Melchor J. Antuñano, M.D., M.S.

Director, Civil Aerospace Medical Institute
Aviation Safety Office of Aerospace Medicine
Federal Aviation Administration

Dr. Antuñano was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1960. He is a graduate of the National Autonomous University of Mexico School of Medicine and completed post-graduate training in Aviation Medicine at the Mexican Government's National Center of Aviation Medicine in Mexico City, Mexico. He is a graduate of the Residency Program in Aerospace Medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. He was awarded a post-doctoral research associateship by the U.S. National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Antuñano has been the Director of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) since January 14, 2001. Dr. Antuñano provides executive direction and is responsible for the administrative oversight of FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine's programs in Medical Certification, Medical Education, Medical Research, Human Factors Research, and Occupational Health Services, that are critical and integral elements of the Office of Aviation Safety (AVS). He is the focal point in leading the activities of a professional, technical, and clerical team engaged in the policy development, planning, evaluating, and administering of:

  • a program to fulfill the medical certification needs of approximately 580,000 holders of U.S. pilot certificates
  • a program for the selection, designation, training, and management of about 2,700 Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) appointed to conduct physical examinations and issue FAA medical certificates to pilot certificate holders throughout the U.S. and in 90 countries worldwide
  • medical education programs in aviation physiology, global survival, and aviation human factors for FAA flight crews and civil aviation pilots
  • medical publications and other didactic materials used to disseminate medical information to promote aerospace safety
  • a highly specialized library system in support of a broad range of aerospace medical and safety reference/research programs
  • an integrated program of field and laboratory performance research in organizational and human factors aspects of aerospace work environments
  • an applied research program to identify human tolerances, capabilities and failure modes (physiological, psychological, and performance) both in uneventful flights, and during civilian inflight incidents and accidents
  • an occupational medicine program to improve the safety and provide health services to employees and students at the MMAC.

When he joined the FAA in 1992, Dr. Antuñano served as the Manager of CAMI's Aerospace Medical Education Division, including a special assignment as Acting Manager of the Aerospace Medical Certification Division.

Dr. Antuñano is credited with 873 professional presentations and invited lectures at national and international conferences in aerospace medicine in 41 countries, and with 63 scientific publications covering a variety of aerospace medicine topics.

Dr. Antuñano is Past-President of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine, Fellow and Past-President of the U.S. Aerospace Medical Association, Past-President of the Space Medicine Branch, Past-President of the Iberoamerican Association of Aerospace Medicine, and member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

Dr. Antuñano is an Honorary Member of the Austrian, Brazilian, Colombian, Greek, Mexican, Peruvian, Slovenian and Turkish Societies of Aviation/Aerospace Medicine.

He is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and Adjunct Professor at the National University of Colombia School of Medicine. He is a former faculty member at Wright State University School of Medicine, the Medical Sciences Division of Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and at the Santa Casa de Sao Paulo Medical School in Brazil.

Dr. Antuñano has received 85 awards and recognitions for his academic, administrative, and research achievements including:

  • "DOT Secretary's Award for Meritorious Achievement: Silver Medal" granted by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation for outstanding accomplishments in promoting aviation safety in the U.S. and abroad, through aeromedical education
  • "Jay Pardee AVS Champion of Safety Award" granted by the FAA Office of Aviation Safety
  • "Arthur S. Flemming Award" granted by the George Washington University for outstanding accomplishments in the promotion of aviation safety in the U.S. and abroad through the exercise of inspiring leadership and professionalism.

Last updated: Wednesday, August 19, 2020