There are few things more liberating than taking control of an aircraft, big or small. What seemed insurmountable on solid earth is suddenly no more than an inconvenience; trips are shorter, views are better, and it is as though the sky belongs to you alone. The first step to getting off the ground, however, is obtaining a pilot licence. This requires a medical examination to ensure that you are not a danger to other planes and pilots, and one essential component of that exam is an evaluation of your eyesight. Many hopeful pilots assume that they must have 20/20 vision—without the aid of glasses, contacts, or laser vision correction—if they want to have a career in aviation. But what is the real story?
License Types and Expectations
Four basic types of pilot licenses exist in Canada: a recreational permit, a private licence, a commercial licence, and an airline transport licence. You can begin by applying for either a recreational permit or private pilot’s licence, both of which require you to undergo a medical exam. As part of that exam, you must have 20/30 vision in your better eye, and your vision can be either corrected or uncorrected. In other words, glasses, contacts, and laser vision corrections all meet the requirements. It is also important to note the difference between a pilot permit, which is valid only in Canada, and a license, which follows international guidelines and allows you to fly almost anywhere in the world. If you would like to move from flying for fun to flying as a career, you must first upgrade your permit to a private license. Once you have obtained a private license, you need a certain number of hours in the cockpit and additional training to start the commercial upgrade process.
The LASIK Advantage
Improved vision makes for a better pilot. Being able to spot ground hazards upon landing and accurately judge distance while airborne is essential for any private or commercial pilot. LASIK MD offers laser vision correction tailored to your needs, using only the latest excimer laser technology. With endorsements from Transport Canada, more potential pilots than ever are using LASIK to assist them in reaching the minimum qualification standards or to turn their vision up a notch and give them an edge when they are in the cockpit.