America’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has eliminated psychological testing that transgender pilots needed to undergo to be able to fly.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), which described the previous tests as “unnecessary”, transgender pilots will only need to submit their clinical records together with an evaluation from a psychiatrist or psychologist, as well as a report on any surgery (if applicable).

The organisation explained that the FAA requires that all pilots receive medical and psychological clearance to fly, and that these procedures can be quite demanding.

“However, in recent years many transgender pilots had been required to undergo an expensive, burdensome and unnecessary battery of psychological tests including personality, projective and intelligence tests and others,” said the group.

“Many transgender pilots were grounded due to such requirements and some even lost their jobs. While the FAA is understandably wary of any potential safety risk, requiring all these tests just because a person is transgender simply didn’t make medical sense.”

The new requirements are listed in a new section of the agency’s Aviation Medical Examiner Guide.

Harper Jean Tobin, director of public policy for the NCTE told the Washington Blade: “You still have to jump through hoops when you tell them you’re transitioning, but it’s more of the nature of provide your lab work that you had done, your hormone therapy — things are sort of more rationally connected to making sure that somebody is not having an adverse reaction to medication or something like that.”

The organisation said that it will continue to monitor the issue to ensure that the new procedures are implemented in a fair and sensible way.

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