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UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

Before you fly:

Before starting their journey, passengers with neurological conditions should discuss their intended travel plans with their treating specialist to ensure their condition and any treatments are optimised to minimise the impact of their journey on their condition.

Key guidelines include:

Stroke/Transient ischemic attack (TIA): It is advisable to wait at least 2 weeks after a stroke and 2 days for a TIA. Consideration should be given to the extent of any assistance requirements and how these may be met during travel.

Epilepsy/Seizures: Post-seizure, wait at least 24 hours before flying and carry emergency medication. Any passenger with uncontrolled epilepsy and/or any new onset of seizures will require medical clearance before flight.

Syncope: If a clear trigger is identified and avoided, with no underlying cardiovascular disease, flying may be safe. But, if no cause is found or if the fainting is recurrent, consider delaying travel until reviewed by a treating specialist.

Cranial Surgery: Delay travel until confirmed safe to do so by the treating neurosurgeon. This is to allow any trapped gas to be absorbed and to avoid changes in pressure that could affect the surgical site.

Alzheimer’s Disease: For individuals with Alzheimer's, travel can be particularly confusing and stressful. It is recommended that they be accompanied by a caregiver who is familiar with their requirements. Further information is available on the Alzheimer’s Society UK website.

For other neurological conditions (including brain tumours), the advisability of air travel often hinges on the specific symptoms, their severity, and the stability of the condition at the time of travel.

It's important to remember that airlines may have specific medical guidance on their website, which must always be followed, even following specialist consultation. In cases where there is uncertainty on any individual’s suitability to fly, the case should be discussed with an airline’s passenger medical clearance unit.

During the flight:

Always keep essential medications in your hand luggage and consider potential delays when packing, ensuring you have an extra supply. For conditions like epilepsy or Parkinson's, stick to medication schedules diligently, especially during extended travel.