According to a recent study by the University of North Dakota (UND), 56 percent of U.S. pilots said that they had avoided some form of health care for fear of losing their flying privileges. Now, the university and the National Business Aviation Association are asking pilots to participate in a new study designed to assess pilots’ “knowledge of healthcare services and procedures and how that could impact aviation safety.”

The new study is designed to determine if a lack of information on healthcare practices and the healthcare system had “a meaningful impact” on pilots who chose to withhold information.

Mark Larsen, CAM, NBAA’s director of safety and flight operations, said, “UND’s research raises important questions and NBAA is proud to be part of this effort to gain insights into a critical aviation issue. We recommend that every pilot member take part in this study to further our community’s understanding and appreciation of how mental and physical health impact aviation operations.”

According to NBAA, “UND’s survey takes five to 10 minutes to complete and does not ask for any information that would identify who the responses belong to. All responses are treated confidentially and are stored on a secure server.” Larsen added, “Culturally, we are changing our perceptions in a very positive way of how our mental and physical well-being can impact performance. Through studies like UND’s review of health systems literacy, we will be better able to define practices and that will improve our culture and the health of everyone in business aviation.”

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