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Aerospace Medicine Technical Reports

FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine
Civil Aerospace Medical Institute

Report No: DOT/FAA/AM-13/25

Title and Subtitle: 2012 Aerospace Medical Certification Statistical Handbook

Report Date: December 2013

Authors: Skaggs VJ, Norris AI


Introduction. The annual Aerospace Medical Certification Statistical Handbook reports descriptive characteristics of all active U.S. civil aviation airmen and the aviation medical examiners (AMEs) that perform the required medical examinations. The 2012 annual handbook documents the most recent and most widely relevant data on active civil aviation airmen and AMEs.

Methods. Medical certification records from 2007-2012 were selected from the Document Imaging Workflow System (DIWS), which is the FAA medical certification database. All medical data were abstracted from the most recent medical examinations, with the exception of medical conditions, which were historical and current. Only those with a non-expired medical certificate remained in the dataset.

AME records were selected from the Aviation Medical Examiner Information System (AMEIS). The current status of each AME was determined for each year of the study period from 2010-2012, retaining only those with an active status.

Airman variables include age, issued and effective medical classes, height, weight, BMI, gender, select medical conditions, special issuances, and FAA region of residence. AME variables include AME type, age, gender, medical specialty, pilot license status, senior examiner status, and region.

Results. Airmen: As of December 31, 2012, there were 581,850 medically certified airmen age 16 and older, and 32.7%, 21.6%, and 45.7% were issued a Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 medical certificate, respectively. Across all medical classes, the average age was 42.9 years, and 93.5% of the airmen were male. The mean BMI for both females and males was 24.1 and 27.2, respectively. Seven percent of issued certificates required a special issuance. The most commonly reported medical condition was hypertension with medication, at 11.3%.

Aviation Medical Examiners: Of the 3,427 active AMEs, 93.8% were civilian, 2.0% federal, and 4.2% military. Nearly 50% reported their medical specialty as family practice. Their average age was 60.2 years; the majority (52.6%) did not hold a pilot license, and 88.7% were male.

Summary. This report contains widely requested data on the active U.S. civil airman population. This report is updated annually and is used by the aerospace community, including FAA leadership, aerospace researchers, advocacy groups, legislative staff, and the general public.

Key Words: Pilot Medical Certification, Pilot Demographics, Pilot Medical Conditions, Pilot Statistics, Aviation Medical Examiners

No. of Pages: 42

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