August 20, 2023
Answering Some FAQs About Aviation Medical Examinations In Australia
If you’re undertaking aviation training, you’ll soon be looking into undertaking a medical evaluation for your pilot requirements. Here, we’re answering some FAQs about aviation medical examinations in Australia. Aviation medical examinations in Australia are overseen managed through the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). However, whilst CASA is the management body they are not the issuers or undertakers of aviation medical examinations. That part is up to a General Practitioner or Designated Aviation Medical Examiner. Need us to shed some more light for you? Then let’s answer some FAQs about aviation medical examinations in Australia.
What Types of Aviation Medical Examinations Exist in Australia?
This is our first aviation medical examination FAQ. You should talk to your Aviation Flight School about what aviation medical examination is best for your requirements. Aviation medical examinations in Australia can result in three different classes of medical assessment. A Class 3 is the lowest grade of medical examination for aviation. It’s a more general series of tests to ensure a person is healthy for air traffic control and flight service roles.
Class 3 and RAMPC
There is another option to a Class 3, which is a RAMPC (Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioner’s Certificate). This is a pilot medical certificate that allows limited operations. These limitations include:
- 1500 kg MTOW
- <10,000 feet flight ceiling
- One passenger limit
- No aerobatic flight
You can read further about these limitations, here.
If you’re aiming to become a commercial pilot licence holder, then the following aviation medical examinations are largely aimed at you throughout your training and career.
The second type is a Class 2 medical certificate. There are two types of Class 2. A Basic Class 2 Medical Examination can be provided by any medical practitioner who does medicals for commercial motor vehicle drivers. It allows for flying of larger aircraft, but with limitations (e.g. no aerobatics or commercial flying). A full Class 2 medical is typically issued for General Aviation Pilots with an RPL or PPL, who are flying privately with an MTOW higher than 1500kg and undertaking further privileges that the pilot licence provides. For training purposes, this can be the perfect option for pilots.
A Class 1 medical examination is the most thorough and highest level of health and wellness scrutiny. It is required for commercial pilot licence and ATPL holders.
If you are aiming to become a commercial pilot licence holder, you should consider getting a Class 1 aviation medical examination first. Whilst a Class 2 will allow you to undertake most of your training, the Class 1 is a more thorough examination. This means that if there are any medical reasons that might impact your licence or ability to become a commercially-licenced pilot, you would find out as early as possible.
Is an Aviation Medical Examination Mandatory in Australia for Pilots?
As a pilot, you are required to be medically fit. If you’re a recreational pilot with an MTOW of 600 kg, then you can effectively self-manage your medical similar to a car driver licence. However, a pilot licence is a privilege and comes with a requirement to be medically fit to undertake the privileges and responsibilities of the licence. This is why Class 2 and Class 1 medicals exist and apply.
If you’re undertaking the Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) then you will need a Class 1 aviation medical certificate. Talk to your flight school or instructor to ensure you have the appropriate medical requirements for your flight training in Australia.
What Do They Check in an Aviation Medical Examination in Australia?
You can expect urine and blood pressure tests, hearing tests and an overall physical examination. The medical examiner will talk to you about any existing health conditions to understand what effects and impact this might have on your ability to fly. It is important to be open, honest and transparent about your health. This means that any existing health conditions need to be declared and discussed prior to issuing a medical certificate.
What Should I Expect in an Aviation Medical Examination in Australia?
A Class 3 Medical is a basic medical without ancillary tests. For example audiogram, ECG, blood tests and referral for eye examination. A recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate allows appropriately licensed pilots to hold a recreational pilot’s licence (RPL) without needing to have a class 2 medical. The RPL is based on a modified unconditional driver’s licence medical certificate for a private motor vehicle.
In a Class 2 medical, applicants must have a basic medical examination but not the additional ancillary tests. For example audiogram, ECG, blood tests and referral for eye examination.
For a Class 1 aviation medical examination, you must have basic medical and ancillary tests, such as an audiogram, ECG, blood tests for glucose and lipids. Commercial pilots will also be provided with a referral to a Designated Aviation Eye Examiner (ophthalmologist). Depending on your age at the time of the medical, test requirements can vary.
How Long Does an Aviation Medical Certificate Last in Australia?
Each medical certificate has a different period of validity in Australia.
Class 3 Aviation Medical Certificate
This medical certificate applies to holders of an air traffic control licence or flight service officers, or recreational pilots. The Class 3 medical certificate is valid for two years. A recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate allows appropriately licensed pilots to hold a recreational pilot’s licence (RPL) without needing to have a class 2 medical. The RPL is based on a modified unconditional driver’s licence medical certificate for a private motor vehicle.
Class 2 Aviation Medical Certificate
A Class 2 medical standard applies to holders of a private pilot licence, commercial pilot (balloon) licence and flight radio operator licence. A Class 2 medical certificate is valid for four years for applicants less than 40 years of age on the day of issue, and in all other cases for two years.
Class 1 Aviation Medical Certificate
For holders of an air transport pilot licence, commercial pilot licence, multi-crew pilot (aeroplane) licence, you will need a Class 1 medical certificate. Class 1 certificates are valid for one year.
Your flight school in Australia, and CASA, will both need copies of your valid aviation medical certificate. When you renew with another medical examination, you will need to re-supply your medical examination results and certificate with them both. Additionally, you should carry your medical certificate with you as a pilot.
When Should I Apply for my Medical Aviation Examination?
If you’re aiming to complete your Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane), aim to apply for your medical just before commencing your training. The Class 1 medical certificate is valid for 12 months, so this will give you a longer validity period whilst training.
Additionally, by completing your medical prior to training, you will become aware of any health issues or risks before commencing training.
If you are undertaking general aviation training with an instructor, you may not need your aviation medical right away. Ask your instructor if this is the case. If so, you may be able to apply for your medical aviation examination part of the way through your training and then submit it to CASA with your licence and training documentation. Your instructor can advise you on this based on your circumstances, training and classification of medical certificate.
What Do You Need to Bring to an Aviation Medical Examination in Australia?
You should bring your Aviation Reference Number (ARN), your pilot look book and 100 points of identification. If you have prescription eye wear, bring your eye wear with you. You should bring details of any medication that you are taking, as well as any test results from eyesight, hearing or otherwise that could be relevant.
How Much Does an Aviation Medical Examination Cost in Australia?
This is a popular on our list of ‘FAQs about Aviation Medical Examinations in Australia. Depending on what doctor or clinic you visit, an aviation medical examination in Australia can typically cost between $250 and $300.
How Long is an Aviation Medical Examination Appointment in Australia?
You should expect your aviation medical examination appointment to take approximately 45 minutes to one hour. If you need additional testing, or if you incur wait times, this time allowance may increase. You can discuss your appointment time with your doctor or clinic at the time of booking.
Can A Pilot Wear Glasses in Australia and Pass an Aviation Medical Examination?
Yes. Please bring your prescription details and eye wear to your appointment. Your eyesight is part of your assessment as part of the aviation medical examination.
What Else Should I Know?
We hope this helps you answer some FAQs about aviation medical examinations in Australia!
We’ve also compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!
Chat with one of our flight training specialists to get your pilot training off the ground. Email [email protected] or go to https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.