The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a new policy that will require obese pilots to be evaluated by a board certified sleep specialist. Under the new rule, aviation medical examiners will calculate the BMI of all pilots and air traffic control specialists. Pilots who have a BMI of 40 or more will need to be evaluated by a board certified sleep specialist. Any pilots who are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea will need to get treatment before they can be medically certified to operate a commercial plane.
The policy was revealed earlier this week in the FAA’s Flight Surgeon quarterly medical bulletin. Details will be released in the upcoming Aviation Medical Examiners Guide. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine will help policymakers by providing expert, evidence-based input on the best practices in sleep medicine.