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FAA medical updates ease trans pilots’ flight path

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Life just got easier for transgender airplane and helicopter pilots. The Federal Aviation Administration has now simplified the medical certification procedure for pilots who transition sexes.

The National Center for Transgender Equality director Mara Keisling says that, for years, the FAA required pilots with so-called Gender Identity Disorder to undergo an extra battery of psychological and personality tests.

Kiesling: “This can be really, really expensive. And one of the problems that pilots were having is trying to find a healthcare provider who would give unnecessary tests. And then trying to find anybody whose insurance would cover it when the test weren’t indicated for any possible malady.”

Keisling says many transgender pilots lost income, jobs—even their careers under the old FAA rules. Now, she says, trans pilots will only have to submit their current clinical records, a report from a psychiatrist or psychologist, and a report on their sex reassignment surgery—if any.

Keisling says her group and others have been been working with the FAA on the rule change since at least 2006.

Written by Tim Curran

August 14, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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