Application Process for Medical Certification

General Information - Airman Appeals
Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate

At the discretion of the Federal Air Surgeon, an Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate (Authorization), valid for a specified period, may be granted to a person who does not meet the established medical standards if the person shows to the satisfaction of the Federal Air Surgeon that the duties authorized by the class of medical certificate applied for can be performed without endangering public safety during the period in which the Authorization would be in force.

The Federal Air Surgeon may authorize a special medical flight test, practical test, or medical evaluation for this purpose. A medical certificate of the appropriate class may be issued to a person who fails to meet one or more of the established medical standards if that person possesses a valid agency issued Authorization and is otherwise eligible. An airman medical certificate issued in accordance with the special issuance section of part 67 (14 CFR 67.401), shall expire no later than the end of the validity period or upon the withdrawal of the Authorization upon which it is based. An airman must again show to the satisfaction of the Federal Air Surgeon that the duties authorized by the class of medical certificate applied for can be performed without endangering public safety in order to obtain a new medical certificate and/or a Re-Authorization.

In granting an Authorization, the Federal Air Surgeon may consider the person's operational experience and any medical facts that may affect the ability of the person to perform airman duties including:

  • The factors leading to and surrounding the episode
  • The combined effect on the person of failing to meet one or more than one requirement of part 67; and
  • The prognosis derived from professional consideration of all available information regarding the person

In granting an Authorization, the Federal Air Surgeon specifies the class of medical certificate authorized to be issued and may do any or all of the following:

  • Limit the duration of an Authorization;
  • Condition the granting of a new Authorization on the results of subsequent medical tests, examinations, or evaluations;
  • State on the Authorization, and any medical certificate based upon it, any operational limitation needed for safety; or
  • Condition the continued effect of an Authorization, and any second- or third-class medical certificate based upon it, on compliance with a statement of functional limitations issued to the person in coordination with the Director of Flight Standards or the Director's designee
  • In determining whether an Authorization should be granted to an applicant for a third class medical certificate, the Federal Air Surgeon considers the freedom of an airman, exercising the privileges of a private pilot certificate, to accept reasonable risks to his or her person and property that are not acceptable in the exercise of commercial or airline transport pilot privileges, and, at the same time, considers the need to protect the safety of persons and property in other aircraft and on the ground

An Authorization granted to a person who does not meet the applicable medical standards of part 67 may be withdrawn, at the discretion of the Federal Air Surgeon, at any time if:

  • There is adverse change in the holder's medical condition;
  • The holder fails to comply with a statement of functional limitations or operational limitations issued as a condition of certification under the special issuance section of part 67 (14 CFR 67.401);
  • Public safety would be endangered by the holder's exercise of airman privileges;
  • The holder fails to provide medical information reasonably needed by the Federal Air Surgeon for certification under the special issuance section of part 67 (14 CFR 67.401); or
  • The holder makes or causes to be made a statement or entry that is the basis for withdrawal of an Authorization under the falsification section of part 67 (14 CFR 67.403)

A person who has been granted an Authorization under the special issuance section of part 67 (14 CFR 67.401), based on a special medical flight or practical test, need not take the test again during later medical examinations unless the Federal Air Surgeon determines or has reason to believe that the physical deficiency has or may have degraded to a degree to require another special medical flight test or practical test.

The authority of the Federal Air Surgeon under the special issuance section of part 67 (14 CFR 67.401) is also exercised by the Manager, AMCD, and each RFS.

If an Authorization is withdrawn at any time, the following procedures apply:

  • The holder of the Authorization will be served a letter of withdrawal, stating the reason for the action;
  • By not later than 60 days after the service of the letter of withdrawal, the holder of the Authorization may request, in writing, that the Federal Air Surgeon provide for review of the decision to withdraw. The request for review may be accompanied by supporting medical evidence;
  • Within 60 days of receipt of a request for review, a written final decision either affirming or reversing the decision to withdraw will be issued; and
  • A medical certificate rendered invalid pursuant to a withdrawal, in accordance with the special issuance section of part 67 (14 CFR 67.401) shall be surrendered to the Administrator upon request