FAA Medical - Directory

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Sleep Apnea

Obesity is the #1 cause of OSA

OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) has been found to be caused mostly by obesity.

If your  BMI is greater than 35, you have over a 70% chance of having OSA!

The FAA OSA Brochure has basic information about Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  OSA causes people to stop breathing during sleep which results in daytime sleepiness.  

Most people with this disorder are overweight and have higher deposits of adipose (fatty) tissue in their respiratory passages, and the size of their soft palates and tongues are larger than average.

I have included several online calculators in this section one of which is:  SmartBMICalculator.com.


OSA contributes to accidents!

Most people with this disorder are overweight and have higher deposits of adipose (fatty) tissue in their respiratory passages, and the size of their soft palates and tongues are larger than average. 

OSA has been found to be a major contributor to aircraft and commercial vehicle accidents.

OSA is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and many other serious conditions such as diabetes, memory loss and lung hypertension.

The NTSB listed OSA on its “Most Wanted” list of Transportation Safety Improvements for 2015 in North America.

BMI Calculator

Some statistics about OSA:

• 20-30% of males; 10-15% of females  have OSA.

• 15% of males & 5% of females are diagnosed.

OSA affects:  

• 70% of morbid obese patients

• 70% of patients with Type II diabetes  

• 40% of patients with hypertension  

• 30% of patients with morning headache  

• 20% of veterans.

You may calculate your BMI by clicking on the following link to the CDC:  BMI Calculator

You may also look at a BMI Chart which shows a height & weight chart with the BMI already calculated for each Ht X Wt calculated BMI 

FAA Requirements

The FAA now requires AME's to screen all pilots for OSA.  Their detailed page on  has several resources detailing what information they will need to authorize a Special Issuance Medical Certificate.

If you have OSA

If you already have OSA I can still issue the Medical Certificate.  

However, the FAA will send you a letter requesting more information additional information.  Take a look at the FAA OSA Reference Page for a complete list of useful resources.

Special Issuance for OSA

A list of the information the FAA will need can be found by clicking on OSA Sheet A.  Once they review all the materials you send them, they will generally send you a new, time-limited Medical Certificate with specifications for annual Status Reports from your physician.