The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (“SHGM”) has published the Directive on Aviation Personnel Medical Flight Test and Work Environment Assessment (“Directive”) on November 10, 2021. As per the Directive, the purpose of stipulating the rules and procedures for the medical flight test or work environment assessment to be carried out for aviation personnel who cannot meet the medical requirements or who meet them at the border, but whose illness does not prevent them from performing their duties in accordance with the legislation and may have the desired safe performance level.
The Directive includes flight crew members, cabin crew members, air traffic controllers and other aviation personnel working in the field of civil aviation, as well as authorized doctors, flight surgeons, aviation medical centers and medical assessors, supervisors and control pilots participating in medical flight testing or work environment assessment.
Firstly, the Directive defines medical flight test (“TUT”) as a hands-on flight for aviation personnel who cannot meet the medical requirements or at the border, but whose illness is deemed by the physician who performs the aviation health examination as “do not prevent them from performing their duties in accordance with the legislation and may have the desired level of safe performance". The TUT must be conducted by a medical assessor or flight doctor authorized by the General Directorate and a control pilot who has experience in the applicant's license or certificate privileges.
On the other hand, the work environment assessment (“ÇOD”) is defined as the medical assessment in which the skills and experience of the special health condition are reported at the place of duty for aviation personnel who cannot meet the medical requirements or at the border, but whose illness is deemed by the physician who performs the aviation health examination as "do not prevent them from performing their duties in accordance with the legislation and may have the desired level of safe performance". The ÇOD must be conducted by a medical assessor or flight doctor authorized by the General Directorate and a control pilot who has experience in the applicant's license or certificate privileges.
In addition, it is stipulated that per the provisions of the Directive, TUT or ÇOD can be performed for aviation personnel who are not able to meet the medical requirements specified in this Directive or are considered to have met at the border because of the aviation health examination carried out according to the articles of the Aviation Health Directive published on 15/06/2017.
It has been regulated that the applicant should be referred to a branch specialist related to his disease in order to be considered for TUT or ÇOD, and these include an assessment of the character of the disease as a result of the examination of the relevant branch specialist.
Moreover, for applicants who do not meet the medical conditions at the border, the relevant branch specialist, flight doctor, and medical assessor inform that the applicant's illness will not pose a problem during the performance of their aviation duties, provided that the applicant is convinced that he/she can perform his duties with a safe and secure performance and demonstrates compliance with the legislation; they may request a skill and experience assessment with TUT and ÇOD within 90 days. The purpose of the TUT and ÇOD is to ensure the applicant's capacity to perform their duties without violating flight safety.
It is explained that TUT is mostly made for pilots with PPL, LAPL, UPL, SPL, BPL, UAV 2 and UHA3 licenses in the medical conditions specified in this Directive where the medical standards are met or not met at the border, or in case of any medical condition where modification of aircraft controls is possible. In addition, it has been stated that pilots holding ATPL, CPL, MPL licenses can only be subjected to medical flight test in limited medical situations specified in this Directive, since the modification of the commercial aircraft controls used can be made less frequently.
Also, it is stipulated that the TUT and ÇOD, which are suitable for the applicant's faults, are carried out to help the person understand that he/she can work in adverse conditions as well as in normal conditions. For this reason, TUT and ÇOD include emergency operations, adverse weather conditions, marginal or simulated marginal situations such as night or dawn, which are likely to have problems due to the applicant's current illness. In addition, in the Directive, the points to be considered for the TUTs to be made in real flights are also regulated.
Additionally, it is stated that logical simultaneous tasks are given during the TUT and ÇOD to scale the applicant's ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. All elements of TUT and ÇOD have been observed and evaluated by the employed persons who participated in the applicant's testing, and that additional testing or assessments may be added if deemed necessary.
Further, the requirements for TUT and ÇOD will guide in identifying the applicant's skills and limitations. If the applicant's skills are compared with those of the flight observer, the physical characteristics of the relevant flight observer are considered normal. If not, the applicant should be referred to another flight observer.
Finally, the Directive regulates matters related to the personnel who will carry out TUT and ÇOD and the evaluation of the diseases for which TUT or ÇOD can be made. The general titles of these diseases are extremity deformity or absence, hearing defect, speech defects, visual defects, color vision, cardiology, metabolic and endocrine system, mental health, genito-urinary system, oncological diseases.