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Graves Statements on FAA’s Implementation of the BasicMed Program

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) and Subcommittee on Aviation Ranking Member Garret Graves (R-LA) called on the U.S. aviation community to continue working together toward full, safe, and effective implementation of small aircraft pilot medical reforms at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The Department of Transportation Inspector General (IG) today released its audit of BasicMed implementation and ultimately provided two recommendations to ensure FAA is effectively implementing the law.  The FAA has agreed to improve its processes for verifying pilot’s eligibility for the BasicMed program and measuring the program’s impact on aviation safety.

“Third-class medical reform and the implementation of the BasicMed program are of immense importance to the general aviation (GA) community throughout the United States,” said Rep. Sam Graves.  “As a professional pilot and member of the Transportation Committee, I championed this important reform for many years and was proud to see it signed into law in 2016.  I appreciate the IG’s review and the FAA’s commitment to ensure we get this right.”

Graves continued, “One point in the report that I want to highlight is that it is always the responsibility of the individual – once properly licensed or certificated – to ensure that he or she is medically fit to command the aircraft at that particular time.  That applies to all pilots, whether they are a GA pilot flying under BasicMed or an airline pilot who flies with a 2nd class medical certificate.

“Working together – the FAA, the IG, Congress, and the GA community – we can make certain the commonsense goals of the BasicMed program will be realized, that pilots can meet the medical requirements without any unnecessary burdens, and that America’s GA community remains safe, vibrant, and unsurpassed in the world,” Rep. Sam Graves added.

“I greatly appreciate the work that the IG has done to ensure that the FAA is on the right path to implementing BasicMed,” said Rep. Garret Graves.  “We need to ensure that requirements are streamlined for our GA community while maintaining focus on a culture of safety.”

Ranking Member Sam Graves worked to ensure the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 included the third-class medical reform provisions that led to the FAA’s establishment of the BasicMed program.

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