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 Expecting Great Turnout for Reno Meeting in October
The Scientific Planning Committee, led by Dr. Andrew Miller, has confirmed top speakers from across the country and will again offer programmatic from 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.
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CAMA Urges Caution in Considering Petition for Sport Pilot Category Expansion
Leadership of the Board, in speaking out on the petition to expand the Light Sport Pilot category to include a variety of additional aircraft, sent letters to Congressional leaders and organizational membership citing restraint for support of House Bill HR37088 and Senate Bill S.2103.
CAMA leaders explained that the aviation physiological environment is unique, and to have essentially no medical oversight, as proposed by such actions in these bills for this category of flying, presents a significant concern for public safety. While pilots self-certify every time they fly, a move to more or less eliminate the need for a Class III medical certificate would loosen the requirements for medical oversight to a point less than that for commercial vehicle drivers and would not parallel requirements of most countries with aeromedical standards, they argued. Adequate disclosure to up to five passengers who could theoretically be flying with the pilot-in-command was also an issue, according to some leaders.
CAMA acknowledged that the FAA has been pressed to deal with a considerable backlog of aeromedical cases, but that a more moderate approach to solving the medical backlog would be more appropriate.
Specifically, an alternative approach is being formed by a CAMA task force, dubbed the "Coalition for Medical Certification (CMC)." This approach includes:
A. Full implementation of Conditions AMEs Can Issue (CACIs)
B. Review of special issuance conditions regarding needs, costs, safety, and processing time
C. Introduction of the “super AME” concept or Centers for Specialized Aeromedical Excellence
D. Relaxed medical requirements for the sport pilot while still involving medical oversight
The bills have not been acted upon and discussion with Federal Air Surgeon, Dr. James R. Fraser suggested that there are no plans to implement changes at this juncture.
CAMA Coalition Continues to Move Forward
A task force appointed by CAMA President Mark Eidson launched into action in late February to coordinate efforts from a variety of aviation organizations such as the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) to collect initial data from organizational leadership on the scope of delays and to identify if there are particular types of cases for which delays appear to be the most extensive from the perspective of the flight physician. Initial data is showing that AMEs with practices that involve a large proportion of airman with medical conditions requiring waivers (referred to as Special Issuance Authorizations) have indeed experienced greater delays in the past year when compared to prior years, and the cases most commonly associated with delays are those related to conditions involving a neurologic etiology, use of specific medications such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) for treatment of depression or anxiety, and pilots being assessed after substance abuse treatment. Common issues cited in the preliminary information collected includes lack of accountability for outside consultants used by the FAA in terms of meeting reasonable turnaround times, and issues with partial data missing when packets of material are forwarded to the Aerospace Medicine Certification Division (AMCD) of the FAA are sent forward.
The goal of forming a coalition is to collate data to share with leadership of the FAA Federal Air Surgeon's Office to propose creative solutions to assist the agency in coming up with constructive ways to help decrease the administrative burden of completing reviews and to make suggestions to more effectively utilize existing information technology. More information will be available to members in coming issues of the Flight Physician, and will be discussed at the annual meeting this autumn in Reno.
Last archived CAMA Newsletter (Flight Physician) Click here