BasicMed changes in 2024 FAA Reauthorization Act

Pinecone

En-Route
Joined
May 24, 2022
Messages
3,532
Location
MD
Display Name

Display name:
Pinecone
I saw some info that the 2024 FAA Reauthorization Act may include changes to BasicMed, loosening the restrictions.

Supposedly

1) Increases passengers allowed to 6
2) Increases seats allowed to 7
3) Increases max certificated takeoff weight to increase to 12,500 pounds.
4) Would require FAA to help work on getting it accepted in other countries
5) Allow DPEs to do administer tests or proficiency tests with Basic Med

If this is true, I suggest two things.

1) Contact your Congress members (Senate and House) to support this.

AND, add on my change, allow Basic Med up to at least FL250.

To contact your Congressional reps, go to - https://www.congress.gov/

This website will give you the info on your representatives by your address. For each one, there is a Contact link, which takes you to their website, where you can enter your info and your request.

This is what I sent to my representatives:

I understand that the 2024 FAA Reauthorization Act contains some changes in the limitations when acting as a pilot under the Basic Med provisions.

I would like to request that you support these changes. The FAA recently published a study that shows no difference in the mishap rate for people on Basic Med versus the traditional medical certification.

I would also like you to introduce and support one other change to the limitations for Basic Med and that is to increase the allowable maximum operating altitude from the present 18,000 feet to a minimum of Flight Level 250 (25,000 feet). Flight Level 280 would be even better.

I do want to applaud Congress for mandating the Basic Med program and making that happen. It makes sense to deal with my primary care physician, who knows me well versus a doctor who sees me for 30 minutes every two years.

Thank you.
 
One consideration: At FL250 you start running into RVSM requirements. Pretty hard to get small, simple aircraft certified to meet RVSM requirements.
But this is about pilot certification requirements, not aircraft.
 
But this is about pilot certification requirements, not aircraft.
True, but I'm sure having the "pilot limitations" aligned with RVSM make as much sense as anything. It's essentially leaving BasicMed to cover most any "small" aircraft (under 12,500) and 7 seats or less. That realistically covers most every twin-piston aircraft and below. Especially given that at the 18K feet current ceiling for BasicMed, you'd already need to be on oxygen for the entire cabin, so what difference does it make if it's at 18K or 28K (aside from time to incapacitation)?
 
A BasicMed Pilot is largely an “unknown” from a medical perspective. Allowing an unknown into some of the most highly-regulated airspace would be a difference.

I understand that, but you're also dealing with what is likely very few people who would exercise that ability anyway. I mean, how many piston-engine guys are routinely flying in Class A airspace as it is? You're dealing with instrument-rated guys flying pressurized/turbo'd pistons or maybe a SE-turboprop. I'd think the risk would be pretty small from this relatively tiny pool of people who would even have the equipment/ratings needed to get into the Flight Levels.
 
I saw some info that the 2024 FAA Reauthorization Act may include changes to BasicMed, loosening the restrictions.

Supposedly

1) Increases passengers allowed to 6
2) Increases seats allowed to 7
3) Increases max certificated takeoff weight to increase to 12,500 pounds.
4) Would require FAA to help work on getting it accepted in other countries
5) Allow DPEs to do administer tests or proficiency tests with Basic Med

If this is true, I suggest two things.

1) Contact your Congress members (Senate and House) to support this.

AND, add on my change, allow Basic Med up to at least FL250.

To contact your Congressional reps, go to - https://www.congress.gov/

This website will give you the info on your representatives by your address. For each one, there is a Contact link, which takes you to their website, where you can enter your info and your request.

This is what I sent to my representatives:

I understand that the 2024 FAA Reauthorization Act contains some changes in the limitations when acting as a pilot under the Basic Med provisions.

I would like to request that you support these changes. The FAA recently published a study that shows no difference in the mishap rate for people on Basic Med versus the traditional medical certification.

I would also like you to introduce and support one other change to the limitations for Basic Med and that is to increase the allowable maximum operating altitude from the present 18,000 feet to a minimum of Flight Level 250 (25,000 feet). Flight Level 280 would be even better.

I do want to applaud Congress for mandating the Basic Med program and making that happen. It makes sense to deal with my primary care physician, who knows me well versus a doctor who sees me for 30 minutes every two years.

Thank you.
Isn't there still that 250kt cap too? If that's the case, why would you want flight levels before nixing the speed cap?

Just curious, anything I can afford isn't sniffing at flight levels nor 250kt so it doesn't matter to me.
 
I understand that, but you're also dealing with what is likely very few people who would exercise that ability anyway. I mean, how many piston-engine guys are routinely flying in Class A airspace as it is? You're dealing with instrument-rated guys flying pressurized/turbo'd pistons or maybe a SE-turboprop. I'd think the risk would be pretty small from this relatively tiny pool of people who would even have the equipment/ratings needed to get into the Flight Levels.
So it becomes a change to benefit a relative handful of pilots.
 
I would also like you to introduce and support one other change to the limitations for Basic Med and that is to increase the allowable maximum operating altitude from the present 18,000 feet to a minimum of Flight Level 250 (25,000 feet)

I would like to see that myself.

So it becomes a change to benefit a relative handful of pilots.

I don't fly for a living anymore so being able to get over the Rockies in the lower flight levels would get me into basic med. Otherwise I am stuck with a 2cd class, which might tempt me to fly for food money again.

Because a 3rd class bites...
 
So it becomes a change to benefit a relative handful of pilots.

Well, you can look at it that way. Or you could look at it from the perspective that it was too restricted when it was first passed and this opens it back up. It depends on how much freedom you think BasicMed should impart to its users, and what the estimated impact/risk is on existing Class A users by having that freedom extended to Class A airspace.
 
A BasicMed Pilot is largely an “unknown” from a medical perspective. Allowing an unknown into some of the most highly-regulated airspace would be a difference.
Not really. It's been around for a while now and the FAA did the 5 year analysis called for in the legislation (see here) and found no statistical difference with pilots with medicals.
 
I understand that, but you're also dealing with what is likely very few people who would exercise that ability anyway. I mean, how many piston-engine guys are routinely flying in Class A airspace as it is? You're dealing with instrument-rated guys flying pressurized/turbo'd pistons or maybe a SE-turboprop. I'd think the risk would be pretty small from this relatively tiny pool of people who would even have the equipment/ratings needed to get into the Flight Levels.

Because I was curious, and because I fly one of the planes below,

Aircraft with service ceilings above 18,000' and an arbitrary <250HP just to keep the list size manageable:

https://www.risingup.com/planespecs...d&max_horsepower=250&min_ceiling=18000&page=1

Specs Search Results Part 1




 
Just barely, but on the list:


Piper PA-18 150 Super Cub
600px-VH-BAN_Piper_PA-18-150_Super_Cub_%286773146291%29.jpg


https://www.risingup.com/planespecs/info/airplane362.shtml

MooneyM-18CMiteN4057.jpg
 
The ceilings quoted are at MGW, for example the Mooney M20J at 440lbs less than max has a ceiling of 23500, up from 18800.
 
So let's go for BizJets? Fly anything you want so long as you don't carry paying passengers?
 
The ceilings quoted are at MGW, for example the Mooney M20J at 440lbs less than max has a ceiling of 23500, up from 18800.
Agree in that case, but this data source is the best I could find on low effort mode.

I would also hazard a guess that the PA18 Super Cub (listed at 19,000') might not cruising higher than the J, even if both are at MGW.
 
Because I was curious, and because I fly one of the planes below,

Aircraft with service ceilings above 18,000' and an arbitrary <250HP just to keep the list size manageable

Right, but I would wager that while the "service ceiling" is listed as being capable of over 18K, in actual practice very, very few are flown that high up, especially with the non-turbod variants. Those non-commercial pilots that want to fly above 18K' already currently do so, and I doubt BasicMed changes that in any meaningful amount. So having the 18K limitation is kind of like having a "No 90yr olds" rule about climbing Mt Everest. It isn't really preventing much of anything because 90yr Olds aren't making many trips up that mountain.
 
Isn't there still that 250kt cap too? If that's the case, why would you want flight levels before nixing the speed cap?

It's 250 knots indicated, which is really pretty fast. I fly a King Air 300 at work and I'll usually only see 250 kias in a sporty descent.

At FL180, 250 kias = 325 ktas. At FL250, 363 ktas.
 
Right, but I would wager that while the "service ceiling" is listed as being capable of over 18K, in actual practice very, very few are flown that high up, especially with the non-turbod variants. Those non-commercial pilots that want to fly above 18K' already currently do so, and I doubt BasicMed changes that in any meaningful amount. So having the 18K limitation is kind of like having a "No 90yr olds" rule about climbing Mt Everest. It isn't really preventing much of anything because 90yr Olds aren't making many trips up that mountain.

I’ve been at 17000, in case of weather, climbing over it is the best option if possible. It would be nice to have the option to fly higher, even if I never use it.
 
I’ve been at 17000, in case of weather, climbing over it is the best option if possible. It would be nice to have the option to fly higher, even if I never use it.
I completely agree. Thats why I'd be in favor of opening up that restriction to something like 25K (or whatever amount aligns with existing regs like RVSM requirements). If they've determined that there's no statistical impact so far between BasicMed and Class 3 medical, and it's already restricted by aircraft weight/# of seats, that sort of limits the ceilings by default. I'd imagine the primary benefactors of the ceiling increase to BasicMed would be those who cross the Rockies with any frequency. I can't see many flatlanders taking advantage of Class A airspace unless it's a long XC.
 
I’d rather Congress tell the FAA to get ICAO onboard with basic med as a medical certificate. Were I king for a day, I’s make it a lot simpler from a restrictions stand point.

Six seat aircraft that does not require a type rating nor a crew of more than one.
No commercial operations of any kind.
No Class A airspace.

I’d also re-write the no-medical (DL) as follows:
Four seat aircraft.
No commercial ops of any kind.
No flight above 10K MSL.
No international flight.
No IMC/IFR.
 
Bear in mind that there are ICAO signatory counties that have Class A airspace down to the ground, not 18,000 ft.
 
I understand that, but you're also dealing with what is likely very few people who would exercise that ability anyway. I mean, how many piston-engine guys are routinely flying in Class A airspace as it is? You're dealing with instrument-rated guys flying pressurized/turbo'd pistons or maybe a SE-turboprop. I'd think the risk would be pretty small from this relatively tiny pool of people who would even have the equipment/ratings needed to get into the Flight Levels.
That’s fine, but if you want to change something, you need to address the actual reason that the rule is as it is. Your post that I responded to initially indicated that it was about oxygen requirements. If it was about that, the limit would probably be 14k, not 18k.
 
Bear in mind that there are ICAO signatory counties that have Class A airspace down to the ground, not 18,000 ft.

That’s their problem to solve; can’t boil the ocean.
 
That’s fine, but if you want to change something, you need to address the actual reason that the rule is as it is. Your post that I responded to initially indicated that it was about oxygen requirements. If it was about that, the limit would probably be 14k, not 18k.
I didn't mention BasicMed regs having anything to do with BasicMed legislation in my initial post. I simply said that if FAA oxygen requirements were already in effect for all crew/cabin members under BasicMed well before the 18K limitation, what difference does it make if you set the limit at 18K' or 28K'? There's not a physiological reason that BasicMed should be capped at 18K', so the only reason is just that it's Class A airspace. What makes Class A so special that it can't be flown in by someone with BasicMed? Did the ALPA guys get to help write the initial legislation so that they could keep out the BasicMed riffraff from their airspace?
 
I didn't mention BasicMed regs having anything to do with BasicMed legislation in my initial post. I simply said that if FAA oxygen requirements were already in effect for all crew/cabin members under BasicMed well before the 18K limitation, what difference does it make if you set the limit at 18K' or 28K'? There's not a physiological reason that BasicMed should be capped at 18K', so the only reason is just that it's Class A airspace. What makes Class A so special that it can't be flown in by someone with BasicMed? Did the ALPA guys get to help write the initial legislation so that they could keep out the BasicMed riffraff from their airspace?
Just don’t forget to mention that the sky is blue. It’s probably just as relevant.
 
That’s their problem to solve; can’t boil the ocean.

It would be anybody’s problem to solve if other countries adopted BasicMed, if somebody wanted to fly there using BasicMed, and if they couldn’t fly where they wanted due to Class A airspace at low altitude.

If one is dreaming of worldwide BasicMed I think it would be better to dream that FAA and subsequently ICAO implements BasicMed without an airspace class restriction.
 
Last edited:
Why does class A need to start at 18,000’ is another thing? Is there an issue with climbing between 18k, 20k, 25k ?
 
Why does class A need to start at 18,000’ is another thing? Is there an issue with climbing between 18k, 20k, 25k ?

Class A (IFR only operations) can start at whatever altitude, to include at the surface, a country chooses to adopt.

I can’t tell you the history of FL180 as a decision for the US, but the TUC table is informative.
d70cd69b5f646192b777d03c422d82b0.jpg
 
Back
Top