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General Aviation Pilot Protection Act

AOPA Supports Bill To Redefine Third Class Medical Requirements

flight training at Guidance AviationThe Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) expressed enthusiastic support for a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today that would give the FAA 180 days to redefine its Third Class Medical requirements and allow greater access for pilots to fly.

The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act, proposed by Representatives Todd Rokita (R-IN), and Sam Graves, (R-MO), and co-sponsored by Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), would expand on a petition submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association nearly 20 months ago. The FAA has failed to act on that joint petition, which drew more than 16,000 comments from pilots and interested parties.

Reps. Rokita and Graves are active pilots, AOPA members and members of the House General Aviation Caucus, of which Rep. Graves is the Caucus co-chair. The co-sponsors are also members of the General Aviation Caucus.

“We have waited far too long for the FAA to act on our petition,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “As a result, Representatives Rokita and Graves stepped forward to take decisive action in the best interests of fellow general aviation pilots. We appreciate their outstanding leadership on this issue and look forward to seeing this bill move forward quickly.”

The bill would significantly revise the Third Class Medical by replacing a brief, compulsory medical examination with a requirement that pilots possess a valid driver’s license as proof of health. It would also limit pilots to flying with no more than five passengers, not above 14,000 feet and at no more than 250 knots, and in aircraft that have a maximum takeoff weight of 6,000 lbs.


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