Thirty-two members of the U.S. House of Representatives General Aviation Caucus have asked the U.S. DOT to accelerate review of a FAA proposal to reform the third-class medical process. Under the proposal, the FAA would allow holders of private pilot certificates and valid driver’s licenses to fly without a third-class medical certificate.
The AirPooler general aviation ride-sharing system has advised pilot-members not to list any flights, pending a discussion with the FAA to clarify AirPooler’s regulatory standing.
Until recently, the sharing economy enabled by modern technology has been limited to industries less regulated than aviation such as taxicabs (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar), hotels (Airbnb) and cars (RelayRides). But now the sharing economy is coming to general aviation, in the form of new ways to rent airplanes (OpenAirplane) and systems for sharing expenses and empty seats in Part 91 non-commercial aircraft (AirPooler and Flytenow).
The FAA will begin formal rulemaking to consider whether to allow private pilots to use a driver’s license in lieu of an FAA medical certificate in some circumstances, the agency announced on April 2. The announcement comes two years after the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) filed a joint petition asking the FAA to expand the third-class medical exemption to cover more recreational pilots.
After the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) submitted a petition for exemption for the third-class medical requirement for private or recreational pilots on March 20, 2012, more than 14,000 comments overwhelmingly in support of the exemption were submitted to the FAA. However, the agency failed to act on the exemption request, and now Congress is exerting pressure on the FAA to expand the third-class medical exemption, which currently applies to sport pilots.
The FAA will begin formal rulemaking to consider whether to allow private pilots to use a driver’s license in lieu of an FAA medical certificate in some circumstances, the agency announced yesterday. The announcement follows a joint petition by AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association to the FAA to expand the third-class medical exemption, as well as proposed legislation, the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act (GAPPA), that is currently making its way through both the House and Senate.
The comment period for additional ideas for the FAA’s upcoming redo of its airman certification standards closes August 23. A notice published last month included a first draft of the authorized instructor certificate documents, a second draft of the private pilot certificate and the instrument rating documents, as well as a set of frequently asked questions.
A celebrity pilot who advocates for general aviation and a determined senator were no match this week for the FAA’s plans to close the towers at up to 238 U.S. airports in an effort to trim costs required under the budget sequester. The FAA planned to announce a finalized closure list on Monday, but the agency delayed its release until tomorrow due to the overwhelming number of appeals to keep the towers open.