The programmes implemented by the Aviation Medicine Section fall into two categories: ongoing and special programmes. Ongoing programmes focus on increasing the awareness of the relevance and importance of aeromedical contributions to modern civil aviation. This entails the provision of technical support to Contracting States as well as holding seminars and giving lectures on trends and developments in Aviation Medicine in various regions of the world.
Another important ongoing task of the Section is the updating of the medical provisions in Annex 1 – Personnel Licencing (see Chapter 6 on Medical Provisions for Licensing) and the revision of the Manual of Civil Aviation Medicine (Doc 8984). The Section has undertaken studies on topics such as the prevention of problematic use of psychoactive substance in the aviation workplace, the medical aspects of flight crew fatigue, upper age limits for flight crew members as well as the implications of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in civil aviation. Based on these studies, the Aviation Medicine Section has made recommendations to the Air Navigation Commission and changes to the relevant ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices have been made.
Special programmes are carried out to study topics arising out of new trends and developments in Aviation Medicine. For example, a study group concluded its work on laser emitters and flight safety, resulting in new Standards and Recommended Practices for the use of laser emitters in navigable airspace, especially in the vicinity of airports, which became applicable in 2003. With the help of the study group, a new Manual on Laser Emitters and Flight Safety (Doc 9815) has been published.