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Q&A: Sleep Apnea Requirements

By Penny Giovanetti, D.O., Manager, Aerospace Medical Specialties Division
Source: FAA Safety Briefing, September/October 2017

Q. What is the full word on relaxing “Sleep Apnea” requirements? Can my AME observe me, without having a new sleep study completed or reading some card from a CPAP?

A. All the requirements for renewal of your special issuance for obstructive sleep apnea should be in your authorization letter. Normally a new sleep study is not required unless something about your condition has changed. Compliance trend data from your CPAP machine usually is required, as well as an Airman Compliance with Treatment form signed by you, and a current status report from your treating physician annually.

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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