The FAA will impose new guidance on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to air medical examiners on March 2. The new rules are much different than the controversial 2013 edict that came from then-Chief Flight Surgeon Fred Tilton, which automatically grounded pilots with body mass index of 40 or more. But it does require AMEs to put more emphasis on the disorder during the medical and sets out the potentially costly steps that will follow if they suspect it. Overweight pilots will almost certainly be targeted under the new orders but they can keep flying until there is a definitive diagnosis and they agree to undergo treatment. Throughout the fact sheet issued on Friday, the FAA maintained that it’s not changing any rules. “The FAA is not changing its medical standards related to OSA,” it said. “The agency is revising the screening approach to help AMEs find undiagnosed and untreated OSA.”

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On March 2, 2015, FAA’s Office of Aerospace Medicine rolled out its new guidance for AME’s on Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). In response to feedback from pilots, other industry stakeholders, and Congress, FAA heavily revised guidance that was previously proposed last year. To address concerns that were raised by pilots, the new guidance asks AMEs to evaluate applicants on multiple criteria rather than Body Mass Index (BMI) alone. If a pilot exhibits some of the criteria but is deemed to be at low risk of OSA, the AME will regular[AE1] issue the medial certificate with some educational material on OSA. Applicants meeting some criteria and deemed to be at high risk of OSA will still be Regular issued but with a request for more information after a consultation from their regular doctor within 90 days. Only applicants that report, or if the AME observes severe symptoms of OSA, will the applicant then be deferred to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Officials at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) say they welcome a step taken by the FAA to open a dialogue with the aviation industry about the agency’s pilot-screening proposal for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The FAA recently circulated draft revisions of its proposal as a mechanism to engage industry stakeholders on…

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Instructs AMEs To Consider More Than Body Mass Index When Diagnosing OSA – In response to concerns from the aviation medical community, the FAA has sent draft guidance for Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) on Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) to key industry medical representatives to review within 14 days. Untreated OSA has always been and will continue to be a disqualifying medical condition.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — This could be the beginning of something big: The FAA has followed recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board and announced a program to check the weight of pilots in order to produce safer flight. The announced reason is that overweight people have a tendency to be more liable to suffer sleep…

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