What is Special Issuance?
Special Issuance is a category of time-limited medical certification for pilots with disqualifying medical conditions. Because the technology to monitor many of these medical conditions is constantly improving, the FAA periodically changes the rules regarding these situations, often making it easier for pilots to obtain certification. These medical conditions include diabetes requiring medications, coronary artery disease, pacemakers, and even surgically implanted defibrillators, to name just a few.
The basic premise for the rules governing Special Issuance is that a disqualifying medical condition must be stable enough to not likely worsen significantly during the period of time that the medical certificate is valid. Additionally, the medications used must not be disqualifying. Because many chronic medical conditions are likely to worsen over time, these Special Issuance certificates have a shorter expiration date than the typical 2-3 year time limitation of a Class III Medical Certificate, usually on the order of 6-12 months. However, the frequency of the flight physical examination remains the same, depending on the certificate class requested.
There is also a subset of Special Issuance called AME Authorization for Special Issuance (AASI). This category allows the Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) to issue the medical certificate based upon a favorable report from the treating physician. This is a relatively new procedure, and the list of medical conditions falling under this category is growing rapidly.
What We Can Do For You …
Considering the ever-changing nature of Special Issuances, it is therefore important for pilots with any significant medical problems to keep up with these FAA rules, as what was once a permanently disqualifying condition might no longer be the case. We at Aviation Medical Services stay on top of these changes, and are highly experienced in dealing with the FAA on these issues. We are happy to consult with you and assist you in any way possible to get your medical certificate back.
Please keep in mind that a pilot need not travel to our location to obtain a flight physical examination. All we need are the medical records from the treating physician or hospital. We can then advise you as to how to proceed and help you collect the information needed for the FAA to make a favorable decision. Once we are satisfied that you should be eligible to receive a Special Issuance for your medical condition, we would recommend you to an AME near you to do the examination. The AME would defer your case, and we would forward the supporting medical records to the FAA on your behalf. Our advocacy doesn’t stop there, as we continue to follow your case until you obtain your certificate in the mail!
More Special Issuance Information …
There is a lot of information out there on Special Issuances. A Google or Yahoo search can pull up so many random records and bits of information on cases that probably have nothing to do with your question that it can be frustrating, and navigating the FAA website can be such a pain that getting answers to your questions can give you hypertension before you know it. To better serve our customers (and to keep those blood pressures down), we’ve provided many resources to you through this website that you can use (and we encourage you to do so) without consultation fees. We know where to look on the FAA websites for the latest information on conditions covered under Special Issuance or AASI. We’ve built up an impressive FAQs page that might have just what your looking for on it. And of course, don’t forget that you can always contact us. We’re always more than happy to answer any questions you may have.