As a mark of the success of the EAG’s Advanced Aviation Medicine (AvMed) Course, the 100th student to complete the Course graduated at a Ceremony held at Royal Air Force Henlow in the UK, on 26 October 2018. The Ceremony marked the completion of the 14th AvMed Course, which began in Paris, France, on 17 September and it also coincided with the end of the 36th Meeting of the EAG AvMed Coordination Board.
As an indication of the impact and relevance of the Course, it now trains senior medical staff not only from the EAG Nations, but also from associated partner nations. As well as students from France, Germany and Italy, the 14th Course included students from Sweden and the USA, along with the 100th student, who was also the first doctor to attend the Course from the Czech Republic.
As a mark of the diversity of the EAG’s AvMed activities, the Graduation Ceremony included presentations by the graduating students, about transgender aircrew considerations, and the comparison of military and civilian aircrew medical requirements – ophthalmological.
Preceding the Ceremony, the 36th AvMed Coordination Board Meeting took place at Henlow, on 24 and 25 October. The Board meets twice each year at various locations on a rotation basis and is a central policy-making and activity body in what is a highly successful and mature interoperability domain for the EAG.
This 36th Board Meeting, which was warmly hosted by the Centre of Aviation Medicine of the Royal Air Force, focused on the next step to create a virtual AvMed network, to promote closer cooperation across a range of specialist areas. Several other policies were also discussed, including medical training related to Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) operations, flight surgeon qualifications and training, flight crew licensing and aeromedical exam frequency, and Reduced Oxygen Breathing Device and Hypoxia training.
The Board, whose origins stem back to 2001, oversee the AvMed Course and is a unique forum where information is shared among AvMed specialists throughout the EAG’s network, in order to identify areas where interoperability can be developed and finalized to produce tangible results. The AvMed Technical Arrangement was signed by the Chiefs of Staff of the seven EAG Air Forces in 2005 and now provides the legal framework under which the Board operates. The Board comprises one or more specialist representatives from each participating nation, and plans and supervises its business under the authority of the AvMed TA.
The next EAG AvMed milestone will be the 37th AvMed Coordination Board Meeting, which is scheduled to take place on 03 and 04 April 2019 in Italy. The 15th AvMed Course is provisionally scheduled to take place in the second half of 2019.