FAA Medical Certification
All students planning to begin flight training at UND are advised to be evaluated by an Aviation Medical Examiner to obtain FAA medical certification. To avoid delays and to be eligible to enroll in flight laboratories, this evaluation should be completed several months before coming to UND.
Classes of FAA Medical Certificates
There are three classes of medical certificates:
- First-class certificates are required for pilots exercising privileges of an airline transport pilot certificate
- Second-class medical certificates are needed for performing other commercial operations
- Third-class medical certificates are adequate for private pilot privileges
Professional pilots need a minimum of a second-class medical certificate, so it is recommended that students obtain at least a second-class medical certificate to initiate flight training. Although a third-class certificate is adequate for flight training, the visual requirements are not as stringent as the first- and second-class certificates.
Obtaining a Medical Certificate
1. Schedule an Appointment
To obtain FAA Medical Certification, students must schedule an appointment for "FAA medical examination" with an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). An AME is a physician with special training, who has been designated by the FAA to issue medical certificates upon successful completion of an application and a physical exam.
UND has on-campus AMEs available, and appointments can be scheduled by calling Student Health Services at 701.777.4500. For names and addresses of AMEs in other U.S. cities and major cities abroad, visit the FAA website.
2. Complete an Application
Complete and print the MedXPress Online Airman Application. Bring the printed application to your AME appointment.
An instruction sheet is provided to assist with filling out the form. In addition to standard information, such as name and address, the application form asks to report use of medications, past medical history, and visits with health professionals. Any alcohol- or drug-related motor vehicle convictions and non-traffic misdemeanors or felonies must also be reported. Applicants who are already flying with need to answer questions about total pilot time and pilot time in the last 6 months. The bottom of the form is signed by the applicant, making it a legal document in which all information provided is correct to the best of the applicant's knowledge.
Disclose All Information
Medical and behavioral standards of professional pilots and air traffic controllers are among the highest in our society. Failing to report or disclose medical and/or legal history during an AME evaluation can have serious repercussions.
There are several reasons why a medical certificate can be deferred or even denied:
- Medical issues and/or the current or prior use of certain prescription medications can be disqualifying or may require further inquiry by the FAA; students should bring copies of medical documents to the AME appointment
- Legal issues can also be disqualifying, particularly if they relate to alcohol or drug violations; students should bring copies of court records to the AME appointment
Start the application process early and find an AME who will be willing to answer questions related to medical and/or legal concerns.
Mental Health Diagnoses
The FAA will closely review a medical history that includes mental health diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), etc., even if the problems are under control or have resolved. Copies of medical records and evaluations are required for the AME to review at the medical certificate appointment. Students should obtain copies of all past mental health records and testing and keep them on file for AME review.
Color Vision Restriction
Color vision issues need to be identified to determine if students are eligible for various aviation career fields, especially air traffic control. A color vision restriction inhibits pilots from flying at night or under a signal gun control.
Where can I get more information?
The FAA website can answer most questions related to medications, medical conditions, legal implications, HIMS AME locations, and other FAQs.
Information about the FAA Medical Certification at UND Student Health can be found on the website or by calling 701.777.4500.
Students who receive a letter from the FAA should call the FAA directly at 405.954.4821 with any questions.
UND Aerospace Anti-Drug Program
While flying at UND, students will be part of our drug and alcohol misuse prevention program. As in the aerospace industry, our goal is to use education and deterrence to maintain a safe training environment. The program is similar to mandatory drug and alcohol testing conducted at air carriers and air traffic control centers. Our program reflects our commitment to the aviation industry's demand for a "no tolerance" environment and our regard for safety standards. Also, if students receive a drug or alcohol violation, they may be suspended from flight training for several months. This can negatively impact training costs as well as efforts to graduate on time.
Drug and alcohol testing will be done for several reasons. Tests can be ordered as an initial screening, directed at an individual based on their behavior, speech, odor, or other characteristics, or be done as a result of an accident or incident. All students participating in flight labs are subject to random drug and alcohol testing. Positive tests will not only impact flight status, but can severely impact your eligibility for a medical certificate. A complete description of the drug and alcohol program at the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is available for your review.
Recent changes in some state's laws allow recreational use of marijuana as well as medical marijuana prescriptions. According to the FAA, marijuana use, even with a prescription, is a violation of the medical certificate requirements. According to UND policy, any marijuana use is in violation of the Drug Policy.
Our goal is to educate aviation professionals regarding many aspects of their future careers in a demanding industry. Learning about acceptable behaviors is an important aspect of this process.
Planning is essential with any college endeavor - especially with an aviation major. For questions regarding FAA medical certification, please utilize the resources listed above. For questions regarding legal matters, please consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable about federal aviation regulations.