FAA puts sleep apnea policy on hold

Friday, December 27, 2013

FREDERICK, Md. – Faced with stiff opposition from some pilot groups, lawmakers and physicians, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has put on hold plans to test all overweight pilots for sleep apnea, according to news reports. The FAA had planned to start testing pilots with body mass indices of 40 or greater in January. The FAA has now agreed to consult with industry groups to balance the concerns of all stakeholders, according to news reports. When the FAA announced its plans, legislation was introduced to require the agency to go through a rulemaking process. The agency has said the process is unnecessary because the plan enhances, not changes, existing policy. Untreated sleep apnea already disqualifies a pilot from flying.