Sep 29, 2020
To become a licensed pilot or an air traffic controller in NZ, you must have a NZCAA Medical Certificate. There are three types of medical certification, each for a slightly different application. As part of this medical assessment process you will undergo a physical medical examination carried out by an approved medical examiner (AME). Read on for more detailed information on getting your aviation medical certificate in New Zealand.
Types Of Medical Certificates
There are three types of aviation medical certificates in New Zealand:
Class 3 Medical Certificate. The Class 3 certificate is required by air traffic controllers. These medicals are very similar to the ones pilots have to sit however the periods between renewals differ slightly. You need to get your class 3 medical certificate before you enrol in your air traffic controller training course.
Class 2 Medical Certificate. The Class 2 certificate is for those wanting to get their private pilot’s licence (PPL) or for skydivers. This medical certificate is rated with IFR or without.
Class 1 Medical Certificate. The Class 1 certificate is for those wanting to get their commercial pilots licence. When you get a Class 1 medical certificate, you automatically get a Class 2 so sometimes it can be more cost effective to just go for the Class 1.
Getting Your CAA ID Number
Before applying for your medical certificate the first thing you need to do is apply for a 5 digit CAA ID Number. You can download the form here and send the form to the CAA at . This process may take up to 2 – 3 working days. A scanned copy of your photo ID (passport or NZ drivers licence) will be required when applying for a CAA ID number.
What Is The CAA Application Fee?
After you have received you CAA ID Number you will need to pay the medical certificate application fee. The CAA Application fee ($120.75) must be paid in full before attending your medical examination. It is paid directly to the CAA and is to cover the cost of processing your application.
How To Book Your Medical
You will need to choose and approved medical examiner (see list below), it is necessary to call ahead to the practice directly to book your aviation medical. It is recommended to book at least 6 weeks before it expires or is required. This will allow time for CAA clearance processing and any medical issues to be addressed.
Things To Take With You
- Photo ID (driver’s license or passport)
- Glasses or contact lenses (only if you are required to wear these)
- The CAA Application Form (The application form is your responsibility, but your medical examiner will need to witness you signing the form on its last page).
- The transaction number from your CAA application payment – see CAA Online Payment
How To Find An Approved Qualified Medical Examiner
The CAA website has a full list of the approved medical examiners in New Zealand. If your intended doctor is not on this list then it is likely they are not an approved medical examiner for pilots, only an approved medical examiner can sign off the medical certificate. For a quick reference here is a brief selection of the approved medical examiners in NZ.
- Dr J M Lapish 027 276 5812 Ardmore Airport
- Dr A M C Drane 09 256 3924 Auckland Airport
- Dr H Hundal 09 256 3924 Auckland Airport
- Dr N A Emslie 09 256 3924 Auckland Airport
- Dr S T Ooi 021 158 7335 Auckland Airport
- Dr M A Hawkins 09 279 0460 Botany
- Dr S Selvakumar 09 262 2011 Manukau
- Dr D K F Lee 09 950 7351 Pakuranga
- Dr J C Nelson 027 474 9956 Pakuranga
- Dr R M D Batt 09 377 4427 Parnell
- Dr A Wiles http://www.remueradoctors.co.nz/pilot-medicals Remuera
Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo
- Dr A W McMenamin 07 345 6627 Rotorua
- Dr N G Poskitt 07 345 6627 Rotorua
- Dr J G Brownless 07 576 4883 Tauranga
- Dr J G Peckett 07 575 3073 Mount Maunganui
- Dr P R Battersby 07 378 4080 Taupo
Gisborne, Napier, Hastings
Hamilton, Te Awamutu
New Plymouth, Palmerston North
Wellington, Kapiti, Wairarapa
- Dr D Payne https://www.pacificmedicalexams.com/pilot-medicals/
- Dr M L Ford 03 379 4715
- Dr A J Dowle 027 544 9347 Merivale
- Dr G Van der Hulst http://www.specialistmedicals.co.nz
- Dr R R Prasad 03 464 0044 Dunedin
- Dr R M Morton 03 489 5135 Mosgiel, Dunedin
- Dr A C Costello 021 798 758 Invercargill
- Dr S Sparrow 03 441 0500 Queenstown
- Dr B J Johnston 021 569 882 zqn.pilotmedicals@gmail Queenstown/Wanaka
- Dr C Kevern 03 443 0710 Wanaka
- Dr J L Davies 03 443 0725 Wanaka
How Long Does A Medical Take?
The medical will usually take somewhere between 30 -45 minutes, with a further 30 minutes to an hour required to complete the associated paperwork. To save time make sure you fill out the four page application form before you arrive (see link to form below).
What’s Included In A Class 1 Medical?
All aviation medicals require a physical examination and a health assessment. The physical exam will include eyesight checks (both with and without your contacts/glasses), hearing checks, and a basic physical exam (ears, nose, throat, height, weight, pulse and blood pressure), blood tests (fasting period required) and a psychiatric screening.
Further tests such as ECG’s, audiograms, optometrist reports, spirometry and blood tests may be required at certain ages or if the doctor seeks further investigation of a pre-existing condition. See the CAA website for more specific information on the examination procedures for a pilots medical.
It is helpful to have the blood test, audiometry, and eye reports done before your medical particularly if you know there are issues present but it is not necessary, they can be done afterwards. You will however need to provide a urine sample, so make sure you are prepared.
Medical Issues That May Prevent The Issue Of An Aviation Medical Certificate
Each case is assessed on an individual basis taking into account all contributing factors, however these are some of the likely medical issues that may prevent the issue of an aviation medical certificate.
- A coronary artery bypass or stent
- Angina pectoris
- Bipolar disease
- Diabetes requiring hypoglycemic medications
- History of heart attacks
- A permanent cardiac pacemaker
- Alcohol/Substance abuse
- Alcohol/Substance dependence
Please Note: Asthma does not prevent you getting an aviation medical certificate providing it is well controlled, it will be necessary to regularly undertake a bronchodilator spirometry at each medical though.
How Long Is A Medical Certificate Valid?
The length of time a medical certificate will last depends several factors including whether you hold a commercial or private pilot’s licence, age, ongoing medical conditions but as a general guide:
- Class 1 (commercial) certificates last for 12 months (until age 40 years when a medical is then needed every six months)
- Class 2 medical certificates are valid for 5 years (until age 40 when it then becomes every 2 years)
How Much Does A Class 1 Medical Cost?
This is detailed in the fees information from the CAA and is subject to change and the total cost varies as it depends on what is required but as a general guide (as at January 2020):
- Medical Examination and Certification $310.00
- Resting ECG $65.00
- Audio $85.00
- Spirometry – plain $85.00
- Spirometry – bronchodilator $95.00
- CAA Application Fee $120.75 (cost associated with processing your application)
- CAA Audiometry $100 – $120
- CAA Eye Exam $180 – $280
- Blood Test $82.50
Do I Need To Report Any Changes In My Medical Condition?
The short answer is, yes. You are legally required to report any changes in your health or any new medical conditions that may interfere with your ability to fly an aircraft safely to the CAA. And you must stop flying until the condition is resolved.
What Changes Medical Conditions Should I Report?
Anything that has the potential to interfere with aviation safety constitutes a notifiable medical condition. This includes but is not limited to:
- Any condition that results in behavioural changes
- Any condition that could lead to an increased risk of incapacitation (whether sudden or gradual)
- Any condition that results in a reduction in physical or cognitive capacity
- Any condition that may alter your ability for sound decision-making, or attention span
Medical Certificate Forms And Useful Links
- CAA Application For Medical Certificate
- CAA Approved Aviation Medical Examiners In NZ
- CAA Accredited Optometrists
- SkyCert (online company assisting with online applications for medical certificates)
CAA Medical Renewals
If you are renewing your pilot medical certificate then the process is quite similar. You will need to pay the application fee online before your medical examination. Choose your CAA approved GP, provide your CAA participant number and take note of the receipt number to give to the GP. You will also need to fill out the medical certificate application form.
CAA Medical Certificate Replacements
You cannot get a replacement medical certificate from your doctor, a replacement can only be issued by the CAA. Here is the form for a replacement medical certificate.