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CVD – Coulour Vision Deficiency – Pilots attacked by Regulator – CASA in Australia

The following articles ran today [20th June 2014] in Australia, which give a clear indication of the way the Australian regulator treat Australian pilots with disregard.


1 SBS – News

  • null

    A Qantas jet flies past the control tower at Sydney Airport. (Source: AAP)

A pilot with colour vision deficiency is challenging restrictions on his licence which he says are discriminatory.


Greg Dyett


World News Radio
19 Jun 2014 – 1:12 PM  UPDATED 19 Jun 2014 – 2:02 PM


A pilot with colour vision deficiency is challenging restrictions on his licence which he says are discriminatory.

First Officer John O’Brien is preparing to challenge the restrictions in a hearing in Brisbane next month.

He’s been unable to pass what’s known as the control tower signal gun test.

The test is based around the scenario of when red and green lights are used by the control tower when radio contact is lost.

It’s considered outdated by some in the aviation sector because pilots can use their mobile phone to communicate with the control tower if radio contact fails.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has written to pilots, airlines and freight companies warning them that it’s considering tightening the medical requirements for pilots with colour vision deficiency.

Dr Arthur Pape from the Colour Vision Defective Pilots Association told Greg Dyett, CASA’s crackdown could be related to the pending court hearing.

(Click on this to hear the full interview – takes you to SBS site and click audio)


2. ABC – 7.30 Report

20th Jun 2014, 22:45   #213 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 63
ABC 7.30 Report on CVD Pilots

Well done to the ABC Qld 7.30 Report A great story featuring interviews with Senator Fawcett, John O’Brien, Dr Rob Liddell & VIPA Executive Director Simon O’Hara.

See www.cvdpa.com for a full summary of all the recent developments!

Last edited by brissypilot; 20th Jun 2014 at 23:19.


3. Background:

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 63
More spin and lies from CASA

Vision row: CASA clears the air (The Australian)

THE Civil Aviation Safety Authority is attempting to hose down a potential row over colour-vision deficient pilots, saying it is not about to ground anyone and is not necessarily moving to change its rules.The regulator found itself under fire after it wrote to pilots and air operator certificate (AOC) holders about the issue.

In the letter to AOC holders, CASA said recent medical research had indicated the safety-related implications of an individual’s CVD may be more significant than initially thought.

It raised the possibility that some pilots could be more severely affected, from a safety point of view, than was believed to be the case when their medical certificates were issued.

“CASA is reviewing the situation and will consider what further action, if any, may need to be taken on the basis of that review, at which time affected medical certificate holders will be notified accordingly,’’ the regulator wrote.

“In the meantime, CASA has written to all potentially affected pilots advising them to consider whether it is safe for them to continue to exercise their flight crew privileges subject only to the existing CVD related condition, and encouraging them to seek the advice of their personal physician or Designated Aviation Medical Examiner about any adjustments that should be made to their flying practices, pending the outcome of CASA’s review.’’

The letter raised the ire of pilots and resulted in the issue being raised during a recent Senate estimates committee.

Pilots with colour-vision deficiencies have been able to work as co-pilots for 25 years following breakthrough appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and critics of the CASA move say there is no evidence to suggest this has caused any safety problems.

The Virgin Independent Pilots Association attacked any move to introduce new rules as discrim­inatory and said it would fail to ­deliver improved safety.

VIPA was worried that Class 1 pilots with CVD would have to inform their employers about their condition and might be forced to undergo future testing.

It said this could jeopardise the careers of hundreds of commercial pilots across the country even though they had flown thousands of hours without incident.

CASA estimates the issue affects about 400 pilots, including 140 commercial pilots. It said this week it had not grounded any ­pilots with colour-vision issues and had not yet decided to make changes to the rules.
“CASA is considering a range of international research in relation to colour vision — this is prudent and responsible action by the safety regulator in response to the evolving medical understanding of colour vision issues in aviation, which includes the development of a new computer based test,’’ spokesman Peter Gibson said.

If any change is proposed to the colour vision rules there will be full consultation with the aviation industry — this is a comprehensive and lengthy process.’’

Mr Gibson said CASA wrote to the pilots and operators to make them aware of the international research.

CASA is not suggesting CVD pilots cannot fly or that airlines or other operators should ground them — we are simply asking that pilots and operators consider if there are any safety issues in relation to current operations.”

And two days ago…

Colour blind pilots will not be grounded in Australia following study: CASA

Today, CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said the changes would be years in the making.”There’s certainly nothing for any Australian pilot who has colour vision issues to be concerned about,” Mr Gibson said.

We’re not grounding any pilots, we’re not putting any further restrictions on any pilots, we’re simply saying there is some new information out there which we’re considering.”

How does Mr Gibson explain Bill Smith’s letter?

No not grounding but CASA have taken my ATPL from me. I did a “Real Life” night IFR renewal in 1997. I was assessed as being colour safe which gave me the condition “11” that has been accepted by CASA ever since. The testing officer was and still is an approved CASA ATO.
In 2009 Pooshan tried to take my ATPL but when challenged they reversed the decision immediately. Make no mistake they are aiming to remove all privileges.
Don’t be fooled by the spin doctors. There is a definite agenda here by CASA.I fly with guys that have 150 hours and still don’t have a car licence and yet they want to take my 12000+ hours LHS Jet out of the industry.
Sorry, I forgot I am the “Safety Issue” here.

Or how about the extra restrictions they imposed on O’Brien’s medical earlier this year before he had even got to the AAT?

Or how about the new restrictions on their own website?

Medical certification frequently asked questions

How does CASA deal with pilots with colour vision deficiency?CASA has reviewed the application of Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 67 – which covers the medical certification of pilots – as it relates to pilots with colour vision deficiency (CVD).

Initial issue of class 1 medicals
A pilot must undergo all three stages of tests until a pass is achieved before a class 1 medical certificate can be issued in accordance with regulation 67.150 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.

Initial issue of class 2 medicals
If the Ishihara test is failed, a certificate will be offered restricted to day VFR only. If the applicant wants this restriction removed, they must pass one of the tests as per Part 67.

Class 1 medical renewals
No immediate change. CASA will write to affected class 1 medical holders and the major airlines advising them to consider the impact their CVD may have on their flying, and such other obligations as they may have to inform their employer of a condition which may affect their ability to safely perform their duties. CVD Class 1 pilots may need to undergo a CAD test in the future.

Mr Gibson, the above statement makes it clear that CASA has already reviewed the CVD policies and there was no consultation with the industry. While the “regulations” themselves may not have changed, the testing processes and the colour vision waivers that have existed since 1989 definitely have.

If the three levels of CVD testing are failed, new Class 1 applicants will be denied certification. Class 2 applicants will be restricted to Day VFR only. This has not been the case for over 25 years!

If Bill Smith’s letter is anything to go by, it is only a matter of time before existing medical holders receive the same treatment.

CASA’s statements to the media are nothing but pure spin and lies and someone needs to be held accountable…. Where’s the “Adjunct Associate Professor” been this week?

It would seem that the only “pending review” that CASA is waiting on is the outcome of the O’Brien AAT case. If that is the case, then it should be funded as a test case accordingly, just like Denison in 1989.

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