Safety Recommendation: 2023-007
2023-007: It is recommended that the UK Civil Aviation Authority provides comprehensive guidance for pilots on the medical factors that must be considered when making an online Pilot Medical Declaration.
The 2020 post-implementation CAA review of the Pilot Medical Declaration (PMD) scheme concluded that the PMD process ought to be examined and potentially amended. The CAA subsequently published a public consultation in October 2022 to assess the current PMD system and offer the general aviation community an opportunity to help shape any changes to it.
The CAA has since launched the second phase of the PMD review and formed an internal working group made up of medical, licencing, operations, legal and policy specialists, who have considered the safety recommendations issued to the CAA following the fatal accident involving G-CBDJ. The working group have proposed a set of changes designed to improve the PMD process, which are currently the subject of a public consultation (closing 4 Jan 2024).
The CAA intends to create webpage dedicated to PMDs, which will include a range of comprehensive guidance for pilots including the medical factors that must be considered when making a self-declaration of medical fitness. The new webpage will include a link to the relevant UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) webpage describing the Group 1 medical standard for drivers that must also be adhered to by pilots who are self-declaring their medical fitness to fly.
Safety Recommendation: 2023-008
2023-008: It is recommended that the UK Civil Aviation Authority provides guidance for medical professionals to promote awareness of the medical standards required by the Pilot Medical Declaration scheme.
As advised in the response to SR 2023-007 above, the CAA intends to create a webpage dedicated to PMDs, the exact content of which will be influenced by the outcome of the aforementioned public consultation. Nevertheless, it will include information for health professionals to improve their understanding of the medical requirements of the PMD scheme and signpost them to the DVLA Group 1 medical standards. In addition, the CAA will publish a PMD guide for health professionals and another for applicants. The guide for applicants will also include information on the aircraft environment, fitness to fly and when to seek medical advice. These publications will be accessible from the PMD webpage and will be launched via a CAA SkyWise notification.
Safety Recommendation: 2023-009
2023-009: It is recommended that the UK Civil Aviation Authority engages with the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to understand their process for managing medical related driving licence decisions, and ensure that the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s process for managing the Pilot Medical Declaration scheme is as effective.
The CAA has been in discussion with the UK DVLA about entering into a data-sharing arrangement, but this has so far proved unsuccessful. Nevertheless, the CAA continues to engage with the UK DVLA to understand their processes for managing medical-related licence decisions to ensure that the equivalent CAA processes are as effective.
The outcome of the public consultation that is currently open will also influence what changes are made to the PMD system to make it more effective by introducing spot checks, removing ambiguity and providing clearer guidance to applicants.
Safety Recommendation: 2023-010
2023-010: It is recommended that the UK Civil Aviation Authority assesses the continued appropriateness for holders of UK PPLs with microlight class ratings issued before 1 February 2008 to revalidate that rating solely by providing evidence of experience.
In September the CAA took the interim measure of reissuing the exemption (ORS4 No.1582) for those licence holders whose licence was issued prior to 1 Feb 2008, to enable them to revalidate their microlight and motorglider class ratings in accordance with the previous revalidation requirements.
The CAA is considering the future of this exemption within the GA Pilot Licensing and Training Simplification review and will feature this topic in the public consultation that is due to take place in February 2024.