FAA protocol permits conductive keratoplasty for pilots

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established a protocol for airplane pilots seeking conductive keratoplasty (NearVision CK, Refractec Inc.). Before considering CK, pilots should check with their employer (if an airline) and/or flight medical examiner to determine if the treatment is an appropriate option and whether post-treatment vision meets individual requirements for flying.

Six criteria are necessary for an FAA initial certification:

  • The pilot is not qualified to fly for 6 months post-procedure.

  • The pilot must provide all medical records related to the procedure.

  • A current status report by the surgical eye specialist with special note regarding complications of the procedure or the acquired monocularity, or vision complaints by the pilot.

  • A current FAA Form 8500-7, Report of Eye Evaluation.

  • A medical flight test may be necessary (consult with the FAA).

  • Annual follow-ups by the surgical eye specialist.

For details on certification requirements and the complete protocol for CK, visit the FAA Web site, www.faa.gov.