ABOVE: The CAA has been reviewing the PMD scheme to ‘improve the user experience’ and identify opportunities to ‘simplify and rationalise’ the licensing process

The Civil Aviation Authority has launched a consultation on a proposed final series of changes it says will ‘improve and strengthen’ the Pilot Medical Declaration (PMD) system for GA pilots.

The Pilot Medical Declaration, which allows license holders to fly a G-registered aircraft in UK airspace, was introduced in 2016 to ‘offer pilots a simplified way to self-declare to the UK Civil Aviation Authority that they are medically fit to fly’.

However, after initially reviewing the PMD scheme in October 2022 and again in March 2023, the CAA has proposed a number of changes. According to Michael Macdonald, Co-Head of General Aviation & RPAS, final proposals generated by an internal working group represent “some moderate measures” in the way pilots self-declare their fitness. “We continue to support PMD as a useful and proportionate tool to enable pilots in their flying,” he emphasized.

Proposed changes include removing the psychiatric medication aspect for those who fly aircraft with a maximum take-off weight up to 2,000kg, removing the 2,000-5,700kg MTOW category completely, and allowing student Sailplane (SPL) and Balloon Pilot License (BPL) pilots to use a PMD for supervised solo flights. Guidance material for pilots and GPs will also be introduced.

The consultation on the second phase review, which will run for eight weeks, will close on 4 January 2024. Responses can be submitted via the online ‘Citizen Space’ portal here.