From Simon May, Principal Medical Officer
The end of September marks the end of my contract with CASA. It has been both an interesting and challenging year for me, as I’m sure it has been for all of you too.
I leave behind a proposal for the long-awaited review of Civil Aviation Safety Regulation part 67 and a detailed and wide-ranging set of options being put forward to industry and the Director of Aviation Safety. These options could see significant changes in:
- DAME professional development and renewal
- Part 67, with the review proposal encompassing things such as non-International Civil Aviation Organization classes of medical to better service the recreational sector
- clinical practice guidelines.
The extent to which these recommendations are taken up will depend on feedback from industry and the incoming Director of Aviation Safety. I believe we have presented a once in a generation opportunity to craft a contemporary AvMed assessment system in the Australian context.
Finally, a word of thanks for the CASA AvMed staff who have all worked especially hard to support industry through the COVID-19 pandemic. I leave you in capable hands and look forward to catching up with you all in the future.
Extension of COVID-19 relief for industry
Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, CASA has made the decision to extend instrument EX57/20. This means pilots and air traffic controllers may use their medical certificate for domestic duties for a maximum of 12 months up until 31 March 2021. Applicants are encouraged to sit their medical and only use the extension if it is not possible to do so due to COVID-19 related issues.
Please note that if an applicant’s medical certificate has been expired for longer than three months and they have been using the exemption you will NOT be able to revalidate their certificate. In these situations, it is important to send the examinations to CASA as soon as practically possible to avoid lengthy delays in processing.
DAME and DAO conditions of appointment
You can now find DAME and DAO conditions of appointment link on the CASA website.
Please remember that as part of your condition of appointment, you must submit medicals to CASA within five business days of completion.
Resting ECG traces
When submitting an application through the online Medical Records System (MRS) with a resting ECG trace, please make sure you don’t tick the box to say that it is normal if you aren’t sure.
Unfortunately, there have been several instances where a certificate has been issued by MRS on the basis that this box had been ticked, only to find that when AvMed sent the ECG trace to the cardiologist it warranted further investigation.
Aviation medicine clinical professional development
As you know, conference events have been cancelled due to COVID-19. CASA cannot currently provide details of any upcoming conferences or when they might resume. We will share any updates as soon as we have them.
If you’re due for renewal but unable to fulfil your clinical professional development responsibilities because of COVID-19 related cancellations, you may be entitled to an extension.
When does the CRI need to be calculated?
Even though a previously calculated CRI will show on a current application, a stress test is only obtained if CRI is over 14 and only needs to be calculated at the first renewal after a pilot turns 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 or 60. After the age of 60 it needs to be calculated annually.
For Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) pilots over 60, the CRI only needs to be calculated at major medicals. A major medical is considered to be the first medical after their birthday.
An easy way to remember when it is required is if MRS requests fasting lipids and glucose. In this case, the CRI will also be calculated. If there are no bloods requested, then the CRI showing on the screen will have been calculated previously.
Please note that the CRI is not calculated for a Class 2 medical unless requested as part of a CASA surveillance requirement. However, there may still be a CRI score showing – in this instance, this would be from a previous medical.
If you are ever unsure whether a stress ECG needs to be obtained, please give us a call before referring.
For Positive Coronary Risk Index (Coronary Risk Index is >14) where there are no other indications or concerns, please refer applicants for a stress ECG as opposed to a stress echo. This will help reduce the cost to pilots.
BASIC Class 2 applications
The Basic Class 2 medical certificate is only available for pilots who unconditionally meet the Austroads commercial driving standard, with the exception of glasses or hearing aids. When completing the assessment outcome form (page 6) and summary (page 11) please select option 1 – unconditionally meets the medical criteria – if the applicant meets all other standards with the exception of either glasses or hearing aids. If you mark box 2, 3 or 4 advise the applicant they do not meet the medical criteria for a basic class 2 medical certificate. Please ensure you retain the completed form and provide a copy to the applicant.