CASA role in aviation medicine
Many factors contribute to aviation safety. The health of air crew and air traffic controllers (ATCs) is an important consideration and all pilots and ATCs must meet certain medical standards to ensure that their health status does not pose a risk to the safety of air navigation.
In order for a pilot or ATC to exercise the privileges of their license, they must hold a current medical certificate.
The Aviation Medicine Branch of CASA is where applications for medical certification of pilots or ATCs are assessed and issued.
Each application is considered by CASA medical officers who are specialists in the field of aviation medicine. The applications are assessed on a case by case basis and each time a new application is received the process commences again. These doctors assess how medical conditions and their treatments affect the safety of air navigation as detailed in the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR Part 67)
In some cases, monitoring of a condition or restrictions on pilot or ATC activities is necessary to ensure aviation safety. It is important to be clear how CASA's role varies from that of the doctor caring for your health. CASA are required under law to make a risk assessment as to whether your condition is “safety-relevant” as applied in the regulations.
This is a different question to whether or not treatment is either possible or appropriate. As the regulator CASA does not recommend treatment - this is the treating doctor's role.
Whilst there may be situations where a specialist advises that there is no further treatment to recommend, this does not mean that the incapacitation risk is acceptable to CASA. Treatment options and aeromedical risk are separate issues .
Where an applicant's medical condition is under review by CASA, the duration of a medical certificate may be varied at the discretion of the CASA Principal Medical Officer (PMO).