The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has written to Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester urging him to consider removing the requirement for private pilots to hold a Class 2 Medical Certificate.
In the letter dated 23 August which included an alternative medical policy that calls for private pilots to need only an AustRoads Unrestricted Private Drivers Medical standard with no need for routine medical examinations unless the pilot has one of several known conditions.
AOPA Executive Director Ben Morgan pointed out that the National Aviation Authority in several other countries had already examined the potential for reform.
"Over the past year aviation regulators in the United Kingdom, United States of America and New Zealand have all moved to reform their medical requirements for Private Pilots License holders, following extensive evidence based assessment and review," Morgan said.
"These reforms ... have been heralded by the global aviation community and are expected to breathe essential life back into the general aviation economies of each respective country.
"AOPA’s policy will help kick-start and re-invigorate private flying activity within the general aviation industry, which will result in increasing demand for the varying support services whilst creating valuable jobs and opportunities for small business across Australia.
"Australia’s general aviation industry is calling on you as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport to direct CASA to adopt the AOPA proposed policy without delay, sending a clear message of support to our industry and the small businesses who rely on it."
Other particulars of the AOPA policy include:
- the medical would not apply to flights in aircraft with an MTOW over 2500 kg
- no more than five passengers could be carried
- pilots would have to make a statutory declaration of medical standard once up until the age of 70 and every three years after 70
- pilots who fail to meet the standard could apply for a medical certificate via a DAME
- IFR pilots would need to see a DAME every four years under the age of 40 and every two years after that
- NVFR pilots would be included under the proposed medical standard.
Morgan stated in the letter that the current practices of the Aviation Medical Branch (AVMED) have damaged general aviation, which the AOPA policy seeks to correct.
"Our membership have demonstrated that a high number of Australian private pilots are being subjected to unfair and unreasonable medical assessments by CASA AVMED which has removed fit and healthy pilots from Australia’s general aviation community and subjected thousands of pilots to unnecessary delays and expense regarding medical assessment.
"In consideration of our membership feedback and moves by international regulators, AOPA Australia has produced a clear Proposed Policy position on Class 2 Private Pilot Medical Certification ..."
Read the full AOPA proposed policy on the link below.