Medical requirements for flight crew
Learn about the new rules relating to medical requirements for flight crew – in effect since 1 September 2014. The full rules are contained in Parts 61 and 67 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
Who should know about the medical requirements?
- All pilots.
- Flying schools.
What medical requirements apply to flight crew?
The following table shows which medical certificate standard applies to someone exercising the privileges of a licence.
Medical certificate standard
|*If you are exercising the privileges of a licence or flying solo as a student pilot and only have a recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate (RAMPC), some limitations will apply.
** A PPL holder using a RAMPC is limited to flying recreational aircraft only and only by day under VFR (refer to ‘What aircraft can I fly if I am flying with a RAMPC?’ below).
|Licence privilege||Class 1 medical certificate||Class 2 medical certificate||Recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate|
|Air transport pilot licence (ATPL)||Minimum requirement||-||-|
|Multi-crew pilot licence (MPL)||Minimum requirement||-||-|
|Commercial pilot licence (CPL)||Minimum requirement||-||-|
|Private pilot licence (PPL)||Optional||Optional**||Minimum requirement*|
|Recreational pilot licence||Optional||Optional||Minimum requirement*|
|Student pilot (to fly solo)||Optional||Optional||Minimum requirement*|
What is the difference between a class 1 medical certificate, a class 2 medical certificate and a recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate?
A class 1 or 2 medical certificate is issued by CASA and is an International Civil Aviation Organization-compliant medical assessment. You can only fly overseas if you have a CASA medical certificate.
A recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate (RAMPC) is an alternative to the class 1 or 2 certificate and is based on the modified Austroads medical standards. A general practitioner can issue you a RAMPC only after you have attended a consultation where your medical status has been assessed.
What medical requirements apply to student pilots?
There are no medical requirements for learning to fly when students are in an aircraft with their instructor. However, if you have any relevant medical conditions or history, you should consider discussing this with a medical practitioner and your flying school before starting to fly. Safety is paramount for you and others so being fully prepared is essential. Information about your health and ability to hold a class 1 medical certificate helps you make decisions about your flying career.
Are there any differences between the Driver Licence Medical (Aviation) and the new RAMPC?
The RAMPC replaced the Driver Licence Medical (Aviation) (DLMA) on 1 September 2014. The DLMA was based on an exemption granted by the Director of Aviation Safety on 29 June 2012. It allowed holders of a CASA-issued student pilot licence, PPL, CPL or ATPL to fly without a medical certificate when the pilot was conducting private operations, complied with certain limitations and had undergone a modified driver licence medical examination.
The requirements of the new RAMPC are essentially the same; however there is no need for an exemption under the new Part 61 rules.
What is a medical exemption?
A medical exemption can be issued by CASA in special circumstances where obtaining a CASA medical certificate is not considered necessary. A medical exemption normally includes conditions and limitations that ensure an equivalent level of safety is achieved.
Do I need to give CASA a copy of my RAMPC?
Yes. If you have a RAMPC you need to provide a copy of your certificate to CASA via emailing email@example.com. CASA will then issue you with a receipt acknowledging you have submitted your certificate.
To apply for a RAMPC, both you and a registered medical practitioner must follow the instructions on Form166.
Do I need to carry my medical certificate when I am flying?
Yes. You must carry your medical certificate – or medical exemption, if you have one – with you when you fly. If you are using a RAMPC you must also carry your acknowledgement receipt from CASA.
How long is a RAMPC valid for?
A RAMPC is valid for up to 24 months from the date it is signed by the medical practitioner.
If you are 65 or older, the certificate is valid for up to 12 months.
If your general practitioner issues your certificate as valid for a certain period only, your certificate will expire at the end of that period.
What limitations apply if I have a RAMPC?
If you have a RAMPC the following conditions apply:
- you can only fly below 10,000ft
- you can only fly by day under the visual flight rules (VFR)
- you can only carry one passenger.
Please note the limitations on the number of passengers you can carry, and flight above 10,000ft do not apply if you have another pilot with you who occupies a flight control seat, has either a class 1 or 2 medical certificate and is authorised to pilot the aircraft.
What aircraft can I fly if I am flying with a RAMPC?
If you hold a private pilot licence and are using your RAMPC, you are limited to flying recreational aircraft only and only by day under VFR. Recreational aircraft are:
- single-engine aircraft
- certified for single-pilot operations
- certified with a maximum take-off weight of no more than 1500kg
- not rocket or turbine powered.
If you are holding a commercial or air transport pilot licence and are using your RAMPC, you are limited to the privileges of a recreational pilot licence.
Do I need to have a medical certificate to undertake a flight test?
Yes. Unless you hold an exemption, you need to have a current medical certificate when you undertake a flight test in an aircraft.
For a recreational pilot licence flight test, a RAMPC is sufficient.
For a private pilot licence flight test you need to hold at least a class 2 medical certificate.
If your flight test is for a commercial pilot licence, multi-crew pilot licence or air transport pilot licence, you must hold at least a class 1 medical certificate.
If your flight test is for a rating, you must hold either a class 1 or 2 medical certificate or a RAMPC.
What happens if my medical status changes?
Visit the medical certification section to find out more about medical status notification and reporting.
Have the medical standards changed under Part 61?
The only change to the medical standards contained in the new rules relates to the medical certificate you must hold to undertake a flight test.
Want to know more?
Visit the Licensing Regulations section.
The new rules about medical requirements are contained in Parts 61 and 67 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations:
- Regulation 61.114 – student pilots
- Regulations 61.405 to 61.415 – other pilots
- Regulation 61.235 – flight tests
- Regulations 61.300 and 61.310 – certificate of validation medical requirements
- Regulation 61.340 – requirement to produce medical certificate and other documents
- Regulation 61.420 – requirement to carry documents on the flight
- Subpart D of Part 67 – RAMPCs.