The Indian Air Force is modifying its medical norms for pilots and new applicants by striking off a number of abnormalities or ailments from the list that deemed pilots to be medically unfit for flying.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 64th International Congress of Aviation and Space Medicine on Monday, Air Marshal Pawan Kapoor, Director General Medical Services (Air), said no evidence was found that spinal deformities like Schmorl's nodes affect flying, though it was earlier thought that it may lead to fracture in case of ejection or other such situations, PTI reports.
"We are looking into those issues and taking out a new order for commissioning, selection and flying purposes and they will be declared fit (for flying)," Air Marshal Kapoor said referring to spinal deformities. "There are 10-12 ailments which have already been taken off. Rest are in the pipeline and decision is likely in next 7-10 days," he said.
And with new medical technologies and better drugs available for treatment, several ailments like asthma, diabetes, coronary heart diseases, and hypertension may also go off the list, according to the report.
The Medical Board of the Air Force has also removed 19 drugs like anti-diabetics off the list which were earlier considered as a "taboo" for flying.
He said while medical approval has been taken, an administrative approval is awaited and the process will be done without compromising with flight safety.
The Air Force had formed a committee comprising spinal surgeons, neurosurgeons, physicians, radiologists and it was concluded that there is no evidence to show these spinal deformities can affect flight safety and physical capability and conditioning of the pilots.
Certain abnormalities like disk degeneration will be taken up on a case to case basis, Air Marshal Kapoor added.
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