CAA restricts commercial pilots with HIV to multi-pilot operations

The UK CAA has issued a statement about Class 1 medical certification for pilots who have contracted HIV.

Andrew Haines, CAA Chief Executive said:

“The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is committed to being one of the most progressive aviation authorities in the world.  We have often led aviation regulatory changes that have enabled pilots with medical conditions to keep flying, most recently in our ground-breaking work on insulin-treated diabetes.

“We have also been responsible for writing international guidelines on pilots living with HIV and have been promoting the need for changes to the current regulations regarding the restrictions applicable to pilots with certain medical conditions, including HIV.

“In relation to HIV, we have made representations to EASA, which is the governing body responsible for medical standards, and asked them to undertake the necessary rulemaking activity and associated research without delay, that we hope will lead to a permanent change to the current regulations.

“We recognise that this research will take time and we will continue to offer our full support to this work in any way we can.

“In the meantime, the CAA will issue initial Class 1 Medical certificates with a restriction to multi-pilot operations to applicants wishing to become commercial pilots, subject to the applicants passing their Class 1 Medical assessment.”

Pilots’ union BALPA welcomed the statement. BALPA Head of Flight Safety, Dr Rob Hunter, said, “This rule change is a step in the right direction and will help correct nonsensical and outdated rules which are needlessly preventing potential pilots from achieving their dreams.

“We hope that EASA will now follow the example of the CAA and make permanent changes to the rules. At the same time we believe all medical conditions for which a multi crew limitation is applied should similarly be eligible for initial class one certification.

“Essentially pilots should not be barred on administrative or bureaucratic grounds as the only thing that matters in becoming a pilot is ability to fly.”

More about HIV on the CAA website here