caa medical

Who needs a CAA Medical and what to expect from it

If you are thinking of becoming a commercial pilot, before you can start your training you will first need to complete a Class One Medical Exam. This is an examination to check your level of fitness and health to ensure that you meet the standard medical requirements needed to operate an aircraft. If you pass this exam you will be issued with a Class 1 Medical Certificate and you’ll need to show this before you can start your commercial pilot training.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulates and implements medical requirements for private pilots, flight crew, cabin crew and air traffic controllers. Even if you already hold a commercial pilot licence, it will only be valid if you hold a class 1 medical certificate, as it is this which will show you are fit to fly.

Whether you are about to embark on your initial pilot training, or need to renew your class 1 medical, you will need to undergo a medical examination with a doctor who specialises in aviation medicine. The first thing to do is search for an approved AeMC such as Heathrow Medical Services so that you can use their aeromedical facilities to undergo your CAA medical examination. At Heathrow Medical Services we are an approved Aeromedical Centre (AeMC) and can perform and issue initial CAA Medical examinations as well as a wide range of other aviation and industry specific medicals.

Before you book your CAA Medical

If you are aware of any personal or family medical history that might affect your examination it is wise to mention it at the time of booking as you may need to bring documentation along with you.

You will also need to register with the CAA’s online portal and pay the CAA fee before your examination can be conducted – we recommend that you do this at least 10 days before your appointment.

The fees for your medical examination are also payable at the time of booking, so make sure you have a payment method handy when you book your appointment.

If you wear glasses or contact lenses make sure you bring these along to your appointment, together with your latest optician’s prescription and report. It is also advisable to drink water before your appointment as you will need to do a urine test, but please avoid caffeine. No food, drink or cigarettes should be consumed for at least 20 minutes prior to your test.

You may also be asked to complete an application form prior to your visit. This will include details on your medical history and whether you have ever been assessed as unfit or had a medical certificate revoked. If you are not asked to complete this before your appointment you will need to do it when you arrive.

At your CAA medical

You will need to allow around four hours for your class 1 medical as you will be examined thoroughly with the doctor conducting various clinical assessments including:

  • Medical history
  • Eyesight tests
  • ECG examination
  • Finger prick blood test – including Haemoglobin blood test and cholesterol test
  • Lung function test
  • Audiometry to test your hearing
  • Urine test
  • Physical examination
  • Saliva drug and breath alcohol testing

If you pass your medical examination then your CAA class 1 medical certificate can be issued on the same day. If there are any problems or follow up is needed, then it may take a little longer but we can advise you on this at the time. You will not be permitted to fly an aircraft or undergo commercial pilot training until you have the relevant class 1 medical certificate.

How long does a CAA Class 1 Medical last?

Once your Class 1 Medical Certificate is issued it is valid for 12 months dependent on your age being less than 40. However, if you are 40 or over and carry out single pilot commercial air transport operations carrying passengers or you are over 60, your certificate will be valid for 6 months.

Book your Class 1 Medical at Heathrow

We are a CAA approved Aeromedical Centre (AeMC) and can perform and issue initial CAA class 1 medical examinations from our medical centre based at Heathrow Airport. If you are looking for a class 1 medical at Heathrow then look no further. Our initial Class 1 Medicals are £607 including VAT and you can request an appointment with us online. Click here to find out more or book your appointment or call us on 020 8528 2633.

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