Spring blog, AsMA conference and sunshine

The unusual spell of exceptionally warm weather (for the UK !) seems to have come to an end, and a rainy day gives me a chance to blog about the AsMA meeting, held in Atlanta,Georgia, in mid- May.
As usual it was a very well organised and well attended meeting , with over 1400 delegates, with a very high proportion being ‘overseas’ visitors. The scientific content was excellent, and all the delegates I met had a good time. I certainly did. We had a very well attended session on the certification of the diabetic pilot requiring insulin over Wednesday lunchtime. The session titled “Sugar and Spice…and all things diabetic” was opened by Dr. Ries Simons who gave an overview of the ESAM position. Professor Felice Strollo gave a very thought provoking presentation on the metabolic syndrome, contrasting the risks of this condition with those of a pilot with diagnosed diabetes mellitus. The position of SOFRAMAS was presented by Dr. Rene Germa, generating some controversy amongst French colleagues in the room. Dr Pooshan Navathe presented the experience of the certification of diabetic pilots in the Australian jurisdiction, and Dr Stuart Mitchell of the UK CAA outlined the evolving policy on the subject in the UK. His talk included some video clips of pilots self-testing blood sugar in various cockpit environments…including an R22 helicopter! Last, but not least, Dr Elena Cataman presented the experience of pilots with diabetes in Russia, on behalf of Prof Victor Kniga, who was unable to attend. Overall it was an informative and interesting session with good feedback from those who attended. Roland looked resplendent wearing his Presidential badge. It demonstrates that ESAM should not be shy of controversial topics when good science can be contributed to the debate. On Thursday lunchtime Roland, Elena, Gabor Hardicay and I met over lunch with the Executive team from AsMA. This was a positive and productive meeting, further strengthening the bond of co-operation between the two organisations. We hope that AsMA will be well represented at ECAM2012 in November. And so, of course, I cannot finish without mentioning ECAM2012. You can now register on-line or by post and fax, and a number of delegates have already done so. The discount rate will end on 30th June. BOOK NOW !! I hope as many of you as possible will come to London in this, the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic year, to join the European Aerospace family in celebration of the achievements of your Society.