Asthma may or may not be a special issuance condition, depending upon the severity of the asthma.  Regardless of the severity of the condition, a letter is required when a pilot reports asthma for the first time.  Subsequently, a status report is required once a year for those pilots applying for first and second class medical certificates, and at the time of every exam for those pilots applying for a third class medical certificate.  The letter must be typewritten and be on the doctor’s letterhead.  The FAA will not accept handwritten notes or notes written on a prescription pad.

The letter must include the following information:

1) The overall severity of the condition, including the nature and frequency of symptoms as well as how well they respond to medication.

2) Any history of emergency room/urgent care visits or hospitalizations due to an asthmatic attack

3) The names and dosages of all asthma medications, as well as a statement that the airman is not experiencing any side effects (assuming that is the case).  If the airman is experiencing side effects, the doctor must describe them.

4) Is the condition considered “stable and well controlled?”

5) A current (within the last 90 days) set of pulmonary function tests.