Basic Med is Finally Here!
After much effort by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the General Aviation community, the long sought after change in FAA medical requirements for most private pilots has arrived. Effective May 1, 2017, most general aviation pilots now have a new way to meet FAA medical requirements. It is called Basic Med. To operate under Basic Med, a pilot must:
- Possess a valid driver’s license
- Have held an FAA regular or special issuance medical on or after July 15, 2006
- Get a physical exam by a state-licensed physician and have the associated checklist completed by the physician
- Complete a free online aeromedical education course
- After meeting the initial requirements to fly under this program, pilots will need to visit a state-licensed physician at least once every four years and take a free online course on aeromedical factors every two years
- Fly aircraft on non-commercial VFR or IFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds, having no more than six seats, no higher than 18,000 feet, at a maximum of 250 knots.
More information about Basic Med can be found on TxDOT’s and FAA’s websites. TxDOT’s site is www.txdot.gov. Click on the airplane at the bottom of the page. Under Helpful Texas Air Travel Information, click on “TxDOT’s Aviation Division.” Under Flight Information, click on “FAA Medical Reform.” Information about the aeromedical course and access to the medical checklist is available. For more detailed information and a list of “Frequently Asked Questions, about Basic Med, search for AC No. 68 on FAA’s website at www.faa.org.
Basic Med is the single most important thing to happen for the General Aviation Industry in a long time. More people will be learning to fly, buying more airplanes, and flying longer than