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 either the UK CAA Aeromedical Centre (AeMC) or NATS, Swanwick, Hampshire.

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 must be carried out at the UK CAA Aeromedical Centre (AeMC) at Gatwick or NATS Swanwick, Hampshire.  The whole examination 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.