Wednesday, August 5, 2009
AOPA Are You Helping?
I just got off of the phone with a contact at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and was told that there has been five antidepressants approved by the FAA Administrator. However, there are still several government channels that have to sign off on this for things to be fully approved. Additionally, the FAA is not saying which medications are going to be approved and what other strict guidelines are going to be in force.
This is very much the same thing that I was hearing about a year ago. When I first started to make calls regarding this situation. Initially I was told that it was only going to be about three to six months before everything would be finalized. Well, guess what I was told today by an AOPA representative. Yes, it was going to be about three to six months before final approval would be announced.
I am not sure what to believe. Each time I contact any agency regarding this I seem to get the same answers. These answers do not seem to match with the truth. The AOPA claims to have been lobbying hard for pilots with depression for some time now. However, I have not noticed anything in their magazine regarding this topic. I have not seen the AOPA openly encouraging its members to contact their elected officials on behalf of pilots with depression. If I am wrong and the AOPA is doing more than just lip service I will be the first one to post my apology on the web. But until that time I find it difficult to believe that the AOPA has any concern for pilots who are either on antidepressants or pilots who hide their depression due to knowing they will no longer be allowed to fly.
I am going to send a link of this posting to the AOPA and see if they respond. I am curious to see what if anything they have to say to my comments. As Bill O'Rielly says, "I want to be fair and balanced."
Therefore, if the AOPA responds with public postings it has done to help fight this battle I will immediately issue an apology and post what they send to me.
What say you AOPA?