Korean J Aerosp Environ Med.  2014 Apr;24(1):1-4.

Medical Status of Civilian Pilots Over 60 Years of Age

  • 1Aeromedical Center, Korean Air, Seoul, Korea


In 2009, the Republic of Korea accepted ICAO’s changes to Annex 1 and extended the retirement age of civilian pilots from 60 to 65 years of age. From medical examination data submitted to the Aerospace Medical Association of Korea for the issuance of aviation medical certification in 2012, data for pilots over 60 years of age has been reviewed. A total of 216 pilots (3.5%) over 60 years of age applied for the issuance of aviation medical certificate in 2012 and the average age for the 223 pilots is 61.6±1.4. Among the 216 pilots, 126 (58.3%) pilots were determined to be fit for a flight, 89 (41.2%) were determined to be waiver, and 1 pilot (0.5%) was determined to be unfit. The research shows that civilian pilots over 60 years of age have a higher rate of waiver than pilots below 60 years of age, which also indicates the higher probability of in-flight incapacitation. Therefore, age, health conditions, flight experience, development of flight environment, and aviation safety should be considered first and foremost when making aviation medical decision on civilian pilots over 60 years of age.


Aviation medical examination; Medical certification; Civilian pilots; Senior pilots
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