FAQ aviation medicals

CASA medicals ‘went digital’ in 2016 with the ‘MRS2’ (Medical Records Online 2). You will complete an online questionnaire prior to attending your medical, and the DAME will ‘see’ the replies and complete the medical from their DAME MRS access. The only exception to this are pilots seeking a basic class 2 who need to print off their medical questionnaire and bring it to the clinic. Pilots seeking a standard class 2 will need to complete the MRS2.

We submit your medical to CASA the same day as your medical, or as soon as we get the blood results back. Dr Dick Beatty will normally revalidate your certificate (an ‘extension’), whilst CASA issues you the new certificate within 2 weeks of the medical. Both your revalidated and final certificates are emailed to you from CASA.

The CASA age-related tests  for Class 1 & 3 licenses are: Blood tests (serum lipids & blood sugar), Audio & ECG.

Eye Examination by a designated examiner (usually a designated aviation optometristor DAO) is required on the initial Class 1 & 3 and then regularly after the age of 60.

Here is the link to the CASA age related tests. Note that the tests are based on your age on the day of the medical.

Class 2 Medicals do not routinely require any age-related tests.

Prices in October 2020 for fasting blood glucose and lipids varied from $80 to $220 across the two major pathology providers.

Ask our doctor where to go!

All the Standard tests (if needed) may be provided on site:

  • ECG
  • Audiology screening (hearing test)
  • Blood Tests (across the carpark)

Ah, you’ve clicked on an important question that crops up frequently!

There seem to be the issues:

  • Most medicals are straightforward but there may be age-related tests as designated by CASA (see separate FAQ). The age related tests often include blood tests – and it won’t be possible for the DAME to submit the medical until the results are reviewed.
  • Occasionally something unexpected crops up at a medical. Though most pilots & controllers will fear this possibility, the truth is that most issues can be resolved as long as there is time to do so. The DAME may need to contact CASA or get more information. A referral to a specialist will clearly take time. Look at something simple – the blood pressure being up a bit. That’s usually just a bit of white coat hypertension and a 24 hour BP is likely be needed. Doing all this at the last moment is likely to add to the stress.

There is the following small print. The DAME extends the medical certificate for 2 months so that CASA send out the new medical certificate. The date of extension will be up to:

  • When the medical examination date is between 1 & 28 days before expiry of the medical, the medical certificate is revalidated for 2 months following the date of expiry of the medical. The most common scenario.
  • If the medical has already expired (less than 3 months ago) the certificate may be revalidated for 2 months following the date of the medical examination or
  • If the examination is more than 28 days before expiry: 2 months following the date of the medical examination. This is the least common scenario but there’s nothing stopping you getting your medical done 3 months in advance although it will push forward your next medical by the same timeframe.

So the perfect answer is to get the medical done 2-4 weeks before expiry! 1 week OK and 1 day not ideal! 1-2 months before is also OK for the super-organised.

In the real world, 2-4 weeks beforehand is great, 1 week should be alright, and 1 day not ideal!

How long are the Medical Certificates Valid for? Please note that medical certificates may be issued for a shorter time frame.

Class 1 Medical Certificate is valid for one year.
Class 2 Standard Class 2 Medical Certificate is valid for four years, for applicants less than 40 years of age on the day of issue, and in all other cases for two years. Basic Class 2 is valid for five years, for applicants less than 40 years of age on the day of issue, and in all other cases for two years.
Class 3 Medical Certificate is valid for two years.

Are you under a specialist? If so, bring along the most recent letter(s), and the most recent blood tests or radiology results.

Have recent blood pressure readings been high, or is your blood pressure high only when it’s checked at medicals (White coat syndrome)?  All DAMEs are aware of the anxiety over a medical causing artificially high BP readings – as long as the BP is repeated a few times with the DAME guiding you as to correct arm posture and muscle relaxation then the BP normally settles down.  The DAME can otherwise arrange a 24 hr BP which is only a minor cost or inconvenience.

  • Class 1 license: if impaired for 7 days
  • Class 2 (private pilot) & Class 3 license: if impaired for 30 days

Thankfully, the majority of pilots will of course be determined fit to fly without any issues.

In Europe and New Zealand, the aviation medical doctor signs off the medical certificate at the time of the medical.

Australia has filed “differences” under ICAO in having a centralised system for issuing medical certificates. What this means is that the DAME does not issue the medical certificate but the medical section of CASA does. This surprises both both pilots new to Australia, & surprises Australians new to flying. What the DAME does do, however, is to extend the license for a couple of months so that CASA have the time to send out the new license. This is termed revalidation of the medical certificate.

Thankfully, the system is electronic and becoming streamlined from 2015. I have heard from a senior source that from some time in 2015 there is planned to be a new CASA system for issuing the medical certificates which will speed up the process further and potentially allow the pilot to print off the emailed certificate.

You pay The CASA processing fee via the CASA MRS online portal.

The Aviation Medical Centre is located in Cleveland at South East Medical, shop 6/145-147 Queen St, Cleveland QLD 4163

Absolutely, Dr Dick Beatty would be delighted to arrange a basic class 2 medical for you.

Please bring photo ID and a copy of your most recent aviation medical certificate.

Bring along a copy of any investigations or blood tests you’ve had done in the last 3 months.

If an applicant wears contact lenses or glasses when they fly, they are required to bring their spare pair of glasses with them to their aviation medical examination – this can’t be emphasised enough because the CASA medical requires your eyes to be tested with both your normal and your spare pair!