CAA outlines future plans for its Medical Dept
Posted: 27 February 2015 | The UK Civil Aviation Authority
Following a public consultation, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed it is committed to exploring options for the way it currently provides medical services to the aviation industry…
Following a public consultation, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed it is committed to exploring options for the way it currently provides medical services to the aviation industry. One of the options could see the outsourcing of its AeroMedical Centre to a suitable private sector provider. No timetable has yet been set for any changes, however.
In the consultation the CAA had set out its goal for its Medical Department to operate more efficiently by focusing on its core duties. The CAA’s current view is that best practice would also be improved by separating a service delivery function from the body that regulates that function. The AeroMedical Centre (AeMC), based at the CAA’s Gatwick headquarters, provides initial medical examinations for trainee commercial pilots and air traffic controllers. There are currently three other approved providers of this type of service.
The CAA said it would also consider outsourcing some of the activities of its Authority Medical Section (AMS) and Aviation Health Unit (AHU), although no firm decision had yet been taken. The AHU provides health advice to passengers, the aviation industry and healthcare professionals on all aspects of flying, while the AMS, amongst other things, undertakes assessments of the fitness of pilots and ATCOs to return to flying after illness, and oversees the network of AMEs.
The CAA’s objectives are set out in its feedback on the consultation process, which ran from October to December 2014. A total of 40 responses to the consultation were received, from a range of stakeholders, including, individual pilots, unions, trade associations and healthcare professionals.
In its conclusion, the CAA highlighted its duty to be efficient and to spend proportionately, providing safety is not compromised. The CAA’s view is that scope exists to resource the Medical Department in a more efficient manner benefiting service users and securing its long term future.