The FAA today published its Final Rule amending FAR 61.23(d) to extend the duration of certain medical certificates. Under the Final Rule, for airmen who obtain their medical certificates while they are under the age of 40, the duration of a third class medical is extended from 36 calendar months to 60 calendar months (five years) and the duration of a first class medical is extended from six calendar months to 12 calendar months. The extended durations are effective as of today, July 24, 2008, and also apply to medical certificates that were issued prior to today.
As a result of the extended durations, a medical certificate that was issued prior to today’s effective date and expired under the old rule, but that would otherwise continue to be valid under the Final Rule, will be valid from July 24, 2008 until it would expire under the Final Rule. However, it does not appear that the Final Rule is retroactive. Thus, for a previously issued medical certificate whose duration is extended by the Final Rule, the Final Rule does not retroactively cover any gap in time between when that medical certificate may have expired under the old rule and today’s effective date.
If you would like further information regarding the Final Rule, you may contact Judi Citrenbaum, Office of the Federal Air Surgeon, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-9689; e-mail; Judi.M.Citrenbaum@faa.gov. Also, you can download a nice, printable summary card explaining the impact of the revised rules from the AOPA website here.