FAA Makes it Easier for Transgender Pilots to Get Certified

Transgender no longer considered a disorder, FAA says.

The FAA tells ABC News that the change was intended to streamline the process for transgender pilots and make sure pilots receive medical certification as quickly as possible. The federal agency was quick to note, however, that there is no new policy and the vast majority of transgender people who seek an FAA medical certificate get their certificate as long as they do not have disqualifying medical conditions.

"We have issued medical certificates to transgender pilots and air traffic controllers for many years," the FAA said in a statement to ABC News.

Proponents of the change say the updated terminology doesn't go far enough. Jessica Taylor, a transgender pilot who's been flying for seven years, told ABC News that while it's a big step forward for the transgender community, she's still campaigning for the FAA to remove "gender dysphoria" from the AME guide altogether.

"I still cannot believe we are treating gender dysphoria as a separate issue from being a breathing human," Taylor said.

One positive outcome, though, Taylor said, is that the updated AME guide has simplified things for transgender pilots.

"This has taken so much ambiguity for myself and every other airman for what the FAA is using as criteria for a transgender airman or airwoman," Taylor said.