FAA advances plan, rejects calls for rulemaking
WASHINGTON –The Federal Aviation Administration is skipping the rulemaking process and moving ahead with plans to test all overweight pilots for sleep apnea, news reports say. Because the plan enhances, not changes, existing policy, the agency says the rulemaking process is unnecessary. The screening policy will go into effect after the agency has completed its formal guidelines, probably in January, reports say. Pilots with body mass indices of 40 or greater must be screened for sleep apnea and if they suffer from the condition must be treated. If they do not submit to a screening within 60 days, pilots will be disqualified, the agency says.