Tuberculosis (TB) remains an important communicable disease in New Zealand.

There are 350 – 400 new reported cases per year for an incidence of 6.6 per 100’000. In recent years the incidence rate has been higher than those in Australia, the United States, and Canada, and slightly lower than the rate in the United Kingdom.

Student pilots from regions where tuberculosis is endemic are commonly training at New Zealand flying schools and MEs should remain alert to this condition when examining applicants. The GD 'Timing of routine examinations' stipulates when a routine chest Xray should be undertaken.

Timing of routine examinations [PDF 500 KB]

The Civil Aviation rules Part 67 stipulate that an applicant must not have, to an extent that is aeromedical significance: 'an infection, unless adequate treatment or resolution or both is demonstrable'.

ICAO specifies that applicants with active pulmonary tuberculosis shall be assessed as unfit; and

Applicants with quiescent (no evidence of active disease) or healed lesions which are known to be tuberculous, or are presumably tuberculous in origin, may be assessed as fit.

Information to be provided

  • A chest X-ray on the first occasion that an applicant presents with a history of treated tuberculosis;
  • Copy of any treating physicians reports relating to the history of tuberculosis;
  • In case of doubt regarding resolution of the infection, a recent respiratory physician report;
  • In the case of tuberculosis undergoing treatment, a recent respiratory physician report.


  • An applicant with a history of past tuberculosis that has been successfully treated and who is suffering no sequelae may be assessed as having a condition that is not of aeromedical significance;
  • An applicant with active disease or currently undergoing treatment should be assessed as having a condition that is of aeromedical significance.