ORS4 No.1383 (Formerly 1354) Exemption guidance
We ask that you keep up an eye on our Covid-19 pages for updates.
This is going to be a dynamic situation depending on the pandemic and Government Public Health guidance. Guidance and information will be updated periodically as the situation evolves.
This exemption is for commercial pilots (including pilots operating for NCC and SPO operators) who are unable to revalidate a rating, complete required training and other checking or renew their medical due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent prevention policies. If you are still able to go ahead with your licensing revalidation then you should do so and submit your paperwork to the CAA as normal, subject to current government advice.
Pilots operating for a UK AOC wanting to make use of this exemption should ask their operator to submit a safety case to their assigned Flight Operations Inspector (FOI). The Safety Case must be “Accepted” before the operator may utilise the exemption.
Pilots operating for Part NCC or Part SPO operators wanting to make use of this exemption should ask their operator to submit a Declaration of Compliance to NCC@caa.co.uk.
All operators should regularly submit a spreadsheet to the CAA at Covid-19_Licensingexemptions@caa.co.uk notifying the CAA of all pilots who have had their ratings extended in the following format:
- Pilot's name
- Pilot's Licence number
- Applicable aircraft ratings that have been extended under ORS4 1383
- Date of new expiry (if different from 31 October 2020)
- TRE/SE name and licence number
This information should be sent in spreadsheet format on a monthly basis. It is important that this process is managed in accordance with an operator's management system.
If your operator is unable to schedule training before the expiry date of your rating, pilots should escalate via their operator to be discussed with their assigned FOI. Pilots/operators operating under Part NCC and Part SPO should address their queries to NCC@caa.co.uk.
Licence endorsement requirements
For class and type ratings, the licence may be endorsed by a TRE or Senior Examiner nominated by the Operator. Subject to the approval of the FOI, this may not necessarily be a TRE or Senior Examiner rated on type. The endorsement shall be an original (wet) signature. Please contact your assigned FOI or NCC@caa.co.uk as appropriate for more details.
For pilots who are remote, the licence may be signed retrospectively at the earliest opportunity, after the required training and assessment has been completed, however the pilot may not operate with an expired rating. The CAA is working on an electronic solution for licence endorsements should the restrictions continue for an extended period of time.
Renewals are beyond the scope of this exemption, which only applies to current ratings/certificates. Any rating/certificate which expires at the end of March is covered by the exemption. Any rating or medical certificate that has already expired is not covered. Normal procedures apply when a rating has already expired.
The current exemption does not cover initial issues. However, we have issued a new temporary certificate that allows pilots who have passed their skills test for a new rating, CPL, MPL or ATPL, an additional six months to get their license issued. Please see exemption ORS4 1373.
Information for GA pilots
GA pilots are covered under a separate exemption ORS4 1374.
What about Instructors and Examiners not employed by an AOC?
Instructors and Examiners employed by ATOs are covered under a separate exemption ORS4 1374.
There is no need for the organisation or Engineer to contact the CAA in order to use this exemption.
If a licence is due to expire prior to 31st October 2020, then the exemption will cover the licence holder to continue to use the licence as is with the expired data until the date stated on the exemption. The holder must stop using the licence post this date unless it is renewed.
Organisations will need to keep a copy of the licence and exemption in the individuals records when they need to renew any company authorisation at an organisation level.
For the legal text, please refer to the General Exemptions ORS4 1383 on the CAA website which includes the extension of the validity of expiring medical certificates.
Attending your AME for a medical whilst the Government Public Health restrictions are in force
During the COVID-19 'lockdown' period of social isolation, apart from a few exceptions, with the medical exemptions in place it is neither an essential activity (and therefore a necessity for travel) nor a legal obligation for most pilots and ATCOs to attend an AME. Please discuss this with your AME in the first instance as it is likely that an exemption covers your situation and it may be possible to rebook your medical for a later date. If this is not possible you may use an alternative AME and have your medical examination - AME contact details are on the CAA website.
AMEs and the CAA will be monitoring changes to Government guidance and regulations and as these develop, AME examination activities will resume according to a dynamic risk assessment of the AME and his/her practice, and your medical and certificatory circumstances.
ANSPs and Operators with ATCOs and pilots controlling/flying for essential services (HEMS/SAR/Offshore) who were unfit and/or whose medical expired before the validity extension date should contact the CAA Medical Department via their Ops inspector to determine if it is appropriate to have a medical renewal examination.
If you are overseas and your certificate is approaching expiry
The exemptions apply to UK-issued licence holders. If you are overseas and your medical certificate is approaching expiry, you can return to the UK or a nearby country with UK (please see website) or EU-approved AMEs where you can visit an AME for a revalidation subject to local government public health guidance and regulations.
Flying in other states using a validation of your UK licence and medical
If you are flying in another state using a validation of your UK-issued EU licence and medical, and cannot get a medical examination locally, you should contact the licencing authority who has issued your validation for further advice on privileges.
Clinic appointments at CAA Aviation House
Clinics have temporarily ceased and we are currently reprioritising appointments. Pilots / ATCOs will be contacted as appropriate, as early as possible.
Medical transfers (SOLI)
All EASA member states are encountering significant disruption to services. The UK CAA endeavours to maintain services but cannot speak for the other States involved in your transfer.
These are extraordinary circumstances and we expect delays in processing assessments.
Receiving correspondence regarding medical fitness
The Medical team will primarily use encrypted email to correspond with you regarding your medical fitness. If you receive a message to confirm your email address, please reply promptly to enable the team to get the information to you as soon as possible. Medical certificate will be sent by post when required.
- This exemption only applies to Class 1 and 3 medical certificate holders and cabin crew medical report holders. Other exemptions include Class 2 and LAPL medical certificates, those flying with UK national licences, and self declarations etc - please see Publications with Titles Containing: ORS4 on the CAA website
- The exemption only applies to EU medical certificate holders with UK-issued Licences, i.e. where the UK is the State of Licence Issue (SOLI).
- Non-UK EU licence holders should contact their own EU SOLI for advice
- In the exemption period, Commercial Pilots, ATCOs and Cabin Crew, who might take advantage of the exemption, may continue to have their medical examinations. This means that medical certificate holders can still have a medical if they and their AME are both able and safe to do whilst following Government and Public Health Guidance.
- To take advantage of the exemption, the medical certificates or cabin crew medical reports must have been valid on the 23 March 2020 and not beyond 31 October 2020. This means that medical certificate holders who expired before this date without revalidating their certificate cannot use this exemption and will have to have a renewal medical to exercise licence privileges. During the 'lockdown' period operators with affected licence holders should contact the CAA to advise on such individual cases and determine whether a medical examination can be considered essential.
- The exemption ends on 22 November 2020 and therefore no certificate validities will be extended by the exemption beyond this date. This means that medical certificate holders who use this exemption must have a medical before 22 November 2020 to exercise licence privileges after 22 November 2020
- In this period (and possibly beyond), there will be medical certificate holders who need to provide reports (e.g. annual cardiology review for coronary artery disease) to their AME and/or the CAA in the normal way to maintain their certificatory status. These actions should continue and medical certificate holders should make best endeavours to provide the reports as required. There are advantages for the applicant to procure these early to avoid subsequent difficulties.
- If medical certificate holders experience difficulties with their private or NHS doctors/advisers, their AME may be able to advise them of local or other alternative specialists or providers who can assist with provision of clinical reports and/or tests.
- Where a medical certificate holder has difficulties that cannot be overcome in the short term, then they should contact their AME who may be able to approve an extension of up to 3 months of the requirement deadline to provide the reports. Any further extension requests or management of complex cases will be referred to the CAA.
- If it is not possible to maintain safety assurance, then unfortunately some commercial pilots and ATCOs will need to be made unfit until assurance is regained. Existing commercial pilots and ATCOs attending the CAA Psychiatry, Drugs and Alcohol and Diabetic clinics are being managed directly by the CAA. Some appointments are being converted into telephone / Skype contacts to determine consultation requirements, and others are being re-prioritised on a safety need basis.
This is going to be a dynamic situation depending on the pandemic situation and Government Public Health guidance. Guidance and information will be updated periodically as the situation evolves.