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United States Department of TransportationUnited States Department of Transportation

Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners

Application Process for Medical Certification - Examination Techniques
Item 52. Color Vision

TESTS APPROVED FOR AIRMEN ARE NOT ALL ACCEPTABLE FOR AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS (FAA employee 2152 series and contract tower air traffic controllers).

FOR ATCS INFORMATION, see the Acceptable Test Instruments for Color Vision Screening of ATCS (PDF) chart or contact your RFS for any questions.

The following criteria apply to AIRMEN ONLY:

Any tests not specifically listed below are unacceptable methods of testing for FAA medical certificate. Examples of unacceptable tests include, but are not limited to, the OPTEC 5000 Vision Tester (color vision portion), "Farnsworth Lantern Flashlight," "yarn tests," and AME-administered aviation Signal Light Gun test (AME office use is prohibited). Web-based color vision applications, downloaded, or printed versions of color vision tests are also prohibited. Examiners must use actual and specific color vision plates and testing machinery for applicant evaluations.

*If the airman fails acceptable color vision tests, then obtains an LOE or SODA - check fail and add "airman has LOE." If they pass any acceptable color vision test - mark pass.

Common Conditions and Course of Action

Equipment Test Edition Plates
Pseudoisochromatic plates Test book should be held 30" from applicant

Plates should be illuminated by at least 20� candles, preferably by a Macbeth Easel Lamp or a Verilux True Color Light (F15T8VLX)

Only three seconds are allowed for the applicant to interpret and respond to a given plate
American Optical Company [AOC] 1965 1-15
AOC-HRR 2nd 1-11
Richmond-HRR 4th 5-24
Dvorine 2nd 1-15
Ishihara 14 Plate 1-11
24 Plate 1-15
38 Plate 1-21
1983 1-15
*Note to Agency-Designated ATCS AMEs Not all tests approved for pilots are acceptable for FAA ATCSs. Contact RFS for current list.

Acceptable Substitutes: (May be used following the directions accompanying the instruments)

  • Farnsworth Lantern;
  • OPTEC 900 Color Vision Test;
  • Keystone Orthoscope;
  • Keystone Telebinocular;
  • OPTEC 2000 Vision Tester (Model Nos. 2000 PM, 2000 PAME, and 2000 PI) - tester MUST contain the 2000-010 FAR color perception PIP plate to be approved;
  • OPTEC 2500;
  • Titmus Vision Tester;
  • Titmus i400

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