BasicMed for Pilots

BasicMed is a program developed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in response to the FAA Extension Safety Security Act of 2016 (FESSA) that exempts certain pilots from holding an FAA-issued medical certificate in order to fly certain small general aviation aircraft. It has been available since May 1, 2017.  The program allows any state-licensed physician to perform a physical exam on a pilot operating an aircraft under the new rule. BasicMed gives you and your physician the responsibility to decide whether you are fit to fly, instead of going through FAA medical certification. If you are a pilot interested in the BasicMed alternative to medical certification, read on and follow the links below to learn more about BasicMed.

Which pilots does BasicMed apply to?
This BasicMed rule applies to pilots flying certain small aircraft under specific restrictions. They must be flying general aviation aircraft having a capacity of 6 or fewer seats and have previously held a valid FAA medical certificate. It does not apply to commercial pilots or airline transport pilots who fly passengers or cargo aircraft for hire, who must still get their medical certificate from a designated FAA Aviation Medical Examiner.

How does BasicMed work?
A BasicMed pilot must hold a valid driver’s license and have held a valid FAA medical certificate issued at any time after July 14, 2006. If you have never held a valid FAA medical certificate, you must apply for one through a FAA AME. Also, your most recent medical certificate may not have been suspended, denied or revoked, or in the case of a special issuance (SI) medical certificate, it may not have been withdrawn. The FAA grants a SI when a pilot does not meet published medical standards, but the FAA has determined that it is safe to issue a “waiver” for them to fly with their medical condition.
If you meet these criteria, then you must undergo a medical exam by your physician and complete an online education course.
For the medical exam, you must complete Part 2, the “individual information” portion, of the FAA’s Comprehensive Medical Exam Checklist (CMEC). Once your physician is satisfied that you do not present any medical evidence that you are unsafe for flight, he or she will sign and date the Physician Attestation Statement.
The Aircraft Owner’s Pilot’s Association (AOPA) has developed Fit to Fly Selector Tool you and your physician can use to determine your eligibility for BasicMed.
After you have completed the medical exam and your physician has signed off, you are required to complete either the AOPA or the Mayo Clinic BasicMed aeromedical course. At the end of the course, you will be prompted to provide information about your medical exam, which must have been completed within the last 48 months, authorize a query of the National Drivers Registry, attest to your health, and agree to abide by the “self-certification” requirements to fly only when you are healthy enough to do so. You may only use BasicMed after everything is 
completed and the results are electronically sent to the FAA by the course provider.

The two Aeromedical Education courses are available at:

You can audit either the Mayo Clinic or AOPA course without being a pilot if you want to review the information yourself.

The FAA has an excellent webpage outlining BasicMed requirements

You are encouraged to review FAA Advisory Circular 68-1A, which contains detailed information about BasicMed.

Are there any medical conditions that prevent me from using BasicMed?

If you have developed certain mental health, cardiac, or neurologic conditions, you must get a one-time special issuance (SI) medical certificate from the FAA before using BasicMed. If you previously had a SI and there has been no change in your condition, you may use BasicMed. If you develop one of the specified conditions, or have a recurrence (e.g., suffered a new heart attack), you must again be evaluated by the FAA to receive a one-time SI before you are authorized to fly under BasicMed. These conditions are listed on the FAA website.
How do I get a BasicMed medical examination?
Any state-licensed physician may conduct a BasicMed exam. Doctors of medicine (M.D.) and doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) are state-licensed physicians in every state. States vary as to whether “physician” applies to other types of doctors. Ensure that your provider meets the criteria for state-licensed physician before getting your BasicMed medical exam.
The FAA provides the Comprehensive Medical Exam Checklist (CMEC) that pilots and state- licensed physicians must use to complete the BasicMed exam. Prior to arriving for your appointment, you must complete Part 2 of the checklist and ensure that you provide complete and accurate information. This assessment will capture your personal information and medical history.  You can access the CMEC (FAA Form 8700-2) at the link listed below.
When you arrive for the exam, your physician will ensure that you have completed Part 2 and will review your responses. Your physician will ask additional questions, perform a physical exam, and review all current prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking. Your physician will then complete Part 3 and use their clinical judgement to determine if additional testing is warranted (lab work, EKG, etc.). Once your physician has determined that you are fit for flight, he or she will sign the Attestation Statement and return it to you. You must then:

  • Maintain a copy with your pilot logbook, in either physical or digital form.
  • Refer to it for the date of the exam and your physician’s contact information when you take the online aeromedical education course.
  • Complete the CMEC process every 48 months.
Refer to the links below for additional information:
BasicMed also requires pilots to compete an aeromedical education course every 24 months. There are two courses available, one from the AOPA and the other from the Mayo Clinic.
What if my physician doesn’t think I should fly?
Good question! Your first approach should be to work with your doctor. Find out what additional testing or consults are needed, and work with your physician to manage your medical condition until it is safe for you to fly. Ask questions. In most cases, you will simply need to better control your medical condition before you can be cleared to fly. If your physician does not feel you can fly safely, they will not sign the Attestation Statement.

What if I am taking medication?
It is important to ensure that you are not taking medications that will cause drowsiness, confusion, cognitive deficits, or dizziness. Make sure you review all of your medications with your physician when you get your Comprehensive Medical Exam Checklist (CMEC) exam. You can review the types of medications authorized and disallowed by the FAA.
As a BasicMed pilot, you are not bound by the medications covered above, but it is good practice to request that your physician consider medications that may have fewer undesirable side effects when possible.

My primary care provider is a Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner. Can they perform a BasicMed examination?
No. The BasicMed system requires that the examining individual be a state-licensed physician. Other healthcare professionals (nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, etc.) can assist the physician, but your physician must review the Comprehensive Medical Exam Checklist (CMEC), perform the exam and sign the document personally.

What if I have other questions?
The FAA has developed a comprehensive FAQ list.