The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced planned changes to medical requirements for PPL and NPPL holders to be introduced in late summer 2016. In most cases, these will bring cost and time savings for pilots and remove the need for GP or AME involvement. The changes will not apply to pilots with commercial licences or those displaying at airshows.
After the introduction date, the medical requirement for UK PPL and NPPL licence holders, and private balloon pilots, will be to meet the same standard as that required to hold a DVLA Group 1 Ordinary Driving Licence and pilots will be able to complete a form on the CAA website to declare that they meet the DVLA medical standard. Existing medical options (for example a UK declaration with GP counter signature) will remain available.
Under the changes, which will be published in a new version of the UK Air Navigation Order, pilots under age 70 will need to complete the CAA website form once, while pilots over 70 must confirm their declaration every three years.
Currently pilots with an NPPL are required to comply with DVLA Group 1 or 2 standards and have their self-declaration of fitness countersigned by their GP. Holders of a UK PPL currently need an EU class 2 medical or the NPPL medical requirements if they only use the privileges of an NPPL licence.
The change follows a public consultation, in which 96 percent of those responding agreed with the proposal. It is supported by a study of the risks associated with GA flying and a review of the causes of light aircraft accidents and the likelihood of these being triggered by a pilot being medically incapacitated.