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 chart or contact your RFS for any questions.

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). Except for the computerized tests listed, web-based color vision applications, downloaded, or printed versions of color vision tests are 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.



The following are approved computerized color vision tests for FAA medical certification purposes.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to administer.
  • Record test name AND all required scores in Item 59.
  • If applicable, upload computer-generated printout into AMCS as: Eyes-Color Vision Test.
City Occupational Colour Assessment & Diagnosis (CAD; AVOT-PRO-US)
Colour Assessment & Diagnosis (
  • Version - Certification: “Environment and Aviation (Commercial).”

  • If passes FAST version, no further testing is needed for color.

  • If fails FAST version, the full definitive CAD must be completed.

Score must be:

RED GREEN (RG) - less than 12*
YELLOW BLUE (YB) - less than 2.4

NOTE: An RG score of less than 1.7 indicates Normal. Less than 6 indicates Deutan; and less than 12 indicates Protan.

Rabin Cone Test (RCCT)
Air Force/Army/Navy/Coast Guard Version
  • Test each eye separately.

  • Staircase version allowed.
Score must be 75 or higher for EACH color:

Waggoner Computerized Color Vison Test *

* What is tested in each section:

  • Section 1: General screening for Protan (red) and Deutan (green) deficiency.
  • Section 2: Genetic and acquired deficiencies.
  • Section 3: Quantifies Protan (red) deficiency.
  • Section 4: Quantifies Deutan (green) deficiency.
  • Section 5: D-15 N/A for FAA purposes.

NOTE: If applicant does not pass Section 1, Section 3 and 4 will automatically be given.

Score must be: 

General - 21 or higher (of 25); AND


Protan - 20 or higher (of 32); AND
Deutan - 20 or higher (of 32); AND
Tritan - 10 or higher (of 12)


The following are approved pseudoisochromatic plates color vision tests for FAA medical certification purposes.

  • 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.
  • See Color Vision Dispositions for scoring information.
Equipment Edition Plates
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.


(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
Last updated: Wednesday, January 31, 2024