Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha Inaugurated the 64th International Congress of Aviation and Space medicine on November 7, 2016 at Hotel Pullman, Aerocity, Delhi. The event was organised by Indian Society of Aviation Medicine (ISAM) from November 7 to 10, 2016.
In the inaugural address the CAS stressed upon the fact that the modern aircraft, with advanced technology are highly capable. However the human capabilities both physical, physiological and psychological at times cause a constraint in full exploitation of these machines to their full potential. This gap is ably bridged by the Aviation Medicine Specialists who take an active part to ensure that the man machine combination is optimised by being a friend, philosopher and guide to aircrew and all others associated with aviation.
The Congress was attended by more than 300 delegates across the world. More than 100 delegates, including Aerospace Medicine specialists from both Civil and Military Aviation, from 30 foreign countries participated in the Congress. The Annual Congress is one of the most prestigious International Conference in the field of Aerospace Medicine and this year ISAM has got the honour to host it in New Delhi after a decade. A Congress of this stature provides an opportunity to Indian Aerospace Medicine specialists to interact with eminent personalities from the field of Aerospace medicine around the world and learn from them the newer advances made in the field.
The Congress started with a brief movie depicting the history of Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine. Air Marshal Pawan Kapoor, VSM PHS DGMS (Air) and the President of ISAM delivered the welcome address. He emphasized that the progress of mankind has been possible because of the willingness to absorb new knowledge and constant quest to learn from experience of others and utilizing these to take next step forwards. Keeping this in mind the Congress theme has been chosen to be 'Learn & Overcome' and it rightly focuses on the desire to overcome all stumbling blocks in the way of progress of aviation and further build on our contributions to the cause of Aerospace Safety and Human Performance Optimisation.
Dr Jarnail Singh, President International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine delivered the Presidential Address. He stressed that this is unprecedented third time that the Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine has been bestowed with the responsibility of organizing the Congress and how mutual cooperation and exchange of ideas benefits everyone.
Dr Pooshan Navathe a renowned aviation medicine expert delivered the prestigious Dr Andre Allard lecture wherein he brought out how more and more aircrew with different medical issues can continue to fly without hampering aerospace safety. All this is possible because of the advancement of medical science and the use of evidence based medicine to ensure that trained aircrew both military and civil continues to remain in the cockpit.
The Congress had fourteen scientific sessions which consisted of more than 50 presentations and three poster sessions comprising of more than 40 posters. The scientific discussions during the Congress discussed aeromedical issues related to civil and military aviation faced around the world and emphasised the importance of aerospace safety and discussed measures to improve it with the available resources. The newer research in the field enlightened the delegates and provided them an opportunity to discuss their queries with the stalwarts in the specialty. The different sessions of the Congress focussed on Occupational Medicine, Clinical Aviation Medicine, Civil Aviation Medicine, Operational Aviation Medicine, Aeromedical Certifications and Space Medicine.
Aerospace Medicine is a dynamic field which deals mainly with the Occupational & Preventive Medicine. The aeromedical disposition policies, indoctrination philosophies, ability to support and enhance the performance of the aviator in operations are constantly evolving with the newer advances and research in the field. The conference provided a platform for sharing the experiences and views of the participating delegates on these aspects, thus helping both the military and civil aviation sectors to suitably amend existing policies related to medical fitness of aircrew.
With exponential growth of civil aviation there is a growing challenge of aeromedical indoctrination of civil aircrew, their initial and periodic medical examinations and decisions on their fitness to fly. The recent advances in clinical medicine and their follow up have proved that now many more disabilities can be cured permanently or can be permitted to fly with permissible medications or restrictions. The papers in the Congress deliberated such issues and benefitted all the delegates.
The Congress also included the "John Ernsting Panel Discussion" where the panelists, all of whom were prominent personalities in International Aviation Medicine, discussed aeromedical issues related to common but critical clinical conditions from point of view of the aeromedical practitioner.
The Congress provided an opportunity for Indian Aerospace Medicine Specialists to participate in large numbers and interact with the specialists from all over the world about the recent developments in this exciting field.