Aviation Medical Examiner

Dr Justin Carter

Aeromedical examinations and Covid-19

Are Aeromedical examinations available?

Yes, medical examinations remain available and according to CAA guidance, I will individually risk assess each medical taking into account:
  • the requirement of the applicant to hold a medical certificate.
  • the revalidation/renewal status of existing medical certificates
  • the status of the national 'lockdown' (prohibiting non-essential travel) prevailing at the time of the medical
  • the applicant's health status (presence of fever, cough, breathlessness, malaise, sore throat or loss of sense of taste or smell)
  • the health status of the applicants co-habitees (are any family members self-isolating)
  • assessments of any available information about the prevalence of Covid-19 in the background population in the area in which the applicant resides
  • the travel distance for the applicant between home and the medical examination centre
  • the availability of a 'clean' (non Covid-19) clinical area in which the medical will be conducted
  • the health status of the examiner (and the examiners co-habitees)
  • the availability of adequate PPE for the examination to be conducted using Public Health England PPE guidance.

Essentially each medical will be individually assessed balancing the need for a medical at this time, with the risks to the applicant and AME taking into account all of the features in the list above. Applicants will be asked to complete a questionnaire to help in this assessment at initial email contact.

Do I need to have a revalidation medical examination?

The CAA have issued extensions applicable to the medical certificates of most professional pilots, ATC officers and recreational pilots provided that the previous certificate was valid on the 23rd of March 2020. The Extension applies until the 22nd of November 2020. The extensions are intended to apply to holders of existing certificates who remain in good health who don't have access to routine medical exams especially during the lockdown period.

A summary of the extension for professional certificate holders is that:
  • To take advantage of the exemption, the medical certificates or cabin crew medical reports must have been valid on the 23rd of March 2020 and not beyond 31st of October 2020.
    • So certificate holders whose certificate expired before the 23rd of March cannot use this exemption and must have a renewal medical to exercise licence privileges.
  • The exemption ends on 22nd of November 2020 and therefore no certificate validities can be extended beyond this date.
    • So certificate holders who use this exemption must have a renewal medical before the 22nd of November 2020 to exercise licence privileges after the 22nd of November 2020.
  • Certificate holders with medical conditions should still comply with the requirements for provision of medical reports that support their medical fitness.
    • For certificate holders who experience difficulties in provision of reports, AMEs can extend the requirement date for up to 3 months. Further extensions may be granted by the CAA.

How do I comply with the extension provisions?

For certificate holders operating in an AOC / Part ORO (EASA Air Operations) environment (ie most Commercial aviation activities) please see this document.
For certificate holders operating on a non AOC / Part ORO (EASA Air Operations) environment (ie most training and recreational aviation activities) please see this document. Note that the applicability dates for this group are different to those outlined in the summary above.
In either group, to demonstrate compliance with Part MED, aircrew / ATCOs / Cabin Crew should carry their (expired) medical certificate and a copy of the exemption notice (linked above) as part of their licence.

Practically, how does this affect booking my next medical?

  • If you have an aviation medical certificate which was valid in mid March and your health status hasn't changed, and you wish to make use of the CAA extension, I suggest you review the CAA documents linked above and carry a copy of the relevant extension notice with your expired certificate to automatically 'extend' it.
  • If your certificate had already expired before the extensions came into force (ie mid March depending on your certificate type) and hence you need a renewal medical examination (rather than a revalidation) and you require a medical certificate (principally for occupational reasons), contact me by email with your circumstances and I'll arrange a medical if required subject to an individual risk assessment outlined in the section above.
  • If your health status has changed (irrespective of the validity of your medical certificate or any extension) contact me by email with your circumstances and I'll review the information and if necessary, arrange a medical with you subject to an individual risk assessment outlined in the section above.
  • If you don't have a valid medical certificate for instance due to some medical condition, these will need to be worked through to conclusion (if necessary with relevant specialist reports) under my guidance.
  • If you are a new Class 2 / LAPL certificate applicant (ie you are new to recreational flying) there is the option of an initial examination subject to an individual risk assessment outlined in the section above, so please get in touch.