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BALPA welcomes CAA’s move on ‘nonsensical’ HIV medical rules

BALPA has welcomed the announcement from the CAA that it will issue initial Class 1 Medical certificates to applicants with HIV, who want to become a commercial pilot, as long as they meet certain criteria. This addresses an inconsistency in the rules which meant that those who develop the condition after getting a medical certificate or their licence, are allowed to continue their career, whereas new applicants with HIV were turned away.

Earlier this month BALPA wrote to EASA (the European Aviation Safety Agency), who enforce these restrictions, asking it to undertake a thorough review of the rules. The CAA has now announced it too has contacted EASA and asked it to ‘undertake the necessary rulemaking activity and associated research without delay’.

The CAA confirmed that while it awaits permanent changes to the rules, it will issue HIV positive applicants a Class 1 Medical certificate, with a restriction to multi-pilot operations, subject to the applicants passing their Class 1 Medical assessment.

BALPA Head of Flight Safety, Dr Rob Hunter, said:

“This rule change is a step in the right direction and will help correct nonsensical and outdated rules which are needlessly preventing potential pilots from achieving their dreams.

“We hope that EASA will now follow the example of the CAA and make permanent changes to the rules. At the same time we believe all medical conditions for which a multi crew limitation is applied should similarly be eligible for initial class one certification.

“Essentially pilots should not be barred on administrative or bureaucratic grounds as the only thing that matters in becoming a pilot is ability to fly.”

The CAA announcement can be found here