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  • General Information
  • Vision Requirements
  • Lasik
General Information
Classes of Medical Certificates

An applicant may apply and be granted any class of airman medical certificate as long as the applicant meets the required medical
standards for that class of medical certificate. However, an applicant must have the appropriate class of medical certificate for the flying
duties the airman intends to exercise.

For example, an applicant who exercises the privileges of an airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate must hold a first-class medical
certificate. That same pilot when holding only a third-class medical certificate may only exercise flying activities of a private pilot
certificate. Finally, an applicant need not hold an ATP airman certificate to be eligible for a first-class medical certificate.

Listed below are the three classes of airman medical certificates, identifying the categories of airmen (i.e, pilot) certificates applicable
to each class.

  • First-Class - Airline Transport Pilot

  • Second-Class - Commercial Pilot; Flight Engineer; Flight Navigator; or Air Traffic Control Tower Operator. (Note: This category of
    air traffic controller does not include FAA employee air traffic control specialists)

  • Third-Class - Private Pilot, Recreational Pilot, or Student Pilot
LASIK and other forms of vision corrective surgery have helped many pilots in the military and civilian world, but there are risks and
potentially adverse effects that could be incompatible with flying duties. These include:

  • Corneal scarring or opacities
  • Worsening or variability of vision
  • Night-glare
  • Haziness of vision

The FAA expects that a pilot will not resume piloting aircraft until his or her own treating health care professional (usually the
ophthalmologist who did the procedure) determines:

  • The post operative condition has stabilized
  • There have been no significant adverse effects or complications
  • The person meets the appropriate FAA vision standards

If these determinations are favorable and if otherwise qualified, the pilot may immediately resume piloting but must ensure that:

  • The treating health care professional documents his or her determinations in the pilot's health care treatment record
  • A copy of that record is immediately forwarded to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division in Oklahoma City; and A personal
    copy is retained

The airman may continue flight duties unless informed otherwise by the FAA or another disqualifying condition occurs. Exam-
Guide/Eye/Eyes-Procedures-See Detailed FAA Instructions about LASIK...

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Frequently Asked Questions
How often do I need an EKG?

For First Class Airman Medical Certification:  An EKG is required at age 35 and on an annual basis beginning at age 40.

Bring any health documentation
at the time of your visit

Bring a list of any medications
you are currently taking

Bring glasses if you use them

Bring a list of any medical visits
including the dates during the
last three years
Medications and Flying

There are numerous
conditions that require the
chronic use of
medications that do not
compromise aviation
safety and, therefore, are
permissible. Airmen who
develop short-term,
self-limited avoid
performing aviation duties
while medications are

consultation with your
AME can determine
whether you can continue
flying on certain