Before you can become a pilot, it is important that you get a medical certificate. This certifies your suitability to start your pilot training journey. Without a Class 1 Medical, you will not be allowed to fly as a commercial pilot, which is why you should arrange for the certificate before you start your training.
How to get a medical certificate for pilot training in the UK
You can arrange for your medical certificate to be issued by an aeromedical examiner (AME). These are located all over the UK. To find out where your nearest AME is, use the Civil Aviation Authority's Medical Examiner Database Search.
Depending on which pilot licence you need the medical certificate for, you may even be able to submit a self-declaration. This is possible if you are seeking to obtain a UK Private Pilot Licence as for this, a Class 2 Medical is required.
Class 1 medical certificate
The Class 1 medical certificate is valid for 12 months for all pilots under 40 years of age (for pilots aged over 40 and carrying out single pilot commercial air transport operations with passengers and pilots over 60, the medical is valid for six months) and is a requirement for those wishing to complete their Integrated ATPL. The cost of a Class 1 medical certificate is approximately £600 and requires an active CAA Portal account where you can arrange your examination. During the AME examination, checks are carried out on the following potential pilot health restrictions:
- Heart and lung function
- Chest X-ray
- A hearing test for pilots is also part of the assessment
PPL - Class 2 medical requirements
Unlike Class 1, the Class 2 medical certificate is valid for 60 months for pilots under 40 and for 24 months for pilots aged 40-50. Again, the application process takes place online via the CAA portal (EASA Class 2 medicals are undertaken by EASA-registered AMEs). The cost of the Class 2 medical is approximately £220 for the initial issue, with revalidations costing around £150.
Do pilots need 20/20 vision?
As part of one of the physical requirements to become a pilot and included in your AME examination, your eyesight will be examined. Prospective cadets often worry that if they don’t have perfect vision, they can’t become a pilot, however, as long as your vision is correctable by contact lenses or glasses, you can still become a pilot.
For more information on how to obtain medical certificates to become a pilot, get in touch with our Pilot Careers Team. Or if you have already obtained your medical certificate and are looking for a pilot training provider to complete your qualifications with, have a look at our different pilot training courses. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, L3Harris have trained many pilots and through our airline partnerships which have evolved over the years, L3Harris cadets have the unique opportunity to form valuable industry connections with pilots whilst still in training, which benefit them throughout their entire careers.