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Q&A: Macular Degeneration

By Penny Giovanetti, D.O. Manager, Aerospace Medical Specialties Division
Source: FAA Safety Briefing, Jan/Feb 2018

Q. I have a third class medical certificate due in six months. Will I be able to renew my certificate with the above listed medical condition [Macular Degeneration]?

If the answer is yes, are there additional tests or information required? Thanks.

A. I apologize, but there is insufficient information here for me to advise you. The best course of action is to discuss your situation with your AME. You should bring a copy of your most current ophthalmology evaluation. All of these cases are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Send your questions to They will be forwarded to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division, without your name, and the answer will be published in an upcoming issue of FAA Safety Briefing.

Penny Giovanetti, D.O., received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford, a master’s in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine from the University of Iowa and a doctorate from Des Moines University. She completed a 27-year career as an Air Force flight surgeon. She is board certified in aerospace medicine, occupational medicine, and physical medicine/rehabilitation. She is also a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association and a private pilot.

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