References to EU regulation or EU websites in our guidance will not be an accurate description of your obligations or rights under UK law.read more
EU implementing rules require
Contact lenses should be worn
Contact lenses have an optical advantage over glasses. The change of
image size induced by higher prescription lenses is minimised. Ring scotomas
(area of visual field missed) caused by spectacle frame and lenses are
eliminated as are any peripheral aberrations induced by a spectacle lens.
A pilot wishing to use contact lenses for flying will need to ensure
that the lenses can be comfortably worn on the ground before using them on the
flight deck. As a guide, a minimum
wearing time of 8 hours a day for 5 days a week consistently for at least one
month should be achieved. It is important that the wearing times do not impact
on visual acuity, comfort or eye health. All contact lens wearing pilots are
expected to attend for regular check-ups as advised by their contact lens practitioners.
It should be noted that some successful contact lens wearers are not
able to use their lenses in flight. This may be due to several factors
including lens dehydration and altered lens parameters.
All contact lens materials (gas permeable, soft, or hard) are acceptable
for aviation use provided they are well tolerated. Optimum distance correction
must be achieved. The correction of astigmatism should always be considered for
soft contact lens wearers (using toric lenses). Silicon hydrogels (a type of
soft disposable contact lens material) should be considered for aviation use
due to their low water content and high oxygen transmission.
All contact lenses must be for distance
only correction. Thus, for the presbyopic pilot who habitually wears
contact lenses, a VDL limitation (for distance contact lenses and back-up
multifocal spectacles) PLUS a VNL limitation (for reading glasses available for
use over the contact lenses) may be required.
The following types of contact lens correction are not acceptable:
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