If your job requires you to drive a vehicle on airport airside property, or you are starting a job like this soon, then you will already be familiar with the importance of an airside driving medical. An airside drivers medical is a type of compulsory medical examination that is required to drive a vehicle on airport airside property. The purpose of the medical is to ensure that the driver is fit to drive on the airside, in regard to both their physical and mental wellbeing, and will typically involve a physical and visual examination, as well as a questionnaire and the opportunity to discuss your ongoing health with a medical professional.
To help you prepare for your upcoming airside driving medical, there is some essential information below.
Who needs an airside driving medical?
This medical is required for all airport personnel who are authorised to drive airside vehicles. This includes access areas, loading areas and runways and includes those who drive class 1 (less than 3.5 tonnes) or class 2 (over 3.5 tonnes) vehicles. The medical will generally need to be renewed every 3 years as a basic requirement, but these requirements can change depending upon the airport that you work at, the age limits of the vehicle you are driving, and your current state of health.
What does an airside driving medical involve?
The key purpose of an airside driving medical is to assess the capability of a driver to safely operate a vehicle in the airside environment and to ensure that only drivers who are fit to operate vehicles are allowed to do so. For example, any driver with impaired hearing or vision, or who is on medication that may affect their driving ability, would not be allowed to drive on the airside.
The medical assesses the physical and cognitive abilities of the driver, such as vision, hearing, colour perception, coordination and reaction time, as well as assessing the medical history of the driver to ensure that they are fit to drive. The medical also checks for any medical conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions which can affect the individual’s ability to safely drive a vehicle in the airport environment.
Airside medicals can also serve as a useful opportunity for general health advice. The practitioner performing the medical will be able to discuss the physical requirements of the job with you and offer general health advice relating to keeping fit for your job. They will also be able to refer you to a GP, optician or another medical specialist if treatments are required before you return to work.
Top tips to prepare for your medical
Getting ready for an airside driving medical can be a daunting task, but it’s important to ensure that you are fully prepared for the examination. Here are some steps you can take to make sure you’re ready for the appointment:
- Before the examination, research the requirements for airside driving and make sure you understand what is expected from you and whether you need to tell the medical practitioner anything about your health.
- You will need to bring any relevant medical documents to the appointment, particularly ones that detail any previous medical conditions or treatments you’ve received in the past.
- Make sure any required documentation is ready for the appointment. This could include your passport, driver’s licence, and any other related documents depending upon the requirements of your workplace. It is also advisable to find out whether you need to fill in any paperwork before the appointment.
Ultimately, airside driving medicals help to ensure the safety of all individuals present in the airside environment by making certain that only drivers who are fit to operate vehicles are allowed to do so. Now that you have all of the information about what’s involved in an airside driving medical, all that is left to do is book your appointment.
If you are ready to book in for your airside driving medical test you’ll need to contact your local aeromedical centre, such as Heathrow Medical. Based at Heathrow Airport, Heathrow Medical is a provider of health services and specialist aviation medicals, including airside driving medicals.