Aviation professionals, from pilots to cabin crew and air traffic controllers, have a responsibility for thousands of lives throughout their careers. For a market which boasts two of the largest international airlines in the world, the UAE counts a high number of employees who require a valid medical certificate while flying.
Medcare Hospital and Medical Centres, which now offer Aviation Medicine Services, can conduct these medical exams to ensure aviation professionals are at their peak fitness levels. Here are some handy tips for those set to schedule their exam:
Understand the possible outcomes (three scenarios):
Firstly, the expected outcome for a physical examination is that the medical certificate will be issued, so long as the professional meets all the standards.
A second possibility is that the aviation medical examiner (AME) issues a denial letter revoking current medical privileges. If the professional is able to present documentation confirming that the disqualifying medical condition has been resolved or is being controlled in a safe manner, a medical certificate may be reissued.
The third potential outcome is a deferral. This may cause a delay, but with the AME’s permission, and until the current medical certificate lapses, flying may continue.
Take your exam early
If a medical condition arises that requires additional information, obtaining that information may take a few days. Scheduling an early exam allows sufficient time to gather the required details before a medical certificate expires.
Bring glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids
As when taking a driving test, individuals who use glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids should bring them along to the examination which allows the examiner to authorise flying with a limitation on the medical certificate needed to pass the exam.
Rest up and eat well
Ahead of an exam, aviation professionals should avoid high-sugar meals, caffeine, and tobacco. Meals high in sugar may cause an erroneous result that may raise a flag for diabetes, caffeine increases patients’ heart rates and tobacco usage may result in temporary shortness of breath, with both increasing the chance of abnormalities showing on the ECG.
Contact an aviation medicine specialist with questions
Aviation medical examiners are highly knowledgeable and often have many years of experience as medical professionals. Most questions, particularly if this is the first medical examination a patient has experienced, can be answered competently and simply during a brief consultation.
* The writer has been recently accredited as a general aviation medical examiner by the General Civil Aviation Authority and is authorised to carry out aviation medicine services for all airline personnel
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