Diabetes mellitus is a common disease that poses a serious health and safety threat to civilian aviators. Complications secondary to diabetes can be severe and result in sudden incapacitation. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed regulations for certifying aviators with diabetes, as well as guidelines for in-flight management of blood glucose levels. Advances in medical technology have led to treatments and countermeasures for diabetes that enable many individuals to engage in physically and mentally demanding activities. This paper presents a basic overview of the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of diabetes mellitus in civil aviators. In addition, current FAA regulations for medical certification and blood glucose management will be outlined.
Scholarly Commons Citation
Keegan, R. T.,
& Bradshaw, B. K.
Aeromedical Issues in Diabetic Aviators.
Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research, 13(2).