You must have a current aviation medical certificate to operate an aircraft in Australia (unless you have an exemption). There are different aviation medical standards. These are divided into different classes:
Class 1 is the highest medical standard available and allows you to conduct recreational, private and most commercial operations. ATPL, Flight Engineer and MCL must also hold a class 1 medical certificate.
A class 1 medical certificate is valid for one year.
Class 2 is the required standard for recreational and private operations. Certain commercial operations allow for the use of a class 2 certificate when passengers are not on board.
A class 2 medical certificates are valid for 4 years if you are under 40 years on the day of your medical examination; or 2 years if you are over 40 years.
Basic Class 2
A basic class 2 licence is an alternative to the class 2 licence. When operating an aircraft with a basic class 2 licence the following restrictions apply:
- you can only operate under the VFR by day up to 10,000 feet AMSL;
- you may carry a maximum of 5 passengers;
- you may only operate piston-engined aircraft;
- the MTOW is limited to 8,618 kg;
- you may not use any operational ratings (e.g. instrument rating); and
- you may not use any activity endorsements (e.g. aerobatics).
You need a Class 3 medical certificate to exercise the privileges of an Air Traffic Control licence or Flight Service officers licence.
A Class 3 medical certificate is valid for 2 years, unless otherwise advised.
Student Pilots – Solo Flight
A student pilot is authorised to pilot an aircraft solo if the student pilot holds a class 1 or 2 medical certificates (which is carried on the flight) unless an exemption is authorised by the CASA.
You must not fly if your ability to act efficiently is, or is likely to be, impaired due to illness or injury, no matter how minor it is.
If your impairment lasts for more than 30 days (7 days for commercial pilots) you must not fly until a DAME certifies that the impairment no longer exists.
CASR Part 99 lays out the requirements for drug and alcohol testing for safety-sensitive aviation activities, such as piloting an aircraft. This includes random drug and alcohol testing conducted for, or on behalf of, CASA.