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UAV / UAS Drone Pilot / Fitness Standards & Exemptions

Unmanned aerial vehicles are a growing part aviation and national defense strategies. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), also known as drones, are aircraft either controlled by pilots from the ground or increasingly, autonomously following a pre-programmed pattern or mission. While federal rules concerning drones are changing rapidly, currently a UAS/UAV Drone pilot or "Pilot In Command" must hold either an airline transport pilot, commercial, private, recreational, or sport pilot certificate. The PIC must also hold a current FAA airman medical certificate or a valid U.S. driver’s license if operating under a sport pilot certificate.

The FAA airman medical certificate requirements are listed below. These civilian aviation standards have been developed for both the use of the aircraft and pilots of unmanned aerial vehicles.

While there are waivers available for many medical conditions. Exemptions for UAV/UAS Drone's used for economic benefit or commercial operations, may also be obtained from Pilot Medical Solutions, Inc. (

The table below outlines the FAA standards which are utilized to determine FAA medical certification eligibility.



FAA Synopsis of UAV/UAS (Drone) Pilot Medical Standards

DISTANT VISION 20/40 or better in each eye separately, with or without correction.
NEAR VISION 20/40 or better in each eye separately (Snellen equivalent), with or without correction, as measured at 16 inches.
COLOR VISION Ability to perceive those colors necessary for safe performance of airmen duties.
HEARING Demonstrate hearing of an average conversational voice in a quiet room, using both ears at 6 feet, with the back turned to the examiner OR pass one of the audiometric tests below or:
PULSE Not disqualifying per se. Used to determine cardiac system status and responsiveness.
BLOOD PRESSURE No specified values stated in the standards. Current guideline maximum is 155/95.

Audiometric speech discrimination test: (Score at least 70% discrimination in one ear) or:

Pure tone audiometric test: Unaided, with thresholds no worse than:
                                             500Hz 1,000Hz 2,000Hz 3,000Hz
                      Better Ear         35Db     30Db     30Db     40Db
                      Worst Ear         35Db     50Db     50Db     60Db

EAR, NOSE, THROAT No ear disease or condition manifested by, or that may reasonably be expected to be manifested by, vertigo or a disturbance of speech or equilibrium.
MENTAL No diagnosis of psychosis, or bipolar disorder, or severe personality disorders.
SUBSTANCE DEPENDENCE & SUBSTANCE ABUSE A diagnosis or medical history of substance dependence is disqualifying unless there is established clinical evidence, satisfactory to the Federal Air Surgeon, of recovery, including sustained total abstinence from the substance(s) for not less than the preceding 2 years. A history of substance abuse within the preceding 2 years is disqualifying. Substance includes alcohol and other drugs (i.e., PCP, sedatives and hynoptics, anxiolytics, marijuana, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, hallucinogens, and other psychoactive drugs or chemicals).

Airman with these conditions may still be eligible for "Special Issuance" of a medical certificate.

Unless otherwise directed by the FAA, the Examiner must deny or defer if the applicant has a history of: (1) Diabetes mellitus requiring hypoglycemic medication; (2) Angina pectoris; (3) Coronary heart disease that has been treated or, if untreated, that has been symptomatic or clinically significant; (4) Myocardial infarction; (5) Cardiac valve replacement; (6) Permanent cardiac pacemaker; (7) Heart replacement; (8) Psychosis; (9) Bipolar disorder; (10) Personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts; (11) Substance dependence; (12) Substance abuse; (13) Epilepsy; (14) Disturbance of consciousness and without satisfactory explanation of cause, and (15) Transient loss of control of nervous system function(s) without satisfactory explanation of cause.




The forms below provide general guidance in the category listed.
These forms may not be appropriate for your specific condition or situation.

Contact Pilot Medical Solutions at 800-699-4457
for expert guidance and accelerated FAA UAS/UAV exemption certification.


333 Checklist FAA 333 Public Guidance
333 Checklist FAA 333 Exemption Checklist
8500-8 Airman Medical Application   HTML Version
AIM Airman Information Manual
Chg. ADD Change of Address        
Change ID Change Airman Identification Number
Chg. Name Change Airman Name
8710-10 Designated Pilot Examiner Application
UAV Drone Pilot Medical Research
7480-1 Landing Area Proposal Notice
Pilots  NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System
Controllers NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System
Mechanics NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System
html document NOTAM's Current Notices To Airmen
word document Security FAA Security Statement Form
SELCAL Selective Calling Application / Aeronautical Radio, Inc.
word document Waiver#1 FAA Flight Waiver Form 1
word document Waiver#2 FAA Flight Waiver Form 2
7162A FAA Experimental Petition Form 7162A

Contact us at 800-699-4457 


Updated 2/20/2016   


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