NBAA Commends FAA for Issuing Final Third-Class Medical Rule

Contact: Dan Hubbard,

Washington, DC, Jan. 10, 2017 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed the issuance by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of a final rule allowing private pilots, in certain instances, to use a driver’s license along with medical exams, in lieu of an FAA-issued medical certificate.

The new rule is contained in a broader package of updated requirements for third-class medical certification, which the agency has dubbed “BasicMed.”  

“We commend the FAA for moving ahead in a timely fashion on the development of a final rule for third-class medical reforms,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “The implementation of the rule will allow the FAA to put scarce agency resources to higher-risk oversight activities, while remaining focused on the safety of flight.”

Legislation directing the agency to develop new third-class medical rules was introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in 2015, and was given final congressional approval the following year.

Under the legislation, pilots who make noncommercial flights under visual or instrument flight rules in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with no more than six seats would be exempt from the third-class medical certification requirement. Pilots would be limited to carrying a maximum of five passengers, flying at altitudes below 18,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), and at a speed no faster than 250 knots.

Additionally, under the new provisions, pilots with a valid medical certificate at any point 10 years before July 15, 2016, may not need to take another FAA medical exam; pilots who have never had an FAA medical certificate will need to undertake the process a single time. Thereafter, pilots will need to visit a state-licensed doctor at least once every four years, and take a free online course every two years.  

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 11,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

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