Air Traffic Control medical & vision?
Ok, a younger generation person, whom I know, got interested in being an Air Traffic Controller due to my flying, Oshkosh, and exposure to all that, and has been going to school for that; they recently went in for a physical for it, and to everyone's shock (including theirs) was diagnosed with mild color blindness- its apparently hereditary, but has been so mild it's never been caught before, and they've had eye exams- their vision has always been excellent. What came out was that they generally can distinguish between red and green, it's closer shades like grey-green and green can be difficult. They went to an eye dr. for an eye exam immediately, and they said it was "very mild". Is there a way to get past this to be an air traffic controller? They're kind of upset, they were really interested in the career, and in aviation- is there any hope here? The AME was helpful, (said they could get Class III medical) but Im thinking we need some help here to get this fixed. 
4 Replies
Ronald Levy
1373 Posts
Color vision requirements for controllers are different than for pilots.  You need to find an AME familiar with the Air Traffic Control Color Vision Test (ACTOV) who can determine if your young friend can pass it.  There are no waivers or SI's to get round it.
Bruce Chien
162 Posts
If he can pass the dvorine color dot set, that meets standards.
There are lenses (glasses, contact lenses) that are supposed to correct for color blindness. Since medicals are readily given to people who need glasses (most of us at some point in life for some focal distances), might these color aiding glasses be acceptable to the FAA?
Ronald Levy
1373 Posts

Lauren McGavran:
There are lenses (glasses, contact lenses) that are supposed to correct for color blindness. Since medicals are readily given to people who need glasses (most of us at some point in life for some focal distances), might these color aiding glasses be acceptable to the FAA?

Unlikely, since the manufacturer warns against driving with them.  See here what the American Academy of Ophthalmology has to say on the subject.