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Bahamas welcomes BasicMed pilotsBahamas welcomes BasicMed pilots

Editor's note: This story was updated May 22 with information about the economic impact general aviation has in the Bahamas.

BasicMed pilots, break out your bathing suits, we are going to the Bahamas! Responding to a request from AOPA President Mark Baker, the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority announced that pilots can fly under the new FAA medical certification known as BasicMed.

AOPA file photo by Chris Rose.

This announcement makes the Bahamas the first international destination to welcome BasicMed pilots.

“This is a huge win for the thousands of BasicMed pilots and we can’t thank the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority enough for their work and leadership,” said Baker.

Just 56 nautical miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Bahamas remains one of the most popular international destinations for pilots—representing more than 30 percent of all international general aviation flights per year. It is the No. 1 Caribbean destination for GA traffic, producing $387 million per yearThe Bahamas already permits sport pilots, and the acceptance of BasicMed will allow thousands more aviators the opportunity to venture to the balmy getaway. 

Ready to file that flight plan? Visit AOPA’s guide to the Bahamas.

Under BasicMed, compliant pilots conducting noncommercial flights in aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of no more than 6,000 pounds, with no more than five passengers can act as pilot in command without a third class medical certificate. At least once every four years, participating pilots must visit a state-licensed physician, and every two years participating pilots must take the free AOPA Medical Self-Assessment Course available online.

For more information about BasicMed, visit AOPA's Fit to Fly resources page. If you still have questions, call the AOPA Pilot Information Center at 888/462-3976 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time, or contact AOPA online.

AOPA will continue to work with Canada and Mexico to also allow BasicMed pilots authorization to fly in their airspace.

AOPA Communications staff

Topics: Pilot Health and Medical Certification, Bahamas

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