In a radical departure from historic regulatory norms, the FAA is now allowing a psychological condition when pilots apply for BasicMed.
On July 15, 2016, Congress passed legislation to extend the FAA’s funding. This legislation, FAA Extension, Safety, Security Act of 2016 (FESSA) includes optional guidance for holding an FAA medical certificate for certain pilots with mental disorders under the BasicMed program.
How can pilots with mental disorders qualify?
If you meet the BasicMed requirements, you can operate under BasicMed (without an FAA medical certificate) even if you haven’t passed the psych evaluation portion of BasicMed.
What mental disorders are permitted to fly under BasicMed?
A mental health disorder, with an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of—
A personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts;
A psychosis, defined as a case in which an individual —
Has manifested delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of psychosis; or
May reasonably be expected to manifest delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of psychosis;
A bipolar disorder; or
A substance dependence within the previous 2 years, as defined in §67.307(a)(4) of 14 Code of Federal Regulations
A neurological disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any of the following:
Disturbance of consciousness without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause; or
A transient loss of control of nervous system functions without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause.