Comprehensive FAA Psychiatric Evaluations to Ensure Pilots are Mentally Fit

FAA Psychiatric Evaluations are specialized assessments designed to ensure that individuals have the mental and emotional health necessary for working in aviation. These assessments provide an all-encompassing view of your fitness for flying from mental health screenings, substance use evaluations, medical history reviews, and more.  

With comprehensive psychiatric evaluations from experienced professionals, pilots can feel confident that they meet or exceed all regulations the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) set forth.

Hold on! There is much to discuss regarding the FAA Psychiatric Evaluation in this article. I will also provide an overview of the evaluation process, and the FAA approved medications and therapies.

So, without further ado! let’s get started:

How FAA Psychiatric Evaluations Ensure Pilots are Mentally Fit?

The FAA Psychiatric Evaluation is designed to make sure individuals meet the standards of mental and emotional health necessary for working in aviation. This assessment goes beyond simply asking questions about mental health. 

It also covers topics such as substance use, medical history reviews, physical health assessments, and general psychological evaluations.

In order to pass the FAA Psychiatric Evaluation, pilots must demonstrate that they meet or exceed all regulations set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This includes displaying a fit mental and emotional state for flying. 

Furthermore, the FAA requires pilots to undergo periodic re-evaluations to ensure they remain fit and healthy. Finally, pilots must report any prescribed medications, like those approved by the FAA, they are taking as it could affect their fitness to fly. 

FAA Psychiatric Evaluation Process

The FAA Psychiatric Evaluation process consists of a comprehensive review of the individual’s mental and emotional health. The evaluation typically includes an assessment of personal medical history, as well as any prior substance use disorders or other psychological issues that may have occurred in the past.

In addition, pilots will be asked about their current medications, or any faa approved medications they are taking, their sleep habits, and any recent changes in mood or behavior.

Different types of FAA Psychiatric Evaluations:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has several evaluation types to assess an applicant’s psychological health and suitability for a pilot or airman license. The FAA requires all applicants for a pilot or airman license to undergo a psychiatric evaluation as part of the licensing process. 

This evaluation must be conducted by an FAA-approved physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or another mental health professional.

The following are the types  of FAA psychiatric evaluations utilized by the FAA:

FAA DUI Evaluation

This type of evaluation is required for applicants who have previously been convicted or pleaded no contest to a DUI charge. This evaluation determines the applicant’s risk of future alcohol-related incidents that could affect their ability to be properly licensed and trained as a pilot or airman. 

Furthermore, the faa dui reporting and evaluation look to assess the applicant’s motivation for responsible behavior and any underlying psychological issues that may contribute to a future relapse in alcohol abuse.

Anxiety FAA Medical Evaluation

The anxiety faa medical evaluation is a specialized type of assessment designed to ensure that individuals are mentally and emotionally fit for the job. During this evaluation, pilots must complete psychological tests such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, undergo an interview with a certified psychologist, and provide any necessary paperwork to the FAA. 

They must also answer questions about their anxiety levels, any previous anxiety-related issues, and the faa-approved medications they are taking. 

Once all of these evaluations have been completed, and the paperwork is submitted to the FAA, pilots will be deemed medically fit for flight or not based on their performance in the evaluation.

FAA ADHD Evaluation

The FAA ADHD evaluation is a more specialized type of assessment that is required for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This evaluation covers topics such as the individual’s ability to focus and concentrate, their current medications, and any past or current issues related to ADHD. 

In fact, the FAA mental health Psychiatric Evaluation process is designed to ensure that individuals are mentally and emotionally fit for a career in commercial aviation.

This Mental Health Evaluation process is so important that pilots who fail to meet the medical requirements may be disqualified from holding a commercial pilot’s license. 

Mental Health Screenings & Substance Use Evaluations

The FAA Psychiatric Evaluation includes a comprehensive mental health screening and substance use evaluation. During the mental health screening, pilots must answer questions about their overall mental health, any past or current psychological issues, and their sleep habits. 

The substance use evaluation covers topics such as alcohol and drug use in the past year, whether or not they have been treated for substance abuse, and any faa approved medications they are currently taking. 

These evaluations are designed to ensure that pilots have a fit mental and emotional state before they are allowed to fly.

Medical History Reviews & Other Requirements

Pilots must also undergo a medical history review in the FAA Psychiatric initial evaluation and mental health screenings. This review includes questions about any prior medical conditions or illnesses, their current medication list, and any faa approved medications they are taking. 

After the evaluations are complete, pilots must also submit the necessary paperwork to the FAA. This includes medical records, any faa approved medications they are taking and a detailed report from the certified psychologist who evaluated them.

FAA Approved Medications for Pilots

The FAA has a strict policy regarding the use of medication for pilots. The FAA must approve all medications, and only those that meet certain criteria can be taken while flying. Additionally, any faa-approved medications must not impair a pilot’s ability to operate an aircraft safely. 

It is important for pilots to make sure that their medication lists are up-to-date and that all necessary paperwork has been submitted to the FAA in order to maintain a valid medical license. 

Below is the list of medications approved by the FAA for use while flying: 

  • Famvir (Famciclovir)
  • Fludara (Fludarabine)
  • Hepsera (Adefovir Dipivoxil)
  • Rebetol, Virazole (Ribavirin)
  • Tamiflu (Oseltamivir)
  • Tenofovir (Disoproxil Fumarate)
  • Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir)
  • Valtrex (Valacyclovir)

FAA Approved Anxiety Medication

The FAA has approved certain anxiety medications for individuals with anxiety disorders. These medications can help manage anxiety and enable pilots to focus on their job while also reducing any risk of pilot error due to anxiety symptoms. 

It is important that pilots disclose any anxiety medication they are taking during their evaluation, as it could impact their ability to fly safely. 

  • Celexa (Citalopram Hydrobromide) 
  • Lexapro (Escitalopram Oxalate) 
  • Prozac (Fluoxetine Hydrochloride) 
  • Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) 
  • Wellbutrin (Bupropion)
Pilots must also continue to take these medications as prescribed and complete routine check-ups with their certified psychologist.

Start Feeling Better - Call Our Office Now

FAA SSRI Medication

The FAA also requires that pilots taking faa approved SSRI medications submit additional paperwork to the FAA. These medications include Fluoxetine (Prozac), Sertraline (Zoloft), Citalopram (Celexa), and Escitalopram (Lexapro). 

  • If the applicant is on an SSRI that is not listed above, the Examiner must advise that the medication is not acceptable for SI/SC. 
  • It is also important to note that any faa approved SSRI medications must be taken as prescribed and monitored closely by a certified psychologist. 
  • Pilots must also continue regular check-ups to ensure their mental health remains stable and in line with the FAA’s regulations.

Therapies for Anxiety, ADHD, Depression, and Other Conditions

The FAA also recognizes several non-medication treatments for anxiety, ADHD, depression, and other conditions that could impact overall mental well-being. Examples of these therapies include:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) 
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • Psychotherapy 
  • Talk Therapy 
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation

These therapies can help pilots develop coping skills that allow them to manage their mental health effectively. In addition, if a pilot is taking any medications approved by the FAA, these therapies can be used to reduce or eliminate the need for medication over time. 

It is important for pilots to discuss any non-medication treatments with an FAA-certified therapist prior to flying. 

Start Feeling Better - Call Our Office Now

Final Thoughts

FAA Psychiatric Evaluation and Medication Requirements are designed to ensure that pilots maintain a safe and healthy mental state when flying. Pilots must be proactive about their mental health, disclosing any medications or therapies they may take during the evaluation process. 

If approved medications are taken, regular check-ups with an FAA-certified psychologist are necessary in order to ensure safety. Finally, pilots should also consider non-medication treatments as an alternative or supplement to medication for managing anxiety and other mental health conditions.


For more information and guidance on how to get the right mental health medication, Get in touch with the specialized psychiatrist now!

About Author
Table Of Content

Faith Behavioral Health Group
Frisco, TX 75034

Faith Behavioral Health Group
McKinney, TX 75071


Dr. Sadaf Noor Psychiatrist, MD

As a skilled psychiatrist, I specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental health issues, emotional disorders, and psychotic conditions. Drawing on diagnostic laboratory tests, prescribed medications, and psychotherapeutic interventions, I strive to provide comprehensive and compassionate care for my patients in Frisco and McKinney, Texas, while assessing their biological, psychological, and social components of illnesses. I am committed to helping them achieve healthier and more fulfilling lives through my work.