FAA Rolls Out New AME Guidance on OSA

On March 2, 2015, FAA’s Office of Aerospace Medicine rolled out its new guidance for AME’s on Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). In response to feedback from pilots, other industry stakeholders, and Congress, FAA heavily revised guidance that was previously proposed last year. To address concerns that were raised by pilots, the new guidance asks AMEs to evaluate applicants on multiple criteria rather than Body Mass Index (BMI) alone. If a pilot exhibits some of the criteria but is deemed to be at low risk of OSA, the AME will Regular (AE1) issue the medical certificate with some educational material on OSA. Applicants meeting some criteria and deemed to be at high risk of OSA will still be Regular issued but with a request for more information after a consultation from their regular doctor within 90 days. Only applicants that report, or if the AME observes severe symptoms of OSA, will the applicant then be deferred to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division.

This new approach will not rely on a single criterion and will allow the AME latitude in dealing with applicants that may be at risk for OSA. Also note that the medical certificates of all but the most at-risk airmen will be handled as Regular Issuances and not under the Special Issuance process. For more information, go here.