Australia Looks At Driver's License Medicals

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Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Agency (CASA) is considering "driver's licence" medical requirements for private pilots who want to fly mainly recreationally. However, there would still be some medical standards to be met beyond simply carrying a valid D.L. In a newsletter, CASA Director of Aviation Safety John McCormick said pilots would still need a note from their family doctors declaring their medical fitness to drive a car but after they got that they would email CASA and carry the declaration with them while flying. CASA also appears to be much less restrictive when it comes to aircraft than the joint AOPA/EAA proposal now before the FAA.

McCormick says the general guidelines CASA are considering would allow driver's license medicals for aircraft up to 3,300 pounds day VFR and "generally with one passenger." There are no horsepower or equipment limitations (like retractable gear and constant speed props) mentioned by McCormick but they could end up in the final rule. There's also no indication what exemptions might be considered for the single passenger aspect. He stressed the proposals are preliminary but they are moving along. "I look forward to being able to announce some positive news later in the year," he wrote.