Sat, Sep 03, 2005
The EAA Aeromedical
Advisory Council (AAC) advises the FAA to focus its resources on
the large backlog of special issuance cases instead of conducting a
proposed survey to see if airmen are satisfied with the quality of
service they receive from the Aerospace Medical Certification
Division (AMCD). In official comments submitted this week regarding
the proposed survey, the AAC says that the single issue affecting
airman satisfaction with aeromedical services is the
backlog--estimated from 100,000 to 140,000--of airman applications
awaiting an aeromedical decision.
Consequences of such a backlog are pervasive: The weight of the
problem on the entire certification system is enormous. And the
effect on those kept waiting can be profound.
For example, aviators
may risk losing their jobs while awaiting an aeromedical decision.
For an older-aged pilot looking to obtain new employment within
aviation, a certification delay can have serious career
consequences. Moreover, loss of experienced and capable aviators in
itself can affect aviation safety.
AAC says conducting a quality service survey is misguided
“since airmen themselves have little or no direct contact
with AMCD throughout their aviation careers, unless they encounter
medical conditions that jeopardize eligibility for medical
Even then, such contact is limited to written and telephone
communication as they attempt to determine their
Factors causing the backlog include early retirement
options/loss of key experienced personnel; hiring freezes; budget
cuts; expanding the range of special issuance conditions (e.g.
insulin dependent diabetes), and delayed implementation of
It adds up to a loss of experienced and capable aviators, which
in itself can affect aviation safety.
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