Transgender pilots will now be free to fly in the US
Jessica Taylor, a pilot for a Denver regional airline, was victorious after a battle with the Federal Aviation Administration to prove she was just as qualified to fly an aircraft as any trained person who has not transitioned.
I found that gender can mean the difference between captains believing you are qualified or not to fly the aircraft,’ she said, according to MPR News. ‘Over the past few years, many transgender individuals have lost their medical certification due to these outdated practices and policies, while also facing discrimination by the FAA.’
The FAA would previously require pilots to submit results of psychological testing every year in order to be considered to fly in the US. If you failed, you couldn’t fly. But now being transgender is no longer considered a mental illness, the FAA will allow trans pilots to fly planes without undergoing a time-consuming and expensive appeal process to prove they’re fit and able.
While this is a huge step forward for aviation, it has a caveat. The new policy will require additional paperwork and testing if a pilot has been treated with hormone therapy or had gender reassignment surgery less than five years ago.