FAA Disqualifying Medical Conditions

FAA Disqualifying Medical Conditions

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Jackson Barnett

Principal Attorney

The FAA’s list of Disqualifying Medical Conditions doesn’t necessarily mean an airman cannot obtain a medical certificate. An airman who is medically disqualified for any reason may be considered by the FAA for an Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate. For medical defects, which are static or non-progressive in nature, a Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA) may be granted in lieu of an Authorization.

The FAA includes the following disqualifying medical conditions specifically under 14 CFR part 67.

  • Angina pectoris;
  • Bipolar disorder;
  • Cardiac valve replacement;
  • Coronary heart disease that has required treatment or, if untreated, that has been symptomatic or clinically significant;
  • Diabetes mellitus requiring insulin or other hypoglycemic medication;
  • Disturbance of consciousness without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause;
  • Epilepsy;
  • Heart replacement;
  • Myocardial infarction;
  • Permanent cardiac pacemaker;
  • Personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts;
  • Psychosis;
  • Substance abuse and dependence;
  • Transient loss of control of nervous system function(s) without satisfactory medical explanation of cause.

The list shown above is somewhat misleading since the FAA routinely allows Special Issuance waivers under FAR 67.401. This regulation permits discretionary issuance to those the FAA considers at low risk for incapacitation. Many of the above conditions may be waived as disqualifying under the Special Issuance regulation provided detailed medical documentation demonstrates flight fitness. 

Determination of flight fitness is, therefore, essential to the equation.

Learn more about the FAA’s Mental Health Standards.

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