Lifetime Monitoring: A Warning to Airmen

November 24, 2021

Colorado Springs

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Lifetime Monitoring for Pilots Dealing with Substance Abuse

As aviation attorneys who handle pilot certificate matters on a daily basis, it has come to our attention that a majority of pilots are unaware of some recent changes and are, therefore, primed to be blindsided by the FAA’s recent escalation of lifetime monitoring for pilots dealing with substance abuse and/or dependence issues in their pasts.

Unfortunately, it no longer matters whether an airman has been clinically rehabilitated or if decades of sobriety have been demonstrated. With the chasm between pilots and the FAA growing deeper each day, and medical denial cases increasing exponentially in correlation to that disparity, it is more important than ever for pilots to stay informed and vigilant in order to avoid being grounded indefinitely and/or facing severe financial and emotional hardships. As a result, the intent of this article is to address the root cause of the FAA’s decision to begin lifetime monitoring of pilots who have experienced substance issues.