The UK CAA’s Head of Medical Policy, Dr Stuart Mitchell, has said that pilots applying for a Class 2 or LAPL medical examination during November’s lockdown may be breaching Government regulations.
What’s more, Dr Mitchell admits that the CAA is monitoring the activity of AeroMedical Examiners (AMEs) on a weekly basis to identify such cases.
In a letter to AMEs, Dr Mitchell says, “Class 2 and LAPL leisure/sport pilots cannot decide that it is up to them whether to have a Class 2 or LAPL medical… Our advice to you as AMEs is that such pilots should not be attending medicals at this time.”
Dr Mitchell goes on to point out that there are a small number of exceptions in the Department for Transport’s guidance on GA activities such as urgent flight/engine tests.
“We would not want any AMEs being accused of colluding with anyone seeking to breach the regulations.”
This is despite other medical examinations such as eye tests and dental checks being allowed to go ahead. The Government’s Coronavirus advice also states that “You can leave home for any medical reason.”
A spokesperson for the CAA said, “Under the Government’s current COVID-19 lockdown regulations, the public are required to stay at home and to avoid meeting other people except for specific purposes. We have therefore advised Aeromedical Examiners (AMEs) to not carry out Class 2 and LAPL medical examinations for private pilots during the lockdown. AMEs can still carry out examinations for professional pilots and air traffic controllers as both parties will be undertaking work or a work-related activity.
“Although the lockdown regulations allow members of the public to attend some medical appointments for ‘medical needs,’ it does not allow medical assessments for leisure flying. If a pilot thinks they have an urgent need for a Class 2 or LAPL medical examination (and cannot utilise the Civil Aviation Authority’s Online Medical Self-declaration System) they can make a written case to our Medical Department which will consider it in consultation with the CAA’s General Aviation Unit.”