12/11/2013--Introduced. General Aviation Pilot Protection Act of 2013 - Directs the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue or revise FAA medical certification regulations to ensure... Read More


This bill was introduced on Dec 11, 2013, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.


Date Introduced
Dec 11, 2013


Bill Text


To direct the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to issue or revise regulations with respect to the medical certification of certain small aircraft pilots, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ``General Aviation Pilot Protection Act of 2013''.


(a) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue or revise medical certification regulations to ensure that an individual may operate as pilot in command of a covered aircraft without regard to any medical certification or proof of health requirement otherwise applicable under Federal law if-- (1) the individual possesses a valid State driver's license and complies with any medical requirement associated with that license; (2) the individual is transporting not more than 5 passengers; (3) the individual is operating under visual flight rules; and (4) the relevant flight, including each portion thereof, is not carried out-- (A) for compensation, including that no passenger or property on the flight is being carried for compensation; (B) at an altitude that is more than 14,000 feet above mean sea level; (C) outside the United States, unless authorized by the country in which the flight is conducted; or (D) at a speed exceeding 250 knots. (b) Covered Aircraft Defined.--In this section, the...

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Sentiment Map



113 Supporting
1 Opposing
99% 1%

State: CA

10 Supporting
0 Opposing
100% 0%

District: 1st

0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

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The membership of EAA Chapter 339 endorses this bill.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) expressed enthusiastic support for a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today that would give the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 180 days to redefine its Third Class Medical requirements and allow greater access for pilots to fly. The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act, proposed by Representatives Todd Rokita (R-IN) and Sam Graves (R-MO), and co-sponsored by Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), would expand on a petition submitted to the FAA by AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association nearly 20 months ago. The FAA has failed to act on that joint petition, which drew more than 16,000 comments from pilots and interested parties. Reps. Rokita and Graves are active pilots, AOPA members and members of the House General Aviation Caucus, of which Rep. Graves is the Caucus co-chair. The co-sponsors are also members of the General Aviation Caucus. “We have waited far too long for the FAA to act on our petition,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “As a result, Representatives Rokita and Graves stepped forward to take decisive action in the best interests of fellow general aviation pilots. We appreciate their outstanding leadership on this issue and look forward to seeing this bill move forward quickly.” The bill would significantly revise the Third Class Medical by replacing a brief, compulsory medical examination with a requirement that pilots possess a valid driver’s license as proof of health. It would also limit pilots to flying with no more than five passengers, not above 14,000 feet and at no more than 250 knots, and in aircraft that have a maximum takeoff weight of 6,000 lbs. By way of comparison, most large sport utility vehicles on our nation’s roads weigh in excess of 6,000 pounds and can carry 6-7 passengers. These vehicles may be operated by a licensed driver, in close proximity to other vehicles, pedestrians and property. They are therefore larger and more cumbersome than the small aircraft that would be operated with proof of a valid driver’s license under the new bill. Other conditions in the bill limit flights to visual flight rules (VFR) and to flights within the United States. Compensation for flights would also be prohibited. The bill gives the FAA 180 days from the date the bill is enacted to adopt the changes. "As a pilot, I am pleased to introduce this important legislation with my colleagues and fellow pilots," Rep. Rokita said. "This bill eliminates a duplicative and therefore unnecessary medical certification regulation that drives up costs for pilots and prevents the general aviation industry from fulfilling its economic potential." Rep. Graves stated, “For many recreational pilots, the FAA’s third class medical certification process is nothing more than a bureaucratic hoop to jump through. It discourages new pilots and does not truly improve safety. As a pilot, I have gone through this process several times. However, like all pilots, I am responsible for determining whether I am medically fit to fly during the time between my mandated medical certifications. Expanding the current exemption makes sense and will promote greater recreational aviation activity across the U.S. without an impact on safety.” Building support for the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act will be critical to its passage, and AOPA will be calling on members to show their support in January after Congress returns from recess. Details on how members can help will be sent via email and published in upcoming issues of ePilot and on Pilots are required by federal law to hold Third, Second or First Class Medicals in order to operate aircraft. Third class medicals are common among private pilots who commonly fly for recreational purposes. The new bill is the latest example of Congressional action that is intended to encourage the FAA to adopt policies that support general aviation. Recently, the House and Senate passed a bill that President Barack Obama signed that requires the FAA to revise its certification standards for small aircraft. Congress also effectively reversed an FAA decision earlier this year when it provided bridge funding for control towers that the FAA intended to close as part of a government-wide budget sequestration measure.

Organizations Opposing

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Users Supporting

I support The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act because this is the most important issue that can benefit the future of aviation. This legislation would build upon the remarkable safety record proven by a decade of light-sport aircraft (LSA) operations. This success shows that it’s time to widen the pool of recreational pilots who can enjoy flying their small aircraft without the expense and regulatory burden of third-class medical certification.

1 year ago

I am a private pilot with a current special issuance 3rd class medical certificate. When I applied for my medical certificate years ago while in training, and because I had a "suspected" pulmonary embolism post hernia surgery, along with self reported "marginal" high blood pressure which was being controlled via medication and regular physician visits, I was required to undergo a variety of expensive medical tests which my local physicians deemed unnecessary via letters to the FAA. The FAA insisted that the tests be done and the results be sent to them directly. I complied in order to obtain the medical certificate and was issued a "special issuance" certificate by the FAA. Even though I have been in good health, and the occurrence of a pulmonary embolism was never firmly identified, I am required to furnish annual reports from my physicians and obtain annual re-certification via an authorized FAA medical examiner. Doing so creates unnecessary expense to myself and the healthcare industry as well as taking needed medical resources from truly sick patients. I would not fly and place my life nor my families lives at risk if I felt for any reason that I was not physically fit to pilot an aircraft. The passage of HR 3708 will undoubtedly save millions in healthcare costs for other pilots like myself who would be able to fly with a valid drivers license rather than having to go through all the unnecessary hoops as now dictated by the FAA, and do so without undue risk to the general populous. I respectfully request your support of HR 3708.

1 year ago

I support The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act because..I have been a pilot for many years and am in good health. There have been times that I was on a medication which prohibited my flying while on that Med. I would never think of flying for a second if impaired in anyway, most of the time that I'm flying there is someone sitting beside me that I love dearly, ie. wife/grandchildren and there is always someone sitting in the pilot's seat that I don't want to be hurt. I do not know a GA pilot that would fly impaired. The current process is expensive for both me and the FAA. It is also useless.. Pass this law! Please.

1 year ago

I support The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act because I've seen the aeromedical certification process at the private pilot level up-close and personal for several decades. It is expensive, troublesome, pointless and counterproductive of aviation safety.

1 year ago

I support The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act because... it would save untold amounts of funds desperately needed for other issues. In this day and age of cost cutting and accountability, it seem unfounded to continue on with the 3rd class medical certificate where it really is not needed. The government funds used for this unnessary ruling can better be spent on other issues. I strongly support as I believe the majority of general aviation plots also do; the implemtation of this common sence propsal. I strongly urge a vote to pass this propsal ASAP. My community as well as municipalities across America desperately need funds for much more important projects.

1 year ago

I support The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act because as it addresses part 91 personal flights, and not commercial flying, it's reasonable to not require a flight medical certificate for such. I would hope that the current Sport Pilot regulations regarding Airplanes and rotorcraft would be amended to accomadate these new authorizations, and produce simplar and easier to understand regulations, which hopefuly will promote aviation activity, vs. hindering it.

1 year ago

Users Opposing

I oppose H.R. 3708 ("To direct the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to issue or revise regulations with") because... Reducing or eliminating the AME 3rd class medical can only be described as sheer lunacy. Perhaps you can inform me as to how a so called "drivers license requirement" will detect a blood pressure that is on the verge of causing a stroke, a heart arrhythmia, or a host of of other deadly possibilities. By the way, in my 50 years of flying I have had 25 of the physicals and never have experienced the inconvenience or excess expense that is being whined about by the majority of written submissions to various sites. General aviation has enjoyed a remarkable safety rate only because the vast majority of us respect the strict rules that we abide by and view piloting in a professional way. This new proposal is put forth by nothing more than a herd mentality and is an example of congress thinking of nothing more than their next vote. The passage of this proposal will accomplish only one thing, and that will be to further damage the future of General Aviation and bring it even closer to extinction than it is now. Or perhaps that is the intent of Congress?

2 years ago

Bill Summary

General Aviation Pilot Protection Act of 2013 - Directs the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue or revise FAA medical certification regulations to ensure that an individual may operate as a pilot of a covered aircraft without regard to any medical certification or proof of health requirement otherwise applicable under federal law if the flight meets certain criteria and the individual: (1) possesses a valid state driver's license, (2) complies with applicable medical requirements associated with that license, (3) is transporting five or fewer passengers, and (4) is operating under visual flight rules. Defines "covered aircraft" as an aircraft that: (1) is not authorized under federal law to carry more than six occupants, and (2) has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of no more than 6,000 pounds.

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