Dubai - Experts at the Burjeel Medical Aviation Congress have noted that musculoskeletal conditions continue to be a leading cause of temporary loss of medical licence among pilots in the region, followed by other medical and surgical conditions. The Congress, held under the patronage of the General Civil Aviation Authority of the UAE, provides a forum for healthcare professionals and experts to discuss the latest developments in aviation medicine.

According to Dr. Erik Hohmann, Chairman of the Congress and Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Physician at Burjeel Hospital, Dubai, a total of 1,233 incapacitations were reported in the UAE alone between 2018 and 2021. Dr. Erik emphasised that musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, back pain, joint pain, and injuries can cause pain, stiffness, and restricted mobility, which can impair a pilot's ability to perform their duties safely. In such cases, the regulator temporarily suspends the pilot's license to prioritize passenger safety.

Dr. John Chalkley, Specialist Doctor – Aeromedical, Qatar Airways, emphasised the importance of ensuring the safety of pilots and other aviation professionals in the constantly evolving aviation sector. He suggested that regular screenings and awareness can help identify potential issues promptly and that aviation professionals should have access to resources to manage their mental health.

The Burjeel Medical Aviation Congress is an annual event in Dubai that brings together aviation medical experts and professionals to discuss issues related to aviation, particularly aviation medicine. This year's highlights included talks by Dr. Chalkley on the role of the airline medical department during the 2022 FIFA World Cup and by Dr. Andrew Foggitt, Consultant Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Surgeon at Burjeel Hospital, Dubai, on the common foot and ankle problems faced by aviation professionals.