Federal Aviation Administration

BasicMed Goes Into Effect on May 1, 2017 – All Parts are in Place


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BasicMed is the term being used for an alternate method of complying with the FAA’s airman medical certification requirement. The Class I, II and III medical certifications are still in place and are available for use by all pilots. BasicMed was put into place as an alternate means of complying with the Class III medical requirement.

BasicMed permits an airman to operate a wide range qualifying aircraft in under certain flight rules while possessing and complying with the restrictions on a U.S Driver’s License.

To qualify to use BasicMed you must have had a valid FAA Medical Certificate (at any level) at any time after July 14, 2006. That medical must not have been revoked nor may a new medical applied for after that date have been denied. There are certain conditions (listed below) that would require a Special Issuance be obtained in order to comply with the BasicMed requirements.

If you are a student pilot you must obtain an initial Class III medical certificate but you may then let it lapse and use BasicMed for future medical compliance.  You may not operate an aircraft for hire under BasicMed but if you are a CFI you may provide instruction for compensation under BasicMed.

The medical exam with your personal physician, during which he/she completes the medical exam checklist, must be accomplished at least each four years. The completed checklist is retained by the airman, not submitted to the FAA. The online medical education course must be completed each two years. The course paperwork will request information concerning the completion of the medical exam checklist, so see your doctor before taking the course.

The FAA Website for BasicMed Information is here.

Here is an article by Student Pilot News – Pilot’s Guide to BasicMed.

What do I need to do to fly under BasicMed?

  1. Comply with the general BasicMed requirements (possess a U.S. driver’s license, have held a medical after July 14, 2006).
  2. Get a physical exam with a state-licensed physician, using the Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (pdf download)
  3. Complete a BasicMed medical education course; (takes you to AOPA’s online course – AOPA membership NOT required))
  4. Go fly!

Aircraft Requirements:

  • Any aircraft authorized under federal law to carry not more than 6 occupants
  • Has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds

Operating Requirements:

  • Carries not more than five passengers
  • Operates under VFR or IFR, within the United States, at less than 18,000 feet MSL, not exceeding 250 knots.
  • Flight not operated for compensation or hire

Still have questions? Check the BasicMed Frequently Asked Questions (pdf download).


Medical Conditions Requiring One Special Issuance Before Operating under BasicMed:

(1) A mental health disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of—

  1. A personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts;
  2. A psychosis, defined as a case in which an individual—
    1. Has manifested delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of psychosis; or
    2. May reasonably be expected to manifest delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of psychosis;
  3. A bipolar disorder; or
  4. A substance dependence within the previous 2 years, as defined in §67.307(a)(4) of 14 Code of Federal Regulations

(2) A neurological disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any of the following:

  1. Epilepsy;
  2. Disturbance of consciousness without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause; or
  3. A transient loss of control of nervous system functions without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause.

(3) A cardiovascular condition, limited to a one-time special issuance for each diagnosis of the following:

  1. Myocardial infarction;
  2. Coronary heart disease that has required treatment;
  3. Cardiac valve replacement; or
  4. Heart replacement.