• Aviation medical standards in Australia have been under scrutiny for years.
    Aviation medical standards in Australia have been under scrutiny for years.

The new Class 4 medical standard is unlikely to be introduced this year as CASA waits for the Class 5 post-implementation review to be done in early 2025.

Class 4 is not a self-declared medical standard, but requires an examination by a general practitioner rather than an aviation medical examiner. 

Class 4 will come with some operating restrictions, which CASA says it will determine based on the experience with the Class 5 self-declared medical standard.

"A potential Class 4 medical standard could replace the existing Class 2 Basic," a CASA spokesperson said yesterday. "It would require a GP medical examination and would permit more operations than Class 5.

"The nature of the operations that would be permitted will be informed through industry consultation, risk assessments and the post implementation review of Class 5."

Class 5, which began in February, came with several operational limitations, including:

  • private operations only
  • MTOW must be 2000 kg or less
  • VFR by day only
  • no IFR
  • must not operate above 10,000 feet AMSL
  • no more than two people on board
  • must not use a CASR Part 61 operational rating
  • no aerobatics
  • no formation flying
  • must operate wholly within Australian territory.

"We’ve noted your feedback on the need to keep looking at the operational limitations and we’ll continue to gather safety and risk data to inform future decisions on whether we can remove or relax the restrictions," CASA CEO Pip Spence said at the time Class 5 was implemented.

"We’ll be conducting a post-implementation review in 12 months’ time as well as continuing to work on a Class 4 certificate that will create more operational flexibility with the involvement of a GP."

Once the new regime is in place, the hierarchy of medical standards is likely to be:

  • Class 1 - CPL, needs a DAME medical
  • Class 2 - PPL, needs a DAME medical
  • Class 3 - ATC
  • Class 4 - PPL or RPL needs a GP medical, but would have some operational restrictions
  • Class 5 - PPL or RPL self-declared, needs no medical, but would come with some restrictions.

CASA is currently silent on the medical standard needed for Class 4, but a direct replacement for Class 2 Basic would mean using the unconditional commercial driver's licence standard.

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