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Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners

Decision Considerations
Disease Protocols - Binocular Multifocal and Accommodating Devices

This Protocol establishes the authority for the Examiner to issue an airman medical certificate to binocular applicants using multifocal or accommodating ophthalmic devices.

Devices acceptable for aviation-related duties must be FDA approved and include:

  • Intraocular Lenses (multifocal or accommodating intraocular lens implants)
  • Bifocal/Multifocal contact lenses

Examiners may issue as outlined below:

  • Adaptation period before certification:
    • Surgical lens implantation - minimum of 3 months post-operative
    • Contact lenses (bifocal or multifocal) - minimum of one month of use
  • Must provide a report to include the FAA Form 8500-7, Report of Eye Evaluation, from the operating surgeon or the treating eye specialist. This report must attest to stable visual acuity and refractive error, absence of significant side effects/complications, need of medications, and freedom from any glare, flares or other visual phenomena that could affect visual performance and impact aviation safety
  • Visual Acuity Standards
    • As listed below or better;
    • Each eye separately;
    • Snellen equivalent; and
    • With or without correction. If correction is used, it should be noted and the correct limitation applied.

Distant, Near or Intermediate Vision First or Second Class Third Class
Distant Vision 20/20 20/40
Near Vision
Measured at 16 inches


Intermediate Vision
Measured at 32 inches;
Age 50 and over only


No requirement

Note: The above does not change the current certification policy on the use of monofocal non-accommodating intraocular lenses.

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