House Passes Sleep Apnea Rulemaking Bill

Monday, February 17, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

By Russ Niles, AVweb

To thunderous applause from alphabet groups, the House passed a bill last Tuesday that will force the FAA to go through a formal rulemaking process to institute its controversial sleep apnea measures. As we reported in November, FAA Air Surgeon Dr. Fred Tilton sent a newsletter to air medical examiners telling them that any pilot with a body mass index of 40 or higher would have to undergo an expensive evaluation at a sleep clinic to determine if he or she has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and be cleared to maintain their certification. The memo caught the entire U.S. aviation community, including AMEs, by surprise. There was a flurry of protest but Tilton wouldn't back down. The FAA measure was widely criticized for its scope, cost and questionable impact on safety. The House bill was proposed last month and a parallel measure is before the Senate. 

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