Civil Aviation Authority rule change

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Thursday 18th January 2018

Today the Civil Aviation Authority announced that they would change their rules to enable people living with HIV the ability to gain the necessary medical license to train as a Commercial Airline Pilot.

The news followed a successful campaign which gained public and political support, including the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, who wrote to the Civil Aviation Authority to ask them to end this discrimination.

HIV Scotland worked closely with a pilot, known as Anthony, to highlight the discrimination he had faced which prevented him from taking up his place on an EasyJet training programme. We worked with journalists and politicians to bring the story to light, which has led to this successful outcome.

Following on from this, we will work with the CAA to support a permanent change to the European Regulations which caused this discrimination in the first place.

Nathan Sparling, Head of Policy & Campaigning at HIV Scotland commented:

“We were extremely pleased that the Civil Aviation Authority recognised that their rules and medical evidence in relation to HIV were outdated. We welcomed their announcement that they will begin to issue the relevant Class 1 Medical Certificates with a restriction as a temporary measure until the European Regulations are permanently changed.

“This is an important step towards ending HIV-related stigma, and will ensure that people living with HIV who want to become pilots will not be discriminated against solely because of their status. It is because Anthony came forward with his story that the CAA is now taking a more sensible and realistic approach, which 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 that you can expect for air travel.

“Whilst this is an immediate temporary solution, we recognise that more work needs to be done to ensure the European Regulations are amended to reflect these advances in treatment for people living with HIV.

“HIV Scotland has been proud to work with Anthony in this campaign, and we appreciate the support of everyone who got involved, including the First Minister. We look forward to continuing to work with everyone concerned to ensure that people living with HIV who want to become pilots can pursue their dreams.”