Section 8. Medical


The following explains methods and procedures for ensuring that employees engaged in the actual control of air traffic meet the medical requirements of the Office of Personnel and Management Qualification Standards as outlined by FAA Order 3930.3, Air Traffic Control Specialist Health Program, and Title 14 CFR Part 65 and Part 67. The Regional Flight Surgeon/Assistant Regional Flight Surgeon (hereinafter referred to as Flight Surgeon) will perform required examinations or review reports of medical examinations and ancillary tests to make a determination as to whether medical requirements are met. Supervisors should obtain the medical opinion of the Flight Surgeon concerning any employee whose medical condition appears questionable; details of the problem should be presented to the Flight Surgeon for an evaluation and determination in accordance with FAA Order 3930.3.

  1. Personnel actively engaged in the separation and control of air traffic, including Traffic Management Coordinators (TMCs) must possess a current medical clearance. ATCSs assigned to FSSs in Alaska are also required to be evaluated under and meet the requirements of FAA Order 3930.3.
  2. If the facility air traffic manager determines that the permanent staff/support specialist (SP) must be operationally qualified, then the employee must possess a current medical clearance.
  3. Employees who do not engage in ATC need not be medically cleared; however, if any employee is required to infrequently operate a control position, they must possess a current medical clearance.
  4. The Flight Surgeon in consultation with facility officials may make a determination that although medical requirements are met, an ATCS should be temporarily restricted from actual ATC duties. An employee temporarily prohibited from ATC duties because of required medication or other questionable medical status may be assigned to temporary administrative duties dependent upon availability of productive work and the capability of the employee to do the work.
  5. Employees who possess a current medical clearance are responsible to comply with all restrictions, limitations, or cancellations of the certificate applicable to the performance of ATC duties.

In some cases, the Flight Surgeon may require additional medical information to determine if the medical requirements are met and will provide information to facility officials to arrange appointments for special medical evaluations. Results of these evaluations will be forwarded to the Flight Surgeon by the consultant physician.

  1. Personnel required to possess a current medical clearance may be granted special consideration if at any time it is determined that medical requirements are not met. Each case must be considered on an individual basis. The Flight Surgeon in coordination with the Service Area Director will make a determination on which management officials may base administrative action.
  2. The Service Area Director must document all special consideration determinations and forward copies to System Operations and Safety, System Safety and Procedures.

The following policy must apply in regard to the use of drugs and sedatives:

  1. Personnel may be assigned to their regular positions of operation within ARTCCs, terminal facilities, FSSs, even though they are taking innocuous medication, such as aspirin derivatives, vitamin preparations, nose drops, skin ointments, and routine immunizations.
  2. Personnel taking either regular or prolonged antihistamines may be assigned to positions of operation provided individual special considerations are obtained. These special considerations may be granted on a permanent basis after it has been determined by the Flight Surgeon that there are no deleterious effects of the antihistamine or the condition for which it is being used.
  1. Personnel ordinarily assigned to an operating position, including those who have direct supervision of the specialists within the facility, must not use the types of drugs listed below within a 24-hour period before assumption of duty:
  1. Sedative type drugs.
  2. Tranquilizers.
  3. Any drugs, such as but not limited to antihypertensive agents or duodenal ulcer medications, which have an effect on the central or autonomic nervous system.
  4. Any other drug and/or medication likely to affect the alertness, judgment, vision, equilibrium, or state of consciousness.
  1. When the employee is advised by a physician that adequate treatment of an ailment will require use of the types of drugs or medication referred to above, the employee must not perform control duties. If the period of required treatment by these types of drugs or medication is anticipated by the physician to exceed 2 weeks (especially if prolonged or permanent treatment is indicated), the supervisor should promptly obtain the opinion of the Flight Surgeon concerning the continued utilization of the employee. The medical determination as to continued operational duty by an ATCS on medication will be made by the Flight Surgeon after consultation with the supervisor on a case-by-case basis.

Personnel must not be assigned to traffic control duties until at least 12 hours have elapsed after blood donation.


Standards of conduct for FAA employees regarding the use of intoxicants are contained in Human Resource Policy Manual (HRPM), Standards of Conduct. In addition to conforming to those standards, FG-2152s and FG-2154s must not perform ATC functions (including FG-2154 duties) or directly supervise personnel performing these functions within 8 hours after partaking in intoxicants.


FG-2154s, Air Traffic Assistants (ATAs), are not subject to FAA Order 3930.3, Air Traffic Control Specialist Health Program, and 14 CFR Part 65 and Part 67; however, FG-2154s, because of the importance of their duties, will have a medical opinion rendered on their abilities to perform the job. This opinion would be requested when the employee's medical condition appears questionable or when the individual is taking certain medication. For the purpose of securing these opinions, paragraph 2-8-5 through paragraph 2-8-8 apply to FG-2154s.