[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 46 (Thursday, March 8, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13967-13968]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5655]



Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 67

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0245]

Notice of Intent To Discontinue Use of Paper Applications for 
Airman Medical Certification

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of intent


SUMMARY: The Federal Aviation Administration is providing public notice 
regarding its intent to discontinue use of the paper version of FAA 
Form 8500-8, the application form used to apply for FAA medical 
certification. Maintaining FAA Form 8500-8 for applicants to complete 
manually is burdensome not only in terms of the cost involved, but also 
in terms of the complex logistics and use of Agency resources involved. 
This burden becomes all the more compounded when the form must be 
revised, reprinted, and redistributed (worldwide). The FAA launched an 
on-line FAA Form 8500-8 application known as ``FAA MedXpress'' 
beginning in 2007. Since 2007, ``FAA MedXpress'' has evolved 
considerably, streamlining FAA medical certification into a much more 
efficient and seamless process, thereby rendering the paper process 
both redundant and obsolete. Discontinuing print of FAA Form 8500-8 
will save considerable resources and improve the efficiency of the 
airman medical certification process.

DATES: This action goes into effect on October 1, 2012. It should be 
noted, however, that ``FAA MedExpress'' already is fully operational 
and ready for use.

ADDRESSES: You can obtain an electronic copy of this document by--
    1. Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov;
    2. Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=FR; or
    3. Contacting the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Judi Citrenbaum, Office of Aerospace 
Medicine, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-9689; email 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FAA receives and reviews annually more 
than 400,000 applications for airman medical certification. Until 2007, 
the only available means for making application was for applicants to 
manually complete an FAA Form 8500-8 provided by an FAA-designated 
Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) at the time of medical examination and 
for AMEs to record the results of the applicant's medical examination 
on the reverse side of application form manually. Since 2007, when the 
FAA launched a digital version of FAA Form 8500-8, applicants have been 
able to complete the form prior to an appointment with an AME for an 
FAA medical examination by accessing it on line using a secure, 
password-protected FAA system, known as ``FAA MedXpress.'' At the time 
of the medical examination, therefore, an AME merely accesses the 
applicant's completed and securely stored FAA Form 8500-8 in ``FAA 
MedXpress'' and uses it to complete the medical examination and record 
the results. ``FAA MedXpress'' also provides both applicants and AMEs 
the capability to print the form for whatever purpose needed.
    FAA Form 8500-8 is considered one of the most complex of paper 
forms still in use in the Federal Government. More than 5 years of 
experience with ``FAA MedXpress'' has streamlined the FAA medical 
certification process into a more seamless and efficient process. 
Having digitized data, rather than handwritten copy, reduces the risk 
of errors being made by applicants, AME staff, and AMEs in processing 
the examination. Using ``FAA MedXpress'' exclusively will allow the FAA 
to make and implement any needed or mandated changes to the FAA Form 
8500-8 in a more timely manner, resulting in a more dynamic form and 
eliminating the considerable cost and logistical challenges involved 
with printing and distributing the form both within and outside of the 
United States. Whenever the form must be revised, the initial 
reprinting and redistribution of approximately 1.5 million revised 
forms worldwide is very costly and considerable waste is incurred 
disposing of superseded forms.
    Many federal forms, including FAA forms, (such as applications for 
pilot certificates and ratings) are now fully

[[Page 13968]]

automated. Use of on-line applications in the private sector also is 
fairly standard--such as applications to academic institutions; for car 
loans; for mortage application and refinancing; for employment, and the 
like. Fully automating the FAA airman medical certification application 
process will improve efficiency, lead to reduced errors with applicant 
data, allow for more seamless processing, and save considerable 
resources by eliminating the recurrent cycle of printing, distributing, 
reprinting, and redistributing paper forms.
    Individuals who may not be familiar with ``FAA MedXpress'' may 
access it on the FAA public Web site at https://medxpress.faa.gov.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 1, 2012.
Frederick E. Tilton,
Federal Air Surgeon.
[FR Doc. 2012-5655 Filed 3-7-12; 8:45 am]