A General Direction is a notice we issue after consultation, which specifies requirements for applicants of a medical certificate.

Emergency Directive: Relief from the General Directions – Examination Procedures and Timetable of Routine Examinations

13 Jan 2022

This Emergency Directive is issued in response to the situation created by COVID-19, and in particular, the inability to safely undertake some aspects of ear, nose and throat examinations and eye examinations in [Levels 2, 3 and 4 or Framework levels Orange and Red] of the COVID-19 alert and traffic light system.

This Emergency Directive is necessary to provide relief from certain requirements of Civil Aviation Rules 61.35 and 65.25, without compromising civil aviation safety.

Emergency Directive: Relief from the General Directions – Examination Procedures and Timetable of Routine Examinations [PDF 256 KB]

Timetable for Routine Examinations

15 Nov 2021 (effective 3 Dec 2021)

Please see General Directions (GD) for Timing of Routine Examinations below. Under section 27G of the Act, the Director may, by notice in the Gazette, issue general directions in relation to specifying the requirements of examinations, including the medical content, reporting requirements, interpretation and analysis or other clinical matters.

The GD for Timing of Examinations has not been updated since 2009. Some changes from the 2009 GD include amending various schedules, the removal of the requirement to undertake spirometry for first general examination for a Class 2 or Class 3 certificate and introducing a requirement to undertake spirometry for Class 1 applicants at age 55 who have smoked in the past 5 years, instead of age 46 and 56 for those who have ever smoked.  The revised GD’s also include the introduction of a special vision examination for Class 1 and Class 3 applicants from age 50 onwards, as vision issues are common beyond this age.

Notification of General Direction 2021

In accordance with section 27G(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1990, General Direction – Timetable of Routine Examinations.

These General Directions (GD), Timing of Routine Examinations, is an updated revision of the published 2009 GD of the same name. Changes from the 2009 GD are:

  • Amended schedule of ECG recordings for Class 1, 2 and 3 applicants as medical evidence generally does not support routine screening by ECG;
  • Amended schedule of cardiovascular assessments for all classes, as the CVR estimation calculator used provides a 5-year risk estimation;
  • Amended schedule of blood glucose and blood lipid determination for all classes, to generally, coincide with CV risk estimation;
  • Amended schedule of formal audiometry assessments for all classes, as a well conducted voice test can reliably detect hearing loss that may be of aeromedical significance. This, excepted for applicants aged over 70 when the scheduled is increased;
  • Removal of the requirement to undertake spirometry for first general examination for a Class 2 or Class 3 certificate;
  • Requirement to undertake spirometry for Class 1 applicants at age 55 who have smoked in the past 5 years, instead of age 46 and 56 for those who have ever smoked; and
  • Introduction of a special vision examinations for Class 1 and Class 3 applicants from age 60 onwards, as vision issues are common beyond this age.

General Directions for Timing of Routine Examinations [PDF 500 KB]

Emergency Directive: Relief from the General Directions – Timetable of Routine Examinations

22 Oct 2021

This Emergency Directive is issued in response to the situation created by COVID-19, and in particular, the inability to conduct spirometry tests in Levels 2, 3 and 4 of the COVID-19 alert system. This Emergency Directive is necessary to provide relief from certain requirements of the Timing of Examinations General Directions, without compromising civil aviation safety.

Emergency Directive: Relief from the General Directions – Timetable of Routine Examinations [PDF 1.1 MB]

Draft timetable for routine examinations for consultation

26 Aug 2021

Under section 27G of the Act, the Director may, by notice in the Gazette, issue general directions in relation to specifying the requirements of examinations, including the medical content, reporting requirements, interpretation and analysis or other clinical matters.

The General Directions (GD) for Timing of Examinations has not been updated since 2009. Some changes from the 2009 GD include amending various schedules, the removal of the requirement to undertake spirometry for first general examination for a Class 2 or Class 3 certificate and introducing a requirement to undertake spirometry for Class 1 applicants at age 55 who have smoked in the past 5 years, instead of age 46 and 56 for those who have ever smoked. The revised GDs also include the introduction of a special vision examination for Class 1 and Class 3 applicants from age 50 onwards, as vision issues are common beyond this age.

The GDs will be posted for a four-week consultation period from 26 August to 23 September 2021.

Once the consultation period closes, we will compile the submissions, provide feedback and amend the GDs as necessary. We are aiming for an implementation date of 1 November 2021.

GD Timing of Examinations for consultation [DOC 459 KB]

Response sheet [DOCX 21 KB]

Draft General Direction withdrawn

09 Jun 2020

On 19 May 2020, the CAA consulted on a General Direction that enabled medical certificates with expiry dates between 26 March and 24 June 2020 to remain in force until 90 days following the original date of expiry.

Based on feedback the CAA received, together with recent evidence showing a high uptake of participants seeking aviation medicals, we feel the proposed GD is no longer required.

Emergency Directive: Expiration of Medical Certificates

27 Mar 2020

This Emergency Directive is issued in response to the situation created by COVID-19, and in particular, the increase to Level 4 of the COVID-19 alert system from 11:59 Wednesday 25 March 2020. This Emergency Directive is necessary to provide relief from certain requirements of Civil Aviation Rule Parts 61.35, 63.23 and 65.25, without compromising civil aviation safety.

Emergency Directive: Expiration of Medical Certificates [PDF 468 KB]

Emergency Directive frequently asked questions [PDF 226 KB]

Temporary medical conditions

This General Direction provides exceptions to the reporting requirements set out in section 27C of the Act for temporary medical conditions. It provides practical guidance on what temporary medical conditions are not necessary for medical certificate holders to report. These exceptions to reporting requirements only apply to participants who hold a current medical certificate. All other applicants must still disclose their medical conditions for the purposes of the medical examination referred to in section 27D (1) of the Act.

General Directions Exceptions for Temporary Medical Conditions [PDF 325 KB]

Colour vision deficiency

The General Direction on Colour Vision Deficiency sets the conditions for pilots who have a colour vision deficiency. It represents a shift in operational policy towards pilots with impaired colour vision, allowing these pilots to demonstrate competency through assessments and flight tests. This provides an opportunity to show they can operate an aircraft safely despite their vision deficiency.

It enables pilots with CVD to apply to undertake a new Operational Colour Vision Assessment (OCVA) and, if successful, remove restrictions on their Class 1 and Class 2 medical certificates. It may apply in certain circumstance to pilots with DL9 medical certificates.

Colour Vision Deficiency - General Directions Notice 2019 [PDF 8 MB]

Examination procedures

This notice provides the conduct of examinations, the reporting of their results, and to specify the requirements of examinations or other clinical matters.

Examination Procedures - General Directions Notice 2020 - effective 01 Feb 21 [PDF 22 MB]

PREDICT cardiovascular assessment tool

This letter gives approval for use of the PREDICT tool, which enhances the abilities of medical examiners assessing cardiovascular risk.

Director's approval for use of the PREDICT cardiovascular assessment tool [PDF 454 KB]

 Ask us about medical matters

If you have any questions about this topic, use our contact form, or email med@caa.govt.nz