The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published in the Federal Register a notice on a Diabetes Protocol for Applicants Seeking to Exercise Air Transport, Commercial, or Private Pilot Privileges. The innovative new protocol makes it possible for airline transport or commercial pilots with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to potentially receive a special-issuance medical certification.
Medical science has come a long way in the treatment and monitoring of diabetes. This new medical protocol takes into account medical advancements in technology and treatment and opens the door for individuals with ITDM to become airline pilots.
Since 1996, private pilots with ITDM have been issued medical certificates on a case-by-case basis after assessing their risks. This new protocol is based on established advancements in medical science that make management and control of the disease easier to monitor thereby mitigating safety risks.
To be considered under this protocol, applicants will provide comprehensive medical and overall health history, including reports from their treating physicians, such as their endocrinologist. They will also provide evidence of controlling their diabetes using the latest technology and methods of treatment being used to monitor the disease.
The FAA developed the new protocol based on the reliability of the advancements in technology and treatment being made in the medical standard of care for diabetes and on input from the expert medical community.
Public comment on the new protocols closes 60 days from the date of publication. The new protocols are effective November 7, 2019. However, the FAA may revise the new protocol based on comments.
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