[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 36 (Friday, February 22, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12233-12234]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04052]



Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 61

Policy Clarification on Charitable Medical Flights

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Policy.


SUMMARY: The FAA is issuing this notice of policy to describe its 
policy for volunteer pilots operating charitable medical flights. 
Charitable medical flights are flights where a pilot, aircraft owner, 
and/or operator provides transportation for an individual or organ for 
medical purposes. This notice of policy is in response to Section 821 
of Public Law 112-95, Clarification of Requirements for Volunteer 
Pilots Operating Charitable Medical Flights.

DATES: This action becomes effective on February 22, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Linsenmeyer, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; fax 
(202) 385-9612; email [email protected].



    Section 61.113(a) of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 
states that no person who holds a private pilot certificate may act as 
pilot in command of an aircraft that is carrying passengers or property 
for compensation or hire; nor may that person, for compensation or 
hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft.
    Section 61.113(c) states that, for any flight carrying passengers, 
a private pilot may not pay less than the pro rata share of the 
operating expenses (fuel oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees). 
This prohibition means that a private pilot can pay more, but not less, 
of these expenses when split equally among all the people aboard the 
aircraft. Private pilot certificates are considered to be an entry-
level pilot's license, and the purpose of this regulation is to limit 
the operations of private pilots commensurate to their certification 
level. Pilots wishing to pay less than their pro rata share (or fly for 
hire) must obtain a commercial pilot certificate, which has higher 
certification requirements and may be required to comply with 
additional operating requirements.
    Some pilots and other individuals have recognized a need to provide 
transportation services for conveyance of people needing non-emergency 
medical treatment. Section 821 of Public Law 112-95, requires, with 
certain limitations, that the FAA allow an aircraft owner or operator 
to accept reimbursement from a volunteer pilot organization for the 
fuel costs associated with a flight operation to provide transportation 
for an individual or organ for medical purposes (and for other 
associated individuals).
    Volunteer pilot organizations have petitioned the FAA for exemption 
from the requirements of Sec.  61.113(c) so that their pilots can be 
reimbursed for some or all of the expenses they incur while flying 
these flights. To allow compensation for expenses for the 
transportation of individuals, these private pilots are participating 
in an activity that would otherwise be prohibited by Sec.  61.113(c).
    The FAA has determined this activity can be conducted safely with 
limits applied to the organizations, pilots, and aircraft. Beginning in 
2010, the FAA issued several exemptions to charitable medical flight 
organizations granting relief from the requirements of Sec.  61.113(c). 
The exemptions contain conditions and limitations that are intended to 
raise the level of safety for these flights. These conditions and 
limitations include:
    1. Developing of a pilot qualification and training program;
    2. Authenticating pilots' FAA certification;
    3. Requiring flight release documentation;
    4. Imposing minimum pilot qualifications (flight hours, recency of 
experience, etc.);
    5. Requiring a 2nd class FAA medical certificate;
    6. Requiring the filing of an instrument flight plan for each 
    7. Restricting pilots to flight and duty time limitations;
    8. Requiring mandatory briefings for passengers;
    9. Imposing higher aircraft airworthiness requirements; and
    10. Requiring higher instrument flight rules (IFR) minimums.

The FAA recognizes the practical implications and benefits from this 
type of charity flying and will continue to issue exemptions for 
flights described

[[Page 12234]]

by Section 821 of Public Law 112-95. The FAA will continuously update 
these conditions and limitations as necessary to best ensure these 
operations meet this equivalent level of safety.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 14, 2013.
John M. Allen,
Director, Flight Standards Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-04052 Filed 2-21-13; 8:45 am]