Staff Writer cityXtra Magazine
A man from Glasgow, Scotland was denied a medical certificate to become a commercial airline pilot because of his HIV positive status.
The man, profiled by the BBC and who wished to remain anonymous, was offered a position on EasyJet’s training program. Then the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) refused to grant him the certificate.
According to European regulations, certain medical conditions, such as being HIV positive or having type 1 diabetes, prevent the CAA from granting medical certificates.
‘I had started to accept the diagnosis’
Anthony, as the BBC refers to the anonymous man, got his private pilots license at 17.
When he received his HIV diagnosis three years ago, the CAA told him he would still be given the medical certificate but would have to fly with a co-pilot.
He then passed all his assessments with EasyJet, before being denied.
Anthony revealed he thought being HIV positive didn’t prevent people from doing anything anymore.
‘I had started to accept the diagnosis because of that,’ he said.
The sudden reversal left him ‘very confused’ and ‘disappointed’.
Could there be a rule change?
Now, various organizations are looking into this rule and the possibility of changing it.
HIV Scotland is calling for a rule change, and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is considering it.
So is CAA, which is responsible for aviation safety regulations within the United Kingdom.
A spokesperson for CAA said in a statement: ‘We support a rule change in this area, where it is safe to do so, and will continue to work with EASA and HIV experts to reassess this regulation, with a view to enabling applicants to obtain an initial Class 1 medical certificate.’
They acknowledged rule changes take time, but because of ‘the availability of new HIV medications’, it must be fully considered going forward.
EasyJet also supports this course of action. They said: ‘We welcome the CAA’s support for a rule change where it is safe to do so.’