EAA says it plans to fight the policy and will seek help from lawmakers. Joining the fight is the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Pilot’s Bill of Rights, which is asking FAA to hold off on the policy.
“This policy seems to be based on one incident involving an airline flight. In that case, the crew fell asleep and missed their destination but woke up and landed safely,” says Rob Hackman, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. Hackman also pointed to General Aviation Joint Steering Committee research, which he says “didn’t identify obstructive sleep apnea as a contributing or causal factor in any of the accidents studied.”
The policy would affect more than 100,000 pilots at a time when there is already a significant backlog for processing special issuance medicals, AOPA adds.