UK introduces new rules for pilots and air traffic controllers living with HIV

New rules for pilots and air traffic controllers living with HIV introduced in the UK

The UK Civil Aviation Authority, with the support of the Terrence Higgins Foundation, the National AIDS Foundation and the British HIV Association, has released a new set of rules for pilots living with HIV to help keep them flying without interrupting their careers.


Officials said that pilots living with HIV will undergo a medical examination to obtain and continue to maintain their licenses in the UK. In doing so, they confirmed that with timely HIV diagnosis and antiretroviral therapy, there is a much lower risk that the pilot will suffer from diseases that could affect his ability to fly the aircraft safely. 

This is an important milestone in the global assessment of HIV. This means that there is now a much cleaner way for pilots diagnosed with HIV to obtain unlimited medical certification — Class 1 — In Great Britain. For some pilots living with HIV, this will also reduce the need for additional testing. The guidance also applies to class 3 medical certificate applicants who work or wish to work in the air traffic control system. 

Another pioneering step — a six-month period has been announced during which any pilot or controller who has not declared HIV-positive status in the past when applying for a certificate can fully trust the Civil Aviation Authority and correct their record. However, you do not need to notify your employer.

Anyone who does so within the six-month period will not be penalized for false reporting.  The regulatory body's medical team will conduct health screenings with applicants in accordance with new guidance to ensure their medical information is accurate and up to date.

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