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

CASA today published a summary of consultation that appears to clear a pathway for the regulator to introduce a self-assessment medical standard.

Public consultation–conducted between 27 October and 17 November last year–revealed that out of a mammoth 849 responses, 73% on average supported the Class 5 medical proposal.

"A significant proportion of supportive responses did not include detailed comments, leading to a more pronounced visibility of negative written feedback," the summary states.

"However, these negative opinions, while valuable for identifying potential areas of concern, represent a minority viewpoint.

"Many respondents see it as a positive change that will make flying more accessible for certain members of the aviation community."

The Class 5 proposal envisages a self-assessed medical for pilots that meet the criteria and operate under certain restrictions and limitations that the regulator says are designed to mitigate risk. 

Among the dissenting comments were:

  • a two POB limit was too restrictive especially for families
  • the need to better understand the control mechanisms that would mitigate the reduced risk mitigation of the medical assessment
  • the unreliability of self-assessment in determining medical fitness for pilots.

"The overall positive reception of the proposed scheme suggests that the aviation community supports the efforts to simplify the medical certification process," CASA states.

"However, the feedback also underscores the need for us to ensure that operational limitations, control mechanisms, and the efficacy of the self-assessment process have been addressed."

CASA will now finalise the Class 5 legislative instrument and is expected to have applications for the new medical standard available on the myCASA portal in the new few weeks.

The outstanding issue relating to Class 5 is access to CTA, which is the subject of a different discussion paper. If Class 5 is approved for CTA, it is expected pilots flying on an RAAus RPC will also gain access to CTA, given that they already operated on a self-assessed medical standard.

The full Class 5 responses summary is on the CASA Consultation hub website.

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