Good news: the FAA will not be shutting down on July 15th! Say what? That’s right the current FAA extension act was set to expire on July 15th. Lucky for us, and pretty much anyone who travels by air, the House,after much back and forth between senate, passed the “FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016,” (technically known as H.R. 636) which will keep the FAA running through September 2017. H.R. 636 now moves on to be signed into law any day now by the President of the United States.
H.R. 636 contains numerous legislation and bills un-related to aviation, so other than the obvious that the FAA will be continuing operations, what about all this is important? Medical reform. The same third-class medical reform that has already passed three previous times in the senate has now passed through the house as part of this legislation and is set to be signed into law! This does not mean that the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations will change immediately, the FAA has up to one year to develop and issue such exemptions. As the FAA goes through this process it will be important to keep a close eye on all regulatory changes over the next 12 months.
Be sure to pick up your 2017 FAR/AIM which begins shipping August 10th, this is your best resource for current regulatory and procedural information. Changes to the Federal Aviation Regulations can occur daily via the Federal Registers, and the Aeronautical Information Manual is updated every 6 months. ASA keeps you current by publishing the FAR/AIM Series annually, providing online Updates and an email subscription service so you’re notified when a change has been made affecting the information in your books. To be advised when regulatory changes occur due to third-class medical reform, make sure to sign up by following the link below.
AOPA has been at the forefront of the fight for medical reform and for more information I recommend you check out their FAQ page or shoot us a question in the comments section.