief in the BasicMed rule or opt to continue to use a FAA medical certificate. Under BasicMed, a pilot will be required to complete a medical education course, undergo a medical examination every four years, and comply with aircraft and operating restrictions.
The FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 directed FAA to issue or revise regulations by Jan. 10, 2017, to ensure that an individual may operate as pilot in command of certain aircraft without having to undergo the medical certification process under Part 67 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, if the pilot and aircraft meet certain prescribed conditions outlined in the act.