June 24, 2015
BOOTHBY-EDWARDS AWARD: Nomy Ahmed, M.B.,Ch.B., M.Av.Med., MRCGP, DOccMed, DRCOG, DFFP
Established in memory of Walter M. Boothby, M.D., pioneer aviation medicine researcher, and Howard K. Edwards, M.D., clinical practitioner of aviation medicine, this award is presented annually for outstanding research and/or clinical practice directed at the promotion of health and prevention of disease in professional airline pilots. (The separate Boothby and Edwards Awards were given annually 1961–73, and then alternately until 1985.) Sponsored by Harvey W. Watt and Company.
Nomy Ahmed, M.B.Ch.B., M.Av.Med., MRCGP, DOcc.Med., DRCOG, DFFP, was the recipient of the 2015 Boothby-Edwards Award for his outstanding contributions to the promotion of commercial pilots' health through his work as Senior Aeromedical Examiner with Emirates Airline Group Medical Services. He is an active member of the international aeromedical community and has presented many papers at international forums.
Dr. Ahmed is a UK-born and trained doctor and, before joining Emirates in 2006, he was Principle GP and co-owner of Bulwell Medical Health Centre in Nottingham, UK, where he was part of a three-doctor team. He completed his Masters in Aviation Medicine in 2008 following his Diploma in Occupational Medicine and Family Practice training in the UK.
Dr. Ahmed has researched areas of commercial aviation medicine and presented locally in the Middle East and at international conferences such as AsMA, ICASM, IATA, CAPSCA, and UK CAA seminars. For example, he was involved in assessing and relicensing pilots with mood disorders. In conjunction with the GCAA and local Psychiatrists and Psychologists, he developed protocols to safely allow return to flying for aircrews stable on medication having suffered from mood disorders which has resulted in improved productivity, saving at least 3000 pilot days without compromising safety since its introduction. He was the project manager regarding the use of inflight telemetry for medical ailments on board commercial aircraft. Emirates Airline has been the leading user for on-board telemetry and telemedicine. The processes for the multi-million dollar program has been enhanced and audited and aided in several high profile cases. The systems involve negotiating with five external global communications and logistics companies, and internal departments covering engineering, legal, in-flight services, training and maintenance. He provided medical FRMS assessments and the effects of Pandemic viruses like MERS and Ebola on commercial operations having a consultancy role for Emirates Airline group regarding pandemic planning covering aircrew health, prevention strategies, education, communication, assessment processes and aircraft hygiene. This resulted in successful management of H1N1 pandemic influenza outbreak; the recent Middle East Coronavirus (MERS CoV) cases and the on-going Ebola risk. Local, national and international expertise was sought and developed into the airlines operations plans to ensure compliance with federal and international travel requirements without disruption to the airline’s operations.
Some of Dr. Ahmed’s other key areas of achievement have been: researching the effects of aging on pilot health; developing fatigue risk management strategies and assessing sleep apnea; licensing of pilots with color vison deficiencies; initiating a weight management program to counter the health effects obesity among pilots; assessing cosmic radiation exposure rates in commercial aircrews. He is also particularly proud to have helped set up a HIMS type program for substance use issues for his airline and continues to research how to improve performance among commercial pilots.
Dr. Ahmed's awards include the Emirates Group Najm Award (Bronze in 2009, Appreciation in 2012, and Silver in 2012) and four awards from the General Civil Aviation Authority: an Appreciation Award in 2009, an Appreciation Award for Occupational aspects of Aviation Medicine in 2011, a Certificate of Appreciation in 2011, and a Best MRO Award in 2013. He has continued his education by taking a Leadership Master Class for Healthcare Professionals in 2010 and a Train the Trainer course, also in 2010.