The CAA recently held a Stakeholder event at Gatwick, which was attended on our behalf by Dr Clare Hunter. The meeting was set up, at short notice, to inform us of some changes which will impact on our practice, which will be brought in within the next few months. Formal notification from the CAA medical department will be sent to each AME in due course.
At the meeting, which had limited attendance, the following information was given:
1. New model for AME working: – in line with the EASA legislation, all AMEs will be required to take sole responsibility for all pilots (including Class 1)
- the EASA model appears to be set part way between what has historically functioned in the UK and in France – France currently has no independent Class 1 AMEs – they are all within Aeromedical Centres (the UK currently only has 3 AMCs but envisages that more will develop in time).
- the AMA advice service to certificate holders will cease to exist altogether
- a mini call centre, only for the use of AMEs will remain
- the current timeline for this is unknown but is expected to be within the next 6-8wks
- certificate holders can still contact the CAA but only by mail and for complaints regarding their AME, or appeals
- it is envisaged that by ending the service to certificate holders, this will free up more time to support AMEs & enable quicker processing of the caseload which the legislation requires the CAA (Authority Medical Section) to be involved in.
- it is hoped that, in the near future, AMEs will also be able to carry out the majority of Class 1 casework without needing to involve the CAA
- it is a longer term goal to improve the support to AMEs for Class 2 & LAPL medicals, though, this is currently not a priority
- it was mentioned that perhaps the AAME may have a wider role in supporting AMEs, in particular, to those newer to the role.
2. AME Audit schedule: – in line with the EASA legislation, all AMEs will be inspected every 3 years on a rolling basis
- this will start from October 2014
- all overseas AMEs will be liable for the T&S budget associated with this, however, every effort will be made to combine as many visits as possible in the same trip so as to minimise costs.
We will give full details as soon as they are available, but felt you would want to be pre-warned to avoid it being too much of a surprise. The committee will meet in mid October to discuss the implications, not least being the expectation that AAME will provide more support for AME, and the feasibility of this within our existing resources.
In addition to these changes, as some of you will already know, the CAA has started a consultation process on the possible outsourcing of medical services. Details are available on the CAA website.