HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force Pilot Height Qualifications and Waivers

Air Education and Training Command graphic for press releases. AETC posts press releases for timely news of potentially wide interest. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by SSgt. Charles Pons)

Air Education and Training Command graphic for press releases. AETC posts press releases for timely news of potentially wide interest. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by SSgt. Charles Pons)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- To open the aperture of possible Air Force pilot candidates, Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, 19th Air Force commander, is on a campaign to highlight height, or anthropometric waivers. 

The current height requirement to become an Air Force pilot is a standing height of 5’4” to 6’5”. However, according to U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, 43.5% of U.S females, ages 20-29, have a stature of 64 inches or less. 

“We’re rewriting these rules to better capture the fact that no two people are the exact same, even if they are the same overall height,” Wills said. 

Applicants who do not meet the standing height requirement may apply for an anthropometric waiver, which is coordinated through Air Education and Training Command surgeon general and 19th Air Force, who are responsible for all of the Air Force’s initial flying training.

Anthropometric measurements include sitting eye height, buttocks to knee length, and arm span. The anthropometric measurement device is at Wright Patterson AFB, where the measuring is accomplished by the Air Force Research Laboratory 711th Human Performance Wing. It is the only device accepted by the Air Force when determining waiver eligibility. A specialty team conducts the measurements at USAFA.

Since 2015, 19th Air Force and prior to that, AETC/A3F, have processed 223 anthropometric waiver requests and have approved 87%.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Media interested in interviews with subject matter experts via phone should contact Jennifer Gonzalez at 210-652-4400.