- Publications and resources
- Rules and regulations
- Safety management
- Licences and certification
- About us
Go to top of page
Classes of medical certificates
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.
On this page
You need a Class 1 medical certificate for these licences:
- Air Transport Pilot Licence
- Commercial Pilot Licence (other than balloons)
- Multi-crew Pilot (aeroplane) Licence
- Flight Engineer Licence
- Student Flight Engineer Licence.
Since April 2018, 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 generally valid for longer.
You need a Class 2 medical certificate for these licences:
- Recreational Pilot Licence
- Private Pilot Licence
- Commercial Pilot (Balloon) Licence.
A Basic Class 2 medical certificate is an alternative but has certain operational 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 kilograms. This includes in-flight training.
Student pilots must have a Class 2 (or Basic Class 2) medical certificate before they can fly solo.
Certificates are valid for four years if you are under 40 years on the day of your medical examination or two years if you are over 40 years.
We no longer review Class 2 medical applications unless your Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME) requests one. The only exception is for conditions of psychosis, irreversible dementia or epilepsy, or if you previously had a Class 2 application denied.
Some DAMEs will grant Class 2 medical certificates on the spot; others prefer to send all applications to us for review. Check with your DAME when you make an appointment.
Since July 2018, 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 five passengers
- only piston engine aircraft
- maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of less than 8618kg
- no use of operational ratings (e.g. instructor rating, 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 pilots
- Basic Class 2 medical certificate fact sheet for medical practitioners.
You need a Class 3 medical certificate for these licences:
- Air Traffic Control Licence
- Flight Service Officers.
A Class 3 medical certificate is valid for two years, unless otherwise advised.
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 1500kg 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.
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 504.55 KB).
Learn more about how medical conditions can affect your ability to fly on the following pages: