After the staff-level meeting, Fuller and EAA Acting President and CEO Jack Pelton met with Huerta on April 8. Speaking to attendees at a town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) at Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo, Fuller said Huerta seemed interested in the subject and asked good questions, clearly wanting to understand the issue more fully. Noting some eight years of data from sport pilots flying light sport aircraft using only driver’s licenses in place of a medical certificate and no resulting decrease in safety, Fuller wondered aloud whether the agency would ever approve such an exemption if not now. “How much more compelling can the data be?” he asked. While the agency may not see it as a priority, Fuller noted that the issue is clearly a priority for his membership and those of EAA. “Do they really think we would be in favor of an initiative that would harm our members?” he asked the Sun ’n Fun crowd.
If the agency can’t say yes to the exemption, Fuller encouraged at least a small scale study of just a few pilots for one to two years. If successful, it can then be expanded to more pilots.
The FAA has not said when it will respond to the petition, which garnered more than 16,000 responses from pilots and organizations such as AOPA and EAA.