A British man has been prevented from becoming a commercial airline pilot because he is HIV-positive, according to a BuzzFeed News exclusive report. The UK's Civil Aviation Authority has blocked the Glasgow resident, who Buzzfeed identifies as "Anthony" to protect his anonymity, from pursuing his dream of flying.
The man accused the UK's Civil Aviation Authority of discrimination, and for destroying his "boyhood dream."
Anthony told Buzzfeed News that the CAA's decision has left him unable to take up an offer from EasyJet, a British airline, on its pilot training program. He spent years working in hospitality management to save up money for the training, and also qualified for a private flying license. Instead, Anthony has spent the last six months attempting to appeal against the decision -- without success.
Anthony shared his disappointment:
It has had a fundamental impact. It means the one career choice I want to make and want to do, I’m being told no, and the cause of that is because I’m HIV-positive. It has destroyed a boyhood dream for me. It makes it difficult to accept the [HIV] diagnosis because you want to believe there are no restrictions to you, but actually, there are.
The CAA refused his application based on its interpretation of European rules set by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
This is despite HIV-positive people in the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand being able to apply for a commercial pilot’s license, and despite the CAA not testing existing pilots for the virus. Current pilots who become HIV-positive are also able to continue flying.
Under the UK's Equality Act of 2010, HIV is deemed a disability and therefore employers (other than the armed services) are prevented from excluding those living with the virus. Both the National AIDS Trust and HIV Scotland support Anthony’s case.
The CAA has declined to discuss the case further with Anthony, he said.
Seems the current United States administration is not the only world-leading government guilty of LGBTQ discriminations.
People are more than a little upset.
The UK's Civil Aviation Authority is stuck in the 20th century.
"We've entered a Renaissance of Unenlightment. Never have there been so many "others" being used by the powerful to distract the public from their evil-doing."
This one guy from Kentucky also thinks the pilot's status puts passengers at risk.
Twitter user @richynasa, whose account lists him as living in Louisville, Kentucky, is also stuck in the past. He refers to the pilot as a "life-threatening candidate," and still believes that the pilot's HIV+ status puts passengers' lives on the lines, despite all the research to the contrary.
And this knucklehead, currently the president of EU Commission, equates having HIV to being colorblind. Apples and oranges, bud.
Does a person's HIV status have anything to do with his job performance, or with his employer?
This person's answer is a solid NO.
This person suggests it is because of the man's medications, which would be ridiculous.
Buzzfeed reports that one of the scientists behind the medical research on which the policy is based has called the authorities' interpretation of the evidence “simplistic” and “naïve”. And a leading HIV charity has accused the CAA of a “serious violation” of equality legislation.
The British CAA tries to blame EU regulations, but we are not buying it.
Both the CAA and EASA have said they believe the policy should change, citing "European regulations" as the reason for Anthony's rejection.
However, EASA added that national aviation authorities such as the CAA were able to deviate from the European rules "provided the need is justified and safety level can be maintained".
"An unacceptable risk."
Anthony said that he was told by the CAA in 2014 -- the year he was diagnosed with HIV -- that he would be able to apply for the aviation certificate. But when he approached the CAA again this year, after receiving the training offer from EasyJet, the CAA’s response was the opposite.
In a conversation with the CAA, Anthony said he was informed that the “spirit of the multi-crew limitation is to keep experienced pilots flying, not to allow people who present an unacceptable risk."
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