Australia Liberalizing Medical Certification


Following a path similar to the FAA’s BasicMed, Australian pilots without paying passengers will now have the option of a Basic Class 2 medical, which can be issued by a general practitioner. “In the interests of public safety, it is important that pilots meet relevant medical standards, but the system must not make unnecessary demands and should meet the needs of the aviation community,” says Shane Carmody, CEO and Director of Aviation Safety for the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Unlike the FAA and BasicMed, CASA didn’t create their own checklist for doctors. Australian doctors will certify pilots for a Basic Class 2 medical under the existing Austroads commercial vehicle driver standards. The Basic Class 2 will be valid for five years up to age 40, and two years above age 40. Pilots will be limited to day VFR conditions, in piston airplanes, with up to five non-fare-paying passengers. Like the FAA, CASA does not consider a student to be a passenger, so flight instructing is permitted with a Basic Class 2.

Carmody hints at more medical certification improvements in Australia’s future. “CASA will now continue to review the aviation medical system to identify possible improvements in areas such as using medical data more effectively, further streamlining processes, further reducing CASA involvement in medicals and harmonizing with global best practices. It is CASA’s role to maintain appropriate aviation safety standards but the requirements must not unnecessarily burden Australian aviation and hinder development and growth.”