EAA, AOPA Exemption Requests For Rec Pilot Driver's License
A much-wished-for request for an exemption to
permit recreational pilot certificate holders to conduct flight
activities using a current and valid US driver's license, instead
of an FAA-issued medical certificate, was denied by the FAA Flight
Standards Office on Thursday, March 6th.
EAA, which filed their request on September 26, 2002, sought to
use a proposed five-year exemption to collect data and establish a
basis for eliminating third-class medical certificate requirement
for recreational pilots. AOPA also filed petitions last
year (denied last Fall) and another earlier this year, asking for
similar consideration, which was also denied on March 6 by the
According to the letter received from Louis Cusimano, Acting
Director of FAA Flight Standards Service, FAA fully considered
EAA's petition but determined the exemption would not be in the
"The FAA is currently working on a related rulemaking action for
light-sport pilots that will address issues similar to those raised
in this petition for exemption," he wrote. "FAA is not seeking to
obtain information, data or experience beyond what we will get from
operations under the sport pilot rule."
Earl Lawrence (right), EAA Vice President of
Government and Industry Relations, expressed disappointment in the
decision. "We feel the two studies (sport pilot/recreational pilot)
could have been run concurrently," he said.
"This would have provided FAA with an expanded baseline
with which to make future decisions."
EAA understands that simplified medical certification continues
to be a major issue for our members.
The EAA Government Relations Department will continue to monitor
the progress of Sport Pilot as it relates to Recreational Pilots'
ability to use a driver's license as medical certification, and
continue to provide data in support of this beneficial change for