European Class 3 (Air Traffic Control Officer) Initial Examination Visual Standards

UK CAA initial visual standards for European Class 3 (ATCO) certification

European Class 3 (Air Traffic Control Officer) Initial Examination Visual Standards

Distance Vision
Your visual acuity (your ability to see, in this case, lines of letters on a chart at 6 metres) must be at least 6/9 in each eye separately and 6/6 with both eyes together, with or without glasses or contact lenses (correction).  If you need correction, the refractive error (the amount of correction) must not exceed +5.00 dioptres of long sight or -6.00 dioptres of short sight. This is calculated as the most ametropic meridian which takes into account any astigmatism.  Astigmatism must not exceed 2.00 dioptres.  Anisometropia (the difference in refraction between each eye) must not exceed 2.00 dioptres.  Your optometrist will be able to explain these terms.

Near Vision
On the standard near vision eye chart you must be able to read the N5 print between 30 and 50 cm and the N14 print at 100 cm, with or without correction.

Contact Lenses
You may wear contact lenses as an Air Traffic Controller (but not to correct near vision).  If you do wear contact lenses, you should bring a report from an optometrist to your initial Class 3 examination, which includes the following:

  • your contact lens specification and corrected visual acuity;
  • confirmation that you have worn your contact lenses constantly and successfully for over eight hours a day over a period of at least one month.

All gas permeable and hard contact lenses must be removed at least 48 hours before the initial Class 3 medical examination.  Any contact lenses should be brought to the examination.  Multifocal contact lenses or monovision correction are not acceptable for Class 3 certification. 

Colour Vision
An applicant for a European Class 3 medical certificate must have normal colour vision (normal trichromacy).

An initial applicant must make no errors when tested on the first 15 plates of the standard  24 plate Ishihara Test (a series of numbers outlined by different coloured dots, easily seen by someone with normal colour vision).

If you fail these you will need to pass the Colour Assessment and Diagnosis (CAD) test (a computer-based test which quantifies the degree of your colour vision deficiency) in order to gain a Class 3 certificate.  Additional charges are likely to apply.

Eye Function
You must have normal fields of vision and you must not suffer from double vision.

There must be no acute or chronic disease in either eye or surrounding structures.

Convergence (ability to cross your eyes) must be normal.

Any degree of heterophoria (eye muscle imbalance) in excess of:
- 8 exo, 10 eso or 2 hyperphoria - measured at 6m and
- 12 exo, 8 eso or 1 hyperphoria - measured at 33cms
will require further evaluation by an eye specialist at Gatwick.

Refractive Surgery
The CAA does not recommend refractive surgery to gain a medical certificate to control.  The decision to have this type of treatment must be between you and your eye specialist.  You should be aware that refractive surgery can cause complications that are incompatible with certification.  However, if you have had refractive surgery, Class 3 certification will be considered three months after a LASIK procedure.  Certification can be considered six months after LASEK/PRK for myopia. 

Please note that medical reports will be required.









January  2013