Here's The Way The Feds Explain It...
1. What if I meet the
requirements set forth in the rule that allow me to medically
qualify using my current and valid US driver's license? When
may I use my current and valid US driver's license as medical
Answer: Provided you meet the requirements
and you are qualified to exercise sport pilot privileges using a
current and valid US driver's license, you may do so on September
1, 2004, the effective date of the rule.
2. What if I already hold a pilot certificate and
a valid airman medical certificate? Do I have to maintain my
airman medical certificate if I will only be exercising sport pilot
privileges or may I use my current and valid US driver's license as
Answer: You may use your current and
valid US driver's license to exercise sport pilot privileges;
however, you must hold the required, valid FAA airman medical
certificate if you wish to exercise private pilot (or higher)
3. What if I know (or suspect) that I have a
significant medical condition and I hold (and have been able to
maintain) a current and valid US driver's license? Am I
authorized to exercise sport pilot privileges provided I otherwise
Answer: Long-standing FAA regulation,
� 61.53, prohibits all pilots--those who are required to
hold airman medical certificates and those who are not--from
exercising privileges during periods of medical deficiency.
The FAA revised � 61.53 to include under this prohibition
sport pilots who use a current and valid US driver's license as
medical qualification. The prohibition is also added under
�� 61.23 (c) (2) (iv) and 61.303 (b) (2) (4) for
sport pilot operations.
You should consult your private physician to determine whether
you have a medical deficiency that would interfere with the safe
performance of sport piloting duties. Certain medical
information that may be helpful for pilots is posted on the FAA
website at www.cami.jccbi.gov/aam-400A/400brochure.html.
4. What if I have a life-long,
chronic medical condition (e.g., diabetes mellitus) and I have
never applied for or held an FAA airman medical certificate and my
medical condition has never precluded me from being able to renew
my US driver's license? Am I authorized to exercise sport
pilot privileges provided I otherwise qualify?
Answer: You should consult your private
physician to determine whether you have a medical deficiency that
would interfere with the safe performance of sport piloting
duties. You may exercise sport pilot privileges provided you
are in good health, your medical condition is under control, you
adhere to your physician's recommended treatment, and you feel
satisfied that you are able to conduct safe flight operations.
5. Why does the FAA specify conditions for using a
current and valid US driver's license only for persons whose most
recent application for an airman medical certificate has been
denied; whose most recently held airman medical certificate was
rescinded or revoked; or whose most recent Special Issuance has
Answer: To clarify that, if your most recent
records on file with the FAA indicate that you were found
ineligible to exercise airman privileges for medical reasons then,
in the interest of public safety, you shouldn't go out right away
and use your driver's license as medical qualification.
We understand that these conditions may not have been expected
and may disappoint some people. That was not our intent, nor
is it our intent that affected persons would have to maintain an
airman medical certificate if they would rather use their current
and valid US driver's license to medically qualify as a sport
We ultimately concluded that, in those cases where the FAA has
existing knowledge of medical ineligibility, we need the affected
person to address it and, hopefully have it resolved. To meet
the intent of the rule, the affected person should apply for
reconsideration of their eligibility. In some denial cases,
applicants simply may not have provided enough information to the
FAA or may not have supplied information that the FAA may have
requested. In certain other denial cases, applicants may not
have exercised their appeal rights which may have led to
certification in some cases.
The FAA wants to see as many pilots as possible take advantage
of this exciting new rule and looks forward to working with
individuals seeking to exercise sport pilot privileges. We
also intend to work with EAA, AOPA, and other industry groups
toward that end.
6. What if I
resubmit my application and, ultimately, I am certified? Must
I continue to renew my medical or may I use my current and valid US
driver's license as evidence of medical qualification?
Answer: If you are ultimately certified then
you are no longer on record with the FAA as having had your most
recent application denied or your most recently held FAA airman
medical certificate suspended or revoked, etc. Therefore, it
is not necessary to maintain airman medical certification
thereafter to exercise sport pilot privileges provided you hold a
current and valid US driver's license and provided you otherwise
7. What if I hold a Special Issuance? Is
that considered denial of an application for an airman medical
Answer: No. Special Issuance is not
considered the denial of an FAA airman medical certificate.
8. Approximately how many applicants for
third-class airman medical certificates are denied?
Answer: Over the past 3 years, the number of
denials of third-class airman medical certificates has ranged from
approximately 2000 to 2500 per year based on approximately 135,000
to 140,000 applications for third-class airman medical
certification per year. Most of these denials resulted
because of a failure of the applicants to provide sufficient
information for the FAA to make a favorable decision.