ICAN Gets to the Bottom of the Change in FAA Pilot Heart Health Parameters

ICAN’s mission to bring you true information demands that all information is shared, not just cherry-picked information. To that end, ICAN received what is hopefully a reassuring answer to a question raised back in February regarding the FAA’s parameters for clearing pilots with potential heart conditions.

At that time, ICAN announced that its attorneys sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) threatening suit if it failed to provide a sufficient explanation for the apparent change in its Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners which widened the acceptable metric that would indicate a risk for a “first degree heart block.” The concern was whether this change was necessitated by issues caused by COVID-19 vaccination. The FAA recently sent a response.

The FAA disclosed that the change reflected in the 2022 Guide was based on a conclusion reached “in 2017 that first-degree atrioventricular (AV) blocks between 0.20 and 0.29 seconds … may not require a cardiac workup and may be followed as a normal variant.”

After looking into this claim, ICAN is pleased to confirm that, according to FAA archives, these parameters were indeed in place as early as May 2016 — well prior to the COVID-19 vaccine roll out. Thus, it appears that American travelers can breathe a small sigh of relief that the FAA, unlike so many other federal health agencies, at least in this instance, isn’t sacrificing their safety at the altar of COVID-19 vaccines.

See below for more instances where ICAN demanded answers from government agencies: