[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 64 (Monday, April 5, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17200-17202]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-7658]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration


Compliance and Enforcement Bulletin No. 2010-1

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of enforcement policy.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces a limited program to forgo enforcement 
action for persons who disclose before September 30, 2010, previous 
falsification on applications for airman medical certification 
regarding the use of antidepressant medication, the underlying 
condition for which the antidepressant was prescribed, and visits to 
health professionals in connection with the antidepressant use or 
underlying condition.

DATES: Effective Dates: Effective date April 5, 2010. This Notice is 
issued simultaneously with ``Special Issuance Medical Certificates to 
Applicants Being Treated with Certain Types of Antidepressants,'' 
[Docket No. FAA-2009-0773].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan S. Caron, Enforcement Division, 
FAA Office of the Chief Counsel, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20591; 202-267-7721; e-mail address; 
susan.caron@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Compliance and Enforcement Bulletin 2010-1, which amends FAA Order 
2150.3B, Compliance and Enforcement Programs, is being issued in 
connection with FAA policy statement, ``Special Issuance Medical 
Certificates to Applicants Being Treated with Certain Types of 
Antidepressants,'' [Docket No. FAA-2009-0773]. The Bulletin is intended 
to encourage airmen to make a complete disclosure regarding a history 
of or current use of antidepressant medications, the underlying 
condition for which the antidepressant medication was prescribed, and 
associated visits to health professionals so that they can be 
considered for special issuance medical certification under the new 
policy on the use of certain antidepressants. Under the terms of 
Bulletin 2010-1, the FAA will not initiate legal enforcement

[[Page 17201]]

action against applicants for violations of 14 CFR 67.403 regarding 
past medical applications if the applicant discloses a history of 
antidepressant use, the underlying condition for which the medication 
was prescribed, and visits to health professionals in connection with 
the antidepressant use or underlying condition on an application for 
medical certification made between April 5, 2010 and September 30, 
2010.

The Notice

Compliance and Enforcement Bulletin No. 2010-1

    Subject: Forgoing enforcement action for persons who disclose 
previous falsification on applications for airman medical certification 
regarding the use of antidepressant medication, the underlying 
condition for which the antidepressant was prescribed, and visits to 
health professionals in connection with the antidepressant use or 
underlying condition.
    Discussion: This Bulletin is issued in connection with FAA policy 
statement, ``Special Issuance Medical Certificates to Applicants Being 
Treated with Certain Types of Antidepressants,'' [Docket No. FAA-2009-
0773], published in the Federal Register on April 5, 2010. In that 
policy statement, the Federal Air Surgeon reiterates his conclusion 
that the use of antidepressant medication is disqualifying for airman 
medical certification under the standards in subparts B, C, or D of 14 
CFR part 67 and, therefore, a basis for denial of medical certification 
for airmen using such medication. Until now, the Federal Air Surgeon 
generally also has been unwilling to grant the special issuance of 
airman medical certificates under 14 CFR 67.401 to airmen who take 
antidepressant medications. In his policy statement, however, the 
Federal Air Surgeon has announced that he is now prepared to consider, 
on a case-by-case basis, applicants who take certain antidepressant 
medications identified in the policy for the special issuance of all 
classes of medical certification. This change in policy is explained in 
the Federal Air Surgeon's policy statement.
    The Federal Air Surgeon is aware that some airmen who take 
antidepressant medications may have knowingly concealed their use of 
the medications on past applications for airman medical certification 
in order to obtain a medical certificate. Under FAA's sanction 
guidance, the ordinary sanction for intentional falsification of an 
application for airman medical certification, an act prohibited by 14 
CFR 67.403, is revocation of the airman's medical certificate and all 
other airman or ground instructor certificates held by the airman.
    The FAA wants to encourage airmen to make a complete disclosure 
regarding a history of or current use of antidepressant medications, 
the underlying condition for which the antidepressant medication was 
prescribed, and associated visits to health professionals so that they 
can be considered for special issuance medical certification. 
Therefore, the FAA will not initiate legal enforcement action against 
applicants for violations of 14 CFR 67.403 regarding past medical 
applications if the applicant discloses a history of antidepressant 
use, the underlying condition for which the medication was prescribed, 
and visits to health professionals in connection with the 
antidepressant use or underlying condition on an application for 
medical certification made between April 5, 2010 and September 30, 
2010. The FAA believes that safety requires that any airman taking 
antidepressant medication must be properly evaluated, and if 
appropriate, followed, which can be accomplished through the special 
issuance certification process. The FAA believes that in the limited 
circumstances described in this Bulletin, the benefit of facilitating 
the disclosure of antidepressant use will outweigh any harm to the 
public interest caused by forgoing FAA enforcement action for 
falsification.
    The FAA does not have the authority to offer immunity from criminal 
prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 1001 for making any materially false, 
fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry on the medical application 
(FAA Form 8500-8) because immunity can only be offered by the 
Department of Justice (DOJ). However, the FAA and the Department of 
Transportation's Office of Inspector General (DOT OIG), the office 
through which the FAA makes referrals for possible criminal 
prosecution, have agreed that the FAA will not refer cases of apparent 
intentional falsification covered by this Bulletin to the DOT OIG for 
criminal investigation or prosecution.
    The policy set forth in this Bulletin is limited to disclosure of 
past and present antidepressant use, the underlying condition for which 
the antidepressant medication was prescribed, and visits to health 
professionals in connection with the antidepressant use and underlying 
condition. It in no way is intended to undermine the FAA's lack of 
tolerance for airmen who intentionally falsify applications for airman 
medical certification. This Bulletin does not provide any protection 
from enforcement action to individuals who may have falsified other 
information on FAA Form 8500-8 than that described in this Bulletin.
    To benefit from the protection offered under this Compliance and 
Enforcement Bulletin, an airman must surrender for cancellation to the 
Federal Air Surgeon any current medical certificates. The airman must 
apply for a medical certificate between April 5, 2010 and midnight on 
September 30, 2010. On the application, the applicant must disclose his 
or her complete history of antidepressant use, the underlying condition 
for which the medication was prescribed, and visits to health 
professionals in connection with antidepressant use or the underlying 
condition. If an applicant falsifies any of this information on an 
application made on or after April 5, 2010, the FAA may take 
enforcement action based on that application and the previously 
falsified applications.
    The protection from FAA enforcement action for intentional 
falsification provided by this Compliance and Enforcement Bulletin 
applies to all airmen who meet the requirements of this Bulletin before 
midnight on September 30, 2010, regardless of whether the Federal Air 
Surgeon is able to find the applicant qualified for the special 
issuance of a medical certificate under 14 CFR 67.401. Applicants need 
to be aware that the special issuance of a medical certificate is a 
decision made at the discretion of the Federal Air Surgeon to 
individuals who do not meet the medical standards for an unrestricted 
certificate under 14 CFR part 67, subparts B, C, and D only when the 
Federal Air Surgeon finds that the individual can perform the duties 
authorized by the class of medical certificate applied for without 
endangering public safety. It is not likely that all applications will 
result in the issuance of a certificate under section 67.401. The 
Federal Air Surgeon will consider an airman's individual medical and 
psychiatric history and all supporting documentation submitted with the 
application on a case-by-case basis before determining whether to grant 
the special issuance of a certificate. If the Federal Air Surgeon finds 
after completing his assessment that he cannot safely issue an 
applicant who has complied with the terms of this Compliance and 
Enforcement Bulletin a special issuance medical certificate, the 
applicant will receive a final denial letter notifying the applicant 
that he or she is not qualified under the part 67 medical standards and 
that a special issuance certificate has also been denied. An airman may 
petition the National Transportation Safety Board

[[Page 17202]]

for review of the denial under the part 67 medical standards. A denial 
of a special issuance certificate may be appealed to an appropriate 
United States court of appeals.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan S. Caron, Enforcement Division, 
AGC-300, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; 
susan.caron@faa.gov.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 30, 2010.
J. Randolph Babbitt,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2010-7658 Filed 4-2-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P