Changes to medical certification
A range of improvements to the aviation medical certification system are being introduced in 2018.
- From 1 March 2018: A Class 2 medical certificate will be an option for pilots operating commercial flights that do not carry passengers. This applies to operations with a maximum take-off weight of less than 8618 kilograms and is likely to be of specific benefit for aerial agriculture flights, flight instruction or flight examination. Currently pilots must have a Class 1 medical for these operations.
- From early April 2018: DAMEs will have the option to issue Class 2 medical certificates on the spot.
- From mid-2018: a new category of private pilot medical certificate (Basic Class 2) will be available. In the meantime, the current Class 2 certificates remain unchanged.
Class 2 medicals for non-passenger commercial operations (from 1 March 2018)
A Class 2 medical certificate will be an option for pilots operating commercial flights that do not carry passengers from 1 March 2018. This applies to operations with a maximum take-off weight of less than 8618 kilograms and is likely to be of specific benefit for aerial agriculture flights, flight instruction or flight examination. Currently pilots must have a Class 1 medical for these operations. Read the legislative instrument (CASA EX25/18) that applies to these changes.
The reform has the potential to keep experienced pilots active for longer in commercial aviation.
This is the first of the changes to improve the aviation medical system announced late last year.
Option for DAMEs to issue Class 2 medical certificates on the spot (from early April 2018)
From early April 2018 all Designated Aviation Medical Examiners (DAMEs) will have the option to issue Class 2 medicals on the spot. This will simplify and speed up the medical process for hundreds of medical certificate applicants each month. The existing option to refer an application to CASA will continue to be available to DAMEs.
Online education will be rolled out to assist DAMEs with issuing on-the-spot Class 2 medicals. The education will include a refresher on the aviation medicine regulatory framework, the DAME’s role in certifying medical fitness, and how to use the Medical Records System (MRS) to issue Class 2 medicals.
Education for DAMEs will be available from early April 2018. Further information will be provided when available.
New category of private pilot medical certificate (basic Class 2) in mid-2018
The new basic Class 2 medical certificate is on schedule to be introduced in the middle of 2018.
The basic Class 2 will be available to private pilots flying piston engine powered aircraft carrying up to five non-fare-paying passengers.
Operations in this new category will be limited to the visual flight rules and will be permitted in all classes of airspace.
Assessment for the new category will be delegated to medical professionals – including general practitioners. They will use the same Austroads standards that are currently used to assess commercial vehicle drivers of heavy vehicles, public passenger carrying vehicles and vehicles carrying bulk dangerous goods.
A Class 2 medical certificate will remain available for private pilots operating aircraft up to 8618 kilograms with a maximum of nine non-fare-paying passengers. It will apply to pilots flying under instrument flight rules, night visual flight rules and visual flight rules operating in all classes of airspace.