GPs to issue certificate for new European Pilot Licence

General practitioners (GPs) in the UK will be able to assess the fitness of pilots applying for the new pan-European Light Aircraft Pilots Licence (LAPL). The licence, which comes into effect on 17 September 2012 as part of major reforms to pilot licensing across the EU, will only be valid if the applicant holds a valid medical certificate. In the UK this can be obtained from his or her GP.
As previously, however, only GPs with specialist training in aviation medicine, approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as Aeromedical Examiners (AMEs), will be able to issue medical certificates for other types of pilot licences, such as the Private Pilots Licence.

The UK CAA is providing guidance on its website for GPs on the specific requirements of the LAPL assessment, see www.caa.co.uk/medical. Pilots will also be able to download this information to give to their GP on the day of their assessment. Assessment forms will be sent to the CAA electronically.

If it transpires the applicant has a significant medical history or condition which has not been reviewed previously, the GP can refer the application to a specialist AME. A referral form will also be available as part of the web-based application process.

Dr Sally Evans, Chief Medical Officer at the CAA, said: There are around 40,000 private pilots in the UK, many of whom may be interested in obtaining this new European licence. GPs need to be aware of the changes taking place in pilot licensing across Europe as they may well affect some of their patients.

The new Light Aircraft Pilots Licence is being created by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as it begins the process of harmonising pilot licences in Europe. More information on this process is available on the CAA website - www.caa.co.uk/eupilotlicensing.
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