ESAM Unplugged...the May 2013 President's blog

Sorry for the period of ‘radio silence’ recently. I have been very busy with my daughter’s wedding in Scotland (photos of me wearing a kilt are available for those with a strong constitution !). Plus I organised the meeting of the Association of Aviation Medical Examiners at King’s College in April, which certainly kept me busy. Between these I spoke at the AMABEL meeting in Brussels on an AME’s experience of the new EASA regulations, which seemed to be well received.


I have just returned from attending the AsMA meeting in Chicago, a very beautiful city, and as ever, a very well organised and high quality congress. The usual ESAM Wednesday session was titled ‘ESAM UNPLUGGED’ and the presentations were made without the ‘comfort blanket’ of Powerpoint, due to exorbitant proposed charges for AV kit. It was an interesting experience! The session was well attended and started with Dr Ewan Hutchinson, Head of the UK CAA Aeromedical Centre, presenting their experience of implementing the EASA rules in September 2012, followed by my presentation of an AME’s experience. This was followed by a lively discussion. The third presentation was from our Vice President, Dr Anthony Wagstaff, who talked about Aeromedical Risk assessment and the validity of a numerical benchmark, including the 1% rule. These presentations will be posted on the website shortly, for those who were unable to attend. I am grateful to the speakers for their courage in foregoing the usual visual support. The feedback from the audience was encouraging.

The 1% rule and the wider concept of aeromedical risk assessment and benchmarking cropped up in a number of sessions during the course of the conference, and there will be a full panel in San Diego next year on the topic. At the now customary ESAM/AsMA Exec. Team luncheon on Thursday I proposed a joint ESAM AsMA working party on the topic, which was welcomed.

Our next EC meeting is in Paris on 14th and 15th June at premises kindly arranged by Vincent Feuillie. Amongst other things, we will discuss the General Assembly in September this year, which will be held in Friedrichshafen on Sunday 15th September, immediately following the joint Austrian/German/Swiss conference being held on the preceding days. This congress will be in the German language, though the organisers are planning to hold the Saturday afternoon session in English, to encourage those of us who are not so good at German, to attend in order to get additional benefit from the journey to what I am told is an interesting venue. I hope as many of you as possible will be able to attend our General Assembly as this is an important opportunity each year to meet with your colleagues from across Europe, and engage in the work of your Society. The election for President elect will be held at the meeting, and I am very happy to confirm that I will be standing for a second term of office.
And finally to the money. A gentle reminder that annual subscriptions are now due and the discount for early payment ends on 31st May. You should have received your invoice from our Treasurer Carla Ledderhos, but if not, or if there is any other difficulty with the payment, then please contact us without delay.