The Civil Aviation Authority has updated its rules allowing people living with HIV to become pilots for the first time.

The Authority has made the temporary change to issue aeromedical certificates until the European regulations are permanently changed, following criticism in December after it emerged a British man, named only as ‘Anthony’, had been refused a medical certificate to fly and fulfill his ‘boyhood dream’ of becoming a pilot.

In a letter to Scotland’s First Minister, the Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority, Andrew Haines, said:

“We recognise that significant progress has been made in recent years in the management of HIV infections and we support a rule change in this area, where medical evidence shows that it is safe to do so. We have made representations to EASA, which is the governing body responsible for medical standards, and asked them to undertake the necessary rulemaking activity and associated research without delay.”

Responding to the news today, Nathan Sparling, Head of Policy & Campaigning with HIV Scotland said:

“This is a massive win for people living with HIV who want to become pilots. It is because Anthony came forward with his story that the CAA is now taking a more sensible and realistic approach. The decision brings the UK’s aviation policy up to date with medical evidence that recognises the important advances in treatment for HIV, whilst maintaining the same high level of safety you can expect for air travel.”

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