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Simplified medical for European pilot licence

Non-specialist medical doctors will be able to assess the fitness to fly of pilots applying for the new pan-European Light Aircraft Pilot's Licence (LAPL) in the UK, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

The CAA says that the LAPL, which comes into effect on 17 September as part of major reforms to pilot licensing across the EU, will only be valid if the applicant holds a valid medical certificate, but in the UK this can be obtained from a general practitioner.

For the full European private pilot's licence (PPL) or commercial licence, however, it remains a requirement that the approving medical doctor should be qualified as an Aeromedical Examiner.

The UK CAA points out that it provides guidance on its website for doctors about the specific requirements of the LAPL assessment, Pilots can download this information to give to their GP on the day of their assessment.

If the applicant has a significant medical history or condition that has not been reviewed previously, the GP can refer the application to a specialist AME.

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 LAPL is being created by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as it begins the process of harmonising pilot licences in Europe.