Identifying Pilots with Parkinson’s Disease

In 2012 the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare produced a report titled ‘Dementia in Australia.’ The report noted that the number of people with dementia in Australia would reach almost 400,000 by 2020. Australia is a jurisdiction which does not impose a mandatory retirement age for pilots. With an aging population it was hypothesized that conditions such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) were likely to be seen more commonly by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). It was decided that this was an appropriate time to retrospectively study the data held by CASA. An interrogation of CASA databases was undertaken. Data was produced comparing percentage of Class 1 certificate holders over 60 years of age against time. A cohort of pilots and controllers with PD was identified. The history of the cases was reviewed. The study confirms that the pilot population is aging in line with population trends. Over a period from 1992 to 2012, 22 cases of pilots and controllers with PD were identified. The study confirmed that PD will be of increased relevance over the next decade. Gaps between policy and practice managing past cases were identified. Updated guidelines have been published aiming to address the deficiencies identified in the study. Historically pilots and controllers have been able to maintain certification for an average of 3.75 years. This information should be of benefit to clinicians, pilots, and controllers when considering occupation and treatment options.


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  • Accession Number: 01601746
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 2016 4:59PM