Initial Medical Certification for Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs)

Information on the medical requirements for a licensed Air Traffic Controller.

Anyone wishing to become an Air Traffic Control Officer (ATCO) will need to obtain a European Class 3 medical certificate as part of the licensing requirements.  The initial medical examination must be carried out at one of the following sites

UK CAA Aeromedical Centre (AeMC): Gatwick, West Sussex

NATS Aeromedical Centre: Swanwick, Hampshire 

NATS Aeromedical Centre: Prestwick, Ayrshire.

Any UK Class 1 medical certificates issued to ATCOs prior to 1 September 2009 will be valid until the expiry date on the certificate.  Thereafter, these ATCOs shall undertake medical examinations to European Class 3 renewal/revalidation standards.

Associated Rules and Regulations

Requirements for European Class 3 Medical Certification (Eurocontrol)

Who can apply

The minimum age for the initial issue of a European Class 3 Medical Certificate is 17.

What to expect

The initial medical examination, which must be carried out at one of the AeMCs above, takes half a day and includes:

  • a full physical medical examination by a doctor
  • detailed eyesight tests, including a colour vision assessment
  • a resting electrocardiogram (ECG) to check your heart
  • spirometry to assess your lung function
  • an audiogram to evaluate your hearing
  • urine testing
  • blood tests, to check haemoglobin


Please see our Scheme of Charges

NATS will have their own charging scheme

How to pay

For examinations at the CAA - payment can be made by credit / debit card at the time of booking

NATS will have their own payment methods

Typical processing time

A medical certificate is issued on the same day if all required standards are met.


Summary of requirements for keeping your European Class 3 (ATCO) certificate valid

Contact information:

How to contact NATS

Contacting the CAA

Aeromedical Centre
Aviation House
Gatwick Airport South Area
West Sussex RH6 0YR
Telephone: 01293 573700

When emailing the Medical Department, please be advised that if your enquiry requires a response that includes personal medical information, we will have to send this to you by post. 

Therefore, please could you ensure that you include:

  •  your CAA reference number and current correspondence address and date of birth. 

Currently we are unable to send information including personal and medical information via email.