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South Africa: Summit on Aviation Medicine Training and Research Programme
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Friday, April 25, 2014
Country: South Africa
Created: Apr 25, 2014

They were joined by 15 other doctors, who received certificates to become designated aviation examiners, in line with international civil aviation requirements.

“As passengers, we need to know that the air crews are fit and healthy. Regulation is clear in this regard. No aviation licences are issued without evidence that the holder of the licence meets the medical requirements for aviation fitness.

“However, as we all know, in the specialised field of medical examiners, the necessary training is not found at every university.

“Air travel is also exceptionally reliable. It is as safe, as secure and as environmentally responsible as it has ever been since the early days of powered flight,” Minister Peters said.

CAA Director Poppy Khoza said although aircraft may fail occasionally, human error has proved to be the major cause of aviation accidents.

“The human component I am referring to accounts for more than 70% of aviation accidents. Piloting a commercial airline plane has consistently been rated as one of the top five stressful jobs.

“Aircrews are required to maintain a high level of physical and mental fitness and are legally required to assess their medical fitness in order to carry out their professional duties,” she said.

South Africa currently has an estimated 260 designated aviation medical examiners that have undergone initial training to remain on the system. The aviation medical examiners are expected to undergo continuous training in order to effectively service the entire South African licensed personnel.

These designated aviation medical examiners oversee an estimated 22 000 licensed aviation personnel (pilots and cabin crew) and this number excludes air traffic controllers, who are required to have medical certificates.

Since 2004, a total of 216 designated medical examiners have been trained through the partnership between the Institute of Aviation Medicine, CAA and the University of Pretoria.

However, this excludes the 67 students who have graduated in the BSc. Honours in Aerospace Medicine programme.
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