Pilots and air traffic controllers (ATCs) must hold a current medical certificate to exercise the privileges of their licence. Different classes of medical certificate reflect your licence type and what you can do under that licence.
There are no medical requirements for learning to fly when you are in the aircraft with your flight instructor. However, you should discuss any relevant medical conditions with a medical practitioner and your flying school before starting to fly. Especially if you plan to be a professional pilot.
Class 1 medical certificate
You must have a Class 1 medical certificate for a:
- Air Transport Pilot Licence
- Commercial Pilot Licence (other than balloons)
- Multi-crew Pilot (aeroplane) Licence
- Flight Engineer Licence
- Student Flight Engineer Licence.
Commercial Pilot Licence holders can perform some operations with a Class 2 medical certificate.
A Class 1 medical certificate is valid for one year, unless otherwise advised. A Class 2 certificate is generally granted at the same time as a Class 1 certificate but may be valid for longer.
Class 2 medical certificate
You must have a Class 2 medical certificate for a:
You can get a Basic Class 2 medical certificate as an alternative. However, it will have more operational restrictions.
Class 2 medical certificate validity
Class 2 medical certificates are valid for:
- 4 years if you are under 40 years on the day of your medical examination
- 2 years if you are over 40 years.
Class 2 certificate restrictions
Commercial pilots with a Class 2 medical certificate can only fly commercial flights without passengers if the maximum take-off weight is less than 8618 kg. This includes in-flight training.
Student pilots must have a Class 2 (or Basic Class 2) medical certificate before they can fly solo.
On the spot Class 2 medical certificates
Some designated aviation medical examiners (DAMEs) can issue you with a Class 2 medical certificate on the spot. Others must submit your application to us to assess.
A DAME can’t issue you an on the spot certificate if you previously had a Class 2 application denied. Or, if you have medical conditions such as:
- irreversible dementia
For more information, check with your DAME when you make your appointment.
Basic Class 2 medical certificate
A Basic Class 2 medical certificate is available as an alternative to a full Class 2 certificate for private operations.
It has the following operational restrictions:
- only private day operations under the visual flight rules (VFR) and below 10,000 feet
- a maximum of 5 passengers
- only piston engine aircraft
- maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of less than 8618kg
- no use of operational ratings (such as instructor rating or instrument rating)
- no use of flight activity endorsements (e.g. aerobatics, low level).
These restrictions don’t apply if a suitably qualified pilot with a valid Class 1 or Class 2 medical certificate is in a control seat.
You can get a Basic Class 2 examination from any medical practitioner who does medicals for commercial motor vehicle drivers. The medical standard is exactly the same as the commercial driver standard (Austroads).
You will be issued a Basic Class 2 medical certificate if you unconditionally meet the standard (except for glasses and hearing aids).
If you don’t pass your Basic Class 2 medical, or you have a pre-existing medical condition, you will need a full DAME assessment to apply for a Class 2 medical certificate. DAMEs have more flexibility to consider the specific circumstances in an aviation context.
Our factsheets explain more about Basic Class 2 medicals:
- Basic Class 2 medical certificate fact sheet for medical practitioners (PDF, 1 MB)
- Basic Class 2 medical certificate fact sheet for pilots (PDF, 1 MB).
Class 3 medical certificate
You need a Class 3 medical certificate for a:
- Air Traffic Control Licence
- Flight Service Officers.
A Class 3 medical certificate is valid for 2 years, unless otherwise advised.
Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioner’s Certificate
The Basic Class 2 medical certificate does not replace the Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioner’s Certificate (RAMPC).
A current RAMPC is still valid if you have a recreational pilot licence, but with the following restrictions:
- only single engine piston aircraft (fixed wing or helicopter) with a maximum take-off weight of 1500 kg or less
- only day operations under the visual flight rules (VFR) and below 10,000 feet
- no more than one passenger on board
- no acrobatic flight.
The airspace and passenger restrictions don’t apply if a suitably qualified pilot with a valid Class 1 or Class 2 medical certificate is in a control seat.
The acrobatic restrictions don’t apply if a suitably qualified, acrobatic-flight endorsed pilot with a valid Class 1 or Class 2 medical certificate is in a control seat.
If you have a RAMPC you must:
- meet the Australian Fitness to Drive unconditional private drivers' requirements
- not have any of the disqualifying conditions.
RAMPC disqualifying conditions
You can’t hold a RAMPC if you have certain disqualifying conditions but you can still apply for a Class 2 medical certificate via a DAME.
Find full details of disqualifying conditions in our RAMPC application form (PDF, 504 KB).