Panel Recommends FAA Drop Therapy Disclosure Requirement for Pilots

Says requirement “leads to healthcare avoidance” for high-stress workers.

A panel of experts recommended that the Federal Aviation Commission (FAA) should drop the disclosure requirement for pilots and air traffic controllers who attend talk therapy sessions.

“It is indisputable that the requirement to disclose talk therapy leads to healthcare avoidance and/or non-disclosure,” said the panel, whose members include aviation associations, pilot and air traffic controller organizations, academia, and medical professionals. “The FAA should develop a non-punitive pathway for reporting previously undisclosed mental health conditions, treatments, or medications.” 

The panel was appointed by the FAA to explore ways the agency can improve mental health support for pilots and air traffic controllers. The decision was made in October 2023 after an off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot was charged with trying to disable the engines of a jet in flight. The pilot told police afterward he was suffering a nervous breakdown.

The FAA’s current mental health rules require pilots to disclose whenever they attend talk therapy sessions and to stop flying for six months if they change antidepressant or anxiety drug dosage levels. The panel of experts recommended not only eliminating the disclosure requirement but also changing the flight pause period to two months.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Administrator Michael Whitaker to receive guidance from God as he heads the FAA.
  • For FAA officials as they assess the best ways to support pilots and air traffic controllers’ mental health.

Sources: Reuters, Washington Post


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