Aviation Safety:

FAA Is Considering Changes to Aviation Medical Standards

RCED-90-68FS: Published: Jan 9, 1990. Publicly Released: Jan 25, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on proposed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical standards revisions.

GAO noted that FAA proposed revised medical standards for: (1) uncorrected vision distance and near-vision acuity; (2) ear, nose, and throat equilibrium; (3) disqualifying mental conditions, including substance abuse; (4) cardiovascular testing, sitting blood pressure, and disqualifying cardiovascular conditions; (5) general medical conditions, including the respiratory system; (6) the consequences of falsifying medical applications; and (7) medical certificate issuance. GAO also noted that the: (1) FAA Office of Aviation Medicine expected the Administrator, FAA, to approve its proposed standards revisions by March 1990, but a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would not be published until June 1990; and (2) proposed changes would not be finalized until 1991, since FAA planned a 120-day comment period and anticipated further revisions.