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Home > Eyesight > Will Lasik surgery improves my chances of becoming a pilot?
Will Lasik surgery improves my chances of becoming a pilot?
Pilot Career - Eyesight
Monday, 26 November 2007 05:00
Dear Captain Lim,

I am 26 years old Malaysian turning 27 in Oct this year and living in Melbourne. I was wondering whether I can still get a shot at applying for the SIA Cadet Pilot Program?

I meet all of the requirements except my eyesight. I have been wearing glasses since I was in Primary 6.

Since I first saw a B737 landing on my local hometown airport, I wanted to be a pilot. I didn't pursue it because of my eye sight.

Now I have read here that with Lasik, you have a chance with SIA.

I went to an eye specialist a few days ago.

Here is my eye statistics:-


Right - 6/80
Left - 6/<120

Do you think if I get Lasik and correct my eyes to the required level, will SIA consider my application? Or I have virtually no chance?

Considering my age, nationality and eye sight, should I pursue my dream with SIA? Or just move on and get into recreational flying instead?



Hi Mervin,

Kindly do a search and trawl through my site and the Forums for more on this.

Anyway, if you have to do the Lasik surgery, make sure it is stabilized and this can take between 6 months to a year for an ophthalmologist to review your case.

These conditions below must be satisfied: -

(1) Pre-operative refraction less than +/-5.00 dioptres along the most ametropic meridian
(2) Satisfactory stability of refraction
(3) Glare sensitivity not increased
(4) Post operative refraction must be within the appropriate JAR astigmatic and anisometropic limits

Whether SIA will consider Lasik surgery is not very clear but I believe they follow CAA guidelines as above. Also see their requirements in their advertisement for cadet pilots:

"Myopia of not more than 500 degrees and astigmatism of not more than 125 degrees, fully correctable with optical aids. For candidates who have undergone corrective eye surgery (e.g. Lasik), the pre-surgical visual acuity should also meet the above requirements."

It looks like you may not satisfy the conditions as your pre-operative refraction is outside the limit. Perhaps you may satisfy a Class 3 Medical Certificate which permits you to indulge into recreational flying.

Wish you all the best alt


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how about PKR?
I heard that in the states some air force successful candidates went through all the stages but for medical(eyesight) they went trough a type of treatment called PKR. It was more promising than LASER?

Is that true? How about PKR treatment?
flyboy , 27 Oct, 2008
How about PKR?
LASIK is a procedure that changes the shape of the patient cornea using a laser. This procedure can provide permanent changes to the eye and its vision.

In LASIK surgery, a surgeon scalpel is used to cut the cornea. This cut produces a thin flap of cornea that is 'hinged' on one side. The laser then removes a thin layer of material under the flap and the flap is replaced and allowed to heal.

PRK is a recent eye surgery development where the shape of the cornea is modified. Where the older procedures used the surgeons scalpel to make cuts into the cornea of the eye, PKR uses an excimer laser to sculpt the cornea.

The efficacy of PKR and LASIK is similar. PKR and LASIK are safe for the treatment of low myopia.

Whether to use PKR of LASIK would depends on the habit and preference of the surgeon.

Captain Lim , 13 Jan, 2009
then what for high myopia?
teju , 12 Jul, 2009
State Trooper requirements
Anyone know if LASIK surgery would work for meeting the state trooper requirements? It's always been my dream to be a state trooper and I meet pretty much every requirement BUT my eyesight is rather poor. Been considering getting surgery done at Austin Lasik but can only justify the cost if it could maybe help me get the position.

Anyone have any idea?
Katie Johnston , 10 Sep, 2010

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