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Pilot and ATCO Aeromedical Fitness

This call for tender addresses research proposals for the development of new health safety standards for flight crews and air traffic controllers.

Lot 1 - HIV-Positive Pilots
Lot 1 failed and will therefore not be part of the research project.

Lot 2 - New Treatments and Diagnostic Measures for Cardiovascular Diseases (tender evaluation ongoing)
New technologies have been released on the market that provide for improved curative or supportive treatments in terms of medication and supportive equipment (implantable or external) that highly improve the quality of life for cardiac patients. Some types of equipment, although performing very well on the ground, are potentially affected by the inflight conditions such as humidity, vibration, pressure, and temperature, which may lead to inflight malfunctions (be it a regular flight or the case of sudden cabin decompression). The study of such types of equipment will have an impact on crew members, particularly on their fitness to perform their duties, but also on passengers that have such devices, even if flying only occasionally. In a similar way, new treatments have been developed to alleviate certain pathological conditions; nevertheless, for some of these treatments the side effects may be further augmented by the cabin environment to the level of making them incompatible with flying. In the case of medication, the issue has a greater impact on the fitness of crew members rather than of occasional passengers.

Lot 3 - Diabetes mellitus (tender evaluation ongoing)
New diagnostic measures are being developed that allow continuous and reliable blood glucose monitoring, as well as new treatments with a less hypoglycaemic profile (oral anti-diabetics) and automated insulin pumps that allow them to monitor the glucose level and deliver the required insulin dose in an automated way. However, it is difficult to assess the risk of hypoglycaemia/hyperglycaemia of pilots/ATCOs during the performance of their duties, and the sensors used by the new equipment may be affected by both cabin pressure changes and the cabin environment. No research studies are yet available to assess the possibility of the safe use of such equipment in the aviation environment in order to alleviate fitness requirements for pilots/ATCOs with such pathology.

For all information and status on the call for tender related to the project, please visit EASA.2021.HVP.25.