House Bill Would Push FAA To Issue NPRM on Apnea Policy

 - November 26, 2013, 3:20 PM

NBAA and AOPA welcomed legislation introduced on Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives that would require the FAA to go through the rulemaking process before issuing any requirement for some pilots to undergo screening for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) before receiving a medical certificate. Earlier this month, Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Frederick Tilton stated that the agency “will be releasing shortly” a policy that would subject pilots with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more to OSA screening.

The legislation, H.R.3578, is sponsored by House aviation subcommittee chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) and co-sponsored by six other members of the House General Aviation Caucus. The bill seeks to ensure “that any new or revised requirement providing for the screening, testing or treatment of an airman…is adopted pursuant to a rulemaking proceeding.” It has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

“We thank Representative LoBiondo and other House lawmakers for recognizing that a policy of this magnitude must be vetted through the established rulemaking process, which has proved to be effective so many times in the past,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “It is imperative that any new burden on aviators be thoroughly analyzed in consultation with stakeholders.”