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The Flying After Diving Guidelines Workshop held in North Carolina, USA in May 2002 produced the following recommendations.These flying after diving guidelines apply to flights at altitudes between 600 meters (2,000 feet) and 2,400 meters (8,000 feet) and for divers without symptoms of decompression sickness. Following these recommendations does not guarantee that a diver will avoid DCS.
The New Flying After Diving Guidelines
For scuba diving within the no-decompression limits, the new recommendations are as follows.
Single dives: a minimum pre-flight surface internal of 12 hours is suggested.
Repetitive dives and/or multi-day diving: a minimum pre-flight surface interval of 18 hours is suggested.
For scuba diving requiring decompression stops, the new recommendation is:
A minimum pre-flight surface interval greater than 18 hours is suggested.
These changes to the old flying after diving guidelines are based on work by Buehlmann and Vann et al that suggests that immediate ascent to 600 meters (2,000 feet) altitude is possible with low risk of DCS. In light of this research, the US Navy in 1999 adopted more flexible guidelines.
Impact of Recreational Scuba Diving
PADI is incoporating these revised guidelines in its training programs.
The new guidelines are good news for guests of Miguel’s Diving who wish to get in two morning dives the day prior to boarding the morning flights the next day. Our typical dive and hotel package reflects the changes in these guidelines.