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Aerospace Medicine Technical Reports

FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine
Civil Aerospace Medical Institute

Report No: DOT/FAA/AM-18/04

Title and Subtitle: 2016 Aerospace Medical Certification Statistical Handbook

Report Date: May 2018

Authors: Skaggs VJ, Norris AI

Introduction: The biennial 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 2016 handbook documents the most recent and most widely relevant data on active civil aviation airmen and AMEs.

Methods: Medical certification records from 2011-2016 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 that were historical and current. Only those with a non-expired medical certificate remained in the dataset. AME records were selected from the Designee Management System (DMS). The current status of each AME was determined as of December 31, 2016, 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, senior examiner status, and region.

Results: Airmen: As of December 31, 2016, there were 560,152 medically certified airmen age 16 and older, and 36.8%, 19.8%, and 43.5% were issued a 1st Class, 2nd Class, and 3rd Class medical certificate, respectively. Across all medical classes, the average age was 43 years, and 93.4% of the airmen were male. The mean BMI for both females and males was 24.1 and 27.2, respectively. Six percent of issued certificates required a special issuance. The most commonly reported medical condition was hypertension with medication, at 10.4%. Aviation medical examiners: Of the 2,955 active AMEs, 93.3% were civilian, 0.6% federal, 6.1% military, and 0.1% other. Of these, 47.7% reported their medical specialty as family practice. Their average age was 60.8 years and 87.4% were male.

Summary: This report contains widely requested data on the active U.S. civil airman population. This report is updated biennially 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: 44

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