Can You Pursue an Air Traffic Controller Career if You’re Colorblind?

Can You Be An Air Traffic Controller If Color Blind

Colorblind individuals might be concerned about their prospects to become an air traffic controller, as the profession demands a high level of color perception for accurately interpreting and processing essential information. After searching the internet, I’ve found some relevant insights on the topic.

According to an article on Medshun, color perception plays a crucial role in maintaining the safe and efficient movement of aircraft both in the air and on the ground. However, Everyday Aviation states that as long as a colorblind person has adequate color vision to operate current air traffic control technologies safely, they can become an air traffic controller.

A Reddit user shared that they have trouble distinguishing yellow from green, but they can tell red from green, asking if they can still be an air traffic controller. While the reply from another user did not provide a definitive answer, it suggested job shadowing someone in the field to obtain a more accurate assessment of their possibilities.

Can You Be An Air Traffic Controller If Color Blind

Air traffic controllers are the people responsible for keeping planes safe in the sky. They work in towers and on the ground, making sure planes don’t crash into each other or run out of fuel.

The job requires a great deal of concentration, discipline, and knowledge of aviation safety regulations, but it also requires excellent communication skills and good color vision.

Color vision requirements

Air traffic controllers must be able to see and distinguish colors clearly. Each aircraft is assigned a specific color so that controllers can easily identify it on radar screens, flight plans, and on the tarmac. Controllers must be able to easily distinguish red from green, yellow from white, and blue from purple. They must also have good peripheral vision so they can track multiple aircraft simultaneously without losing focus on the position of one aircraft in relation to others around it.

Colorblind Contacts – A Potential Solution?

If you’re colorblind and have always wanted to be an air traffic controller, you may wonder if there’s any hope for you. After all, the job requires a high degree of visual acuity.

Fortunately, there are options available today that can help colorblind people see colors more clearly. Colorblind contact lenses have been available for decades and have been shown to improve the vision of many people with color vision deficiency (CVD).

There are special colorblind contact lenses that can help people with red-green color blindness. These lenses use a filter to convert green light into another color – either blue or yellow. This makes it easier for people with red-green color deficiency to distinguish between the two colors.

These lenses work by filtering out some of the wavelengths of light that make up the green spectrum, making it easier for people with red-green color blindness to see the difference between red and green. The lenses don’t actually change what you see, they just filter out some of the wavelengths of light that make up green so you can see more clearly what’s really there.

In conclusion, pursuing the career of an air traffic controller might be possible for some colorblind individuals, depending on the level and type of colorblindness they have. It is recommended to get a professional assessment of color perception to understand whether one’s color vision is adequate for handling air traffic control tasks.


  1. Medshun, “Can You Be An Air Traffic Controller If Colourblind?”
  2. Everyday Aviation, “Can Air Traffic Controllers Be Color Blind?
  3. Reddit, “Can I be colourblind and be an air traffic controller?