Millions of people around the world wear glasses. Glasses can be worn for several reasons: fashion, sight problems, reading, to name a few. In this article, I will provide you information about the subject for aviation purposes only. However, I will not be adding any medical advice on this matter as this is best dealt with a medical professional.
First things first, if your ambition is to become a pilot, but you wear glasses, do not rule out the possibility of achieving your goal because the truth is that you can still become a pilot. You should get rid of all pre-assumptions in your mind if you have any in this case. If you do have these doubts lingering in your thoughts and they start bothering you, a possible solution would be to go and see a doctor that specializes in the aviation profession so they can accurately assess you.
My next point is that as pilots, we have three medical classes and these are:
Class 1 – For airline pilot
Class 2 – To fly general aviation aircraft
Class 3 – For PPL.
To become an airline pilot and to get your license you must have a Class 1 certificate. With that being said, there are also many pilots who wear glasses, and they are allowed to work usually (just like a non-glasses wearing pilot) on a day-to-day basis. Some types of glasses can’t be worn while operating an aircraft and these differ from different companies regulations. Various authorities will set their own rules and standards.
Even if you don’t wear glasses but are worried about your sight, it’s always best practice to be assessed beforehand. If your vision is very good or just within the regulations, you may be allowed to obtain your Class 1, 2 or 3 medical licenses (depending on which one is relevant to your situation). For example, A Private Pilot Licence (PPL) holder may only need a Class 3, whereas, an airline pilot requires a Class 1 medical certificate.
FAA medical requirements
Distant vision minimum requirement:
The vision should be 20/20 or better in each eye (Class 1 & 2)
20/40 or better in each eye (Class 3)
Near vision requirement:
Vision in each eye must be 20/40; this applies to Class 1 & 2 only. There is no requirement for Class 3.
Pilots must be able to see the difference between colors that are similar to each other. This will allow for a much safer performance.
JAR medical requirements
Ability to read letters on a chart 6 meters away must be 6/9 in each eye and 6/6 both eyes together.
Contact lenses may be worn by a pilot (but not correct vision). If contact lenses are worn, you must have a report from an optometrist.
For Class 1: test to be done initially and then every five years (for those under 40 years old) and every two years (for those over 40 years old)
For Class 2: test to be done initially, may be reviewed when necessary.
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for reference only. Please check with your local authority in your country about the specific requirements.
Source used for FAA extract: www.leftseat.com
Source used for JAR extract: www.dcgamedical.in