Major improvements to aviation medical system
Thousands of pilots are set to benefit from major reforms to the aviation medical certificate system.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is cutting aviation medical certificate red tape to make it easier for pilots to continue to fly safely.
The reforms include creating a new category of private pilot medical certificate, allowing non passenger carrying commercial operations under a full Class 2 medical certificate and increasing the delegation of medical decision making to medical professionals.
The new medical certificate category to be known as a basic Class 2 will be available to private pilots flying piston engine powered aircraft carrying up to five non fare paying passengers. Operations will be limited to the daytime visual flight rules and will be permitted in all classes of airspace.
This basic Class 2 medical certificate will require an assessment by a doctor using the Austroads commercial vehicle driver standards. General practitioners will be able to carry out assessments.
These commercial vehicle medical standards currently apply to drivers of heavy vehicles, public passenger vehicles and vehicles carrying bulk dangerous goods. They cover medical issues such as cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, psychiatric conditions, blackouts substance abuse and vision and hearing disorders.
The new basic Class 2 medical will be valid for a maximum of five years up to the age of 40 and a maximum of two years above the age of 40.
The current unrestricted Class 2 medical certificate will remain in place for private pilots operating aircraft up to 8618 kilograms with a maximum of nine non fare paying passengers. This unrestricted Class 2 medical will be used under all flight rules and allow for operations in all classes of airspace.
Importantly, pilots flying commercial operations with no passengers – such as flying training and aerial agriculture – will now be able to do so on the basis of an unrestricted Class 2 medical certificate. Previously these operations required the pilot to hold a Class 1 medical certificate.
CASA’s CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, said the reforms to the aviation medical system maintain appropriate safety standards while offering flexibility and reduced red tape.
“CASA has been engaged with the aviation community and made a series of fundamental reforms to aviation medical certification,” Mr Carmody said.
“We have initially focussed on changes that benefit general aviation because this sector has been telling us the current medical certification system was causing real difficulties.
“In the interests of public safety it is important that pilots meet relevant medical standards but the system must not make unnecessary demands and should meet the needs of the aviation community.
“I am pleased we are making changes that will see more appropriate medical standards applied to flying training and aerial agriculture – two vital sectors of Australian aviation.
“CASA will now continue to review the aviation medical system to identify possible improvements in areas such as using medical data more effectively, further streamlining processes, further reducing CASA involvement in medicals and harmonising with global best practices.
“It is CASA’s role to maintain appropriate aviation safety standards but the requirements must not unnecessarily burden Australian aviation and hinder development and growth.”
The reforms to aviation medical certification will be progressively introduced during 2018.