December 2, 2021

Category 4 medicals

Jon Robinson

— Cynthia Murphy, Director, Aviation Operations, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association 

Many pilots are experiencing delays in the processing of either new or renewal medical certificates. However, there are a few things you can do to make the process as smooth as possible. For a Category 4 renewal, apply early, at least 60 days prior to the expiry date of the medical certificate. Be sure to submit your application electronically, either via email or epost. As medicals are processed by region, so make sure to send the form to your TCCA Regional Service Centre, not to Civil Aviation Medicine. AIM 1/2022 will be updated to contain the website with contact information for the regional offices, which can be found here.

A Category 4 medical is an acceptable means, but not the only means, to validate a: Student Pilot Permit (all aircraft categories, see NCR-117-2020), a Glider Pilot Licence, a Recreational Pilot Permit (Aeroplane) and an Ultralight Aeroplane Pilot Permit.

A number of exemptions have been put in place with respect to Category 4 Medical since the start of the pandemic, with the intent of minimizing delays.

Exemption NCR-014-2021 – This exemption allows applicants attempting the Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot or ATPL exams to write the required exam(s) with a Category 4 medical certificate. This exemption is valid to January 31, 2022.

Exemption NCR-037-2021 – This exemption allows applicants attempting the Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot, or ATPL skill requirement to hold at least a Category 4 medical certificate. This exemption is valid to February 28, 2022.

Exemption NCR-117-2020 – This exemption allows for a physician signed Category 4 Medical for a SPP Helicopter, Gyroplane and Balloon. This exemption is valid until November 30, 2025.

You can find these exemptions listed here.

It is important to note that CAR 401.03 (1) states “…no person shall act as a flight crew member or exercise the privileges of a flight crew permit, licence or rating unless:
(c) the person holds the appropriate medical certificate; and
(d) the person can produce the permit, licence or rating, and the certificate, when exercising those privileges.”

This means that you must have received your Category 4 medical certificate from Transport Canada, prior to exercising the privileges it affords. A Category 4 medical can be used by student pilots, who are awaiting a higher level medical, to continue training by writing exams or attempt a skill requirement with the Category 4 medical.

(Photo: Adobestock)