Requirements for medical certification to fly
The Joint Aviation Requirements (JAR) are a series of regulations covering the whole of aviation that have been, or are being, implemented by the European states of the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA). These replace national regulations so that a harmonised set of standards are applied by all the states. The aim is to allow a seamless interchange of aircraft, operations, training and licensing throughout the JAA states and thus the free movement of aviation personnel among them. A new system of European aviation regulation (EASA – the European Aviation Safety Agency) was introduced in September 2003, and will gradually supersede the JAR. However, EASA medical requirements will not be implemented until April 2012.
The medical requirements for a JAR pilot’s licence are contained in JAR-FCL 3 (Medical). They also apply to valid UK ATPL/CPL/BCPL/PPLs (A and H) issued before 1999. There are two standards of JAA medical certificate:
Other UK licences issued by the CAA may require UK or JAR medical certificates. Details can be found by clicking on the following links:
JAR-FCL 3 is based on the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices - Annex 1 - Personnel Licensing. JAR-FCL 3 was agreed amongst the JAA member states in a series of meetings throughout the 1990s. This process of agreement has produced higher and more prescriptive standards than ICAO. This is especially true of initial Class 1 and private pilot medical standards.
The original plan was for all the JAA states to implement JAR-FCL 3 (and JAR-FCL 1 and 2 - the licensing standards) in the mid 1990s. However this slipped a number of times, and it was not until July 1999 that two countries, the UK and Denmark, implemented JAR-FCL 3and were subsequently authorised by JAA Headquarters. The process of authorisation entails visits to each country by their aviation medicine peers, to make sure that all is in place to implement the standards correctly. (List of JAA states currently authorised to issue JAR medical certificates.) More information regarding licensing can be found on the PLD website.
JAR-FCL 3, like all the JAR, is divided into two sections.
Section 1 contains the Requirements and the Appendices to the Requirements. These are mandatory, although the use of words such as ‘may’ or ‘should’ in the Appendices indicates some flexibility. However the flexibility is less than was possible under the previous UK CAA national standards.
Section 2 of JAR FCL 3 contains explanatory and guidance material.
The JAA Licensing Sub-Sectorial Team (Medical) (LSST(M)) was a subcommittee of the JAA Flight Crew Licensing Committee. It created the Requirements originally and met to discuss their revision. The UK CAA Medical Department played an active role on the LSST(M), trying to reduce the regulatory burden on pilots within the boundaries of safe flight. As with most international organisations the change process within the JAA was not always quick.
The medical requirements for an initial JAA medical certificate, the requirements for revalidation and renewal, how a JAA certificate may be gained or maintained after recovery from illness, and how to obtain a UK JAR licence if a non-UK medical certificate is held, are shown on the following pages: