Can I become an airline pilot if I’m diabetic?
Yes, it is possible to become an airline pilot in certain countries if you have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, with certian restrictions. Currently this includes the UK and Ireland.
The guidance on this page is relevant for UK CAA Class One Medicals. For information regarding other countries, you will need to check with your regulatory authority.
In the UK, the CAA can certify you as fit to hold a Class One Medical (which is required to fly a commercial airliner) depending on your ability to control your blood sugar levels. This applies to both individuals who require insulin to control their blood sugar as well as those who are able to control it purely through diet alone.
The CAA have produced a guide to medical certification with diabetes, which can be found here.
If you are certified with a Class One Medical, it will be with an Operational Multi Pilot Limitation (OML) restriction. With such a restriction, you will only be able to fly as multi-pilot crew where the other pilots is below the age of 60 and does not also hold an OML.
As part of the approval, the CAA set out requirements to regularly check blood sugar levels before and during flight. They also specify that your condition needs to be reviewed every six months.