CAMA, working on behalf of physicians engaged in the practice of aviation medicine aims to:
- To promote the best methodology for assessment of the mental and physical requirements for civil aviation pilots.
- To actively enlarge our scientific knowledge.
- To advocate, through continuing education, both basic and advanced civil aeromedical knowledge.
- To promote professional fellowship among our colleagues from allied scientific disciplines.
- To bind together all civil aviation medical examiners into an effective, active medical body to promote aviation safety for the good of the public.
Scientific Planning Committee Jumps into Action for Reno Meeting in October
The Scientific Planning Committee, led by Dr. Andrew Miller, is in the process of confirming speakers and completing negotiations with the FAA's Education Division leadership to provide another state-of-the-art annual scientific meeting this October 9-11 in Reno, Nevada. New this year is movement of the Honors Night banquet to Friday night rather than the usual Saturday night affair. This move was announced at the recent Board of Directors meeting with the intent to increase attendance and feature the keynote speaker who will be announced in the coming weeks. Once again, the meeting will feature FAA recertification for FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiners.
CAMA Board Meets in Dallas
Members of the CAMA Board of Directors met in Dallas on Saturday, February 8 and reviewed a number of pressing issues, including adopting revisions of bylaws and setting up locations for future scientific meetings. The board heard reports of the Executive Vice President, and each of the respective Vice Presidents. Discussion also focused on addressing needs to expand and better utilize technology for the organization.
CAMA Speaks Out on FAA Plans to Mandate Measurement of BMI for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The latest edition of the Federal Air Surgeon's Medical Bulletin (Vol. 51, No. 4) featured an article authored by Dr. Fred Tilton, the Federal Air Surgeon. In the article plans were announced for all aviation medical examiners to calculate the body mass index or BMI of all pilots who they evaluate and if measured at 40 kg/m2 or greater, the pilot would have to be referred to a board-certified sleep specialist and undergo polysomnography prior to being considered for a medical certificate. This announcement was met with resistence from a number of organizations for varying reasons, including the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and several large unions representing pilots. In fact, legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives to force FAA staff to go through the process of rulemaking to change any procedure being done in regards to evaluation forensically of obstructive sleep apnea. This is opposed by the FAA because of the extended delays in implementation of any new policies.
CAMA President Mark Eidson forwarded a letter on behalf of CAMA members to FAA Administrator Mike Huerta, objecting to the FAA plans and suggesting that a more formal study was needed to justify the added rigor to the examination and that CAMA stood ready to assist in educating AMEs in regards to the need to refer pilots for testing who are morbidly obese. Eidsen's worry also hinged on fears of the threshold BMI being too restrictive too quickly which would tax the available resources and create undue delay and financial hardship on the pilot.
The FAA responded with a webinar hosted by Dr. Tilton on Thursday, December 12 during which time the reasons for the planned BMI measurements simply added reinforcement to the fact that sleep-related disordered breathing may result in excessive daytime sleepiness and therefore should be assessed not only for aviation safety purposes but also for the long-term health of the pilot. The FAA has now decided to delay formal implementation of the mandate but will instead work with a variety of aviation-related organizations, including CAMA, to better educate AMEs and pilots about the implications of excessive weight and worsening sleep-related disordered breathing.
Current CAMA Newsletter (Flight Physician) Now available