The Colour Vision Defective (CVD) pilots of Australia are certainly very fortunate indeed.  They enjoy the least restricted aviation careers by any measure compared to their CVD colleagues in other countries.  I dare say quite a few would not even know of the struggle that was waged from the mid-seventies to the early nineties.  The benefits that they now enjoy did not come easily.

signalgunIf you have gained your unrestricted medical by virtue of a pass at the Aviation Signal Light Test (ASLT) or Practical Lantern Test (PLT) then count yourself very lucky.  All of you will know that both of these tests are once again mere ‘colour vision tests’ and just like the Ishihara Plates or the Farnsworth Lantern test, they do not affect the “safe performance of duties” as a pilot.

Unfortunately, the job of challenging the Aviation Colour Perception Standard (ACPS) in Australia is not quite finished.  While there are potentially many who may have failed these tests and decided to give up their aviation careers, there remains a small but outstanding and highly experienced group of such pilots who failed, yet continued with their careers undeterred.  They continue to suffer the irrational and unjust discrimination that derives from the ACPS.

Their class one medicals hold the restrictions:

"6. Not valid for ATPL operations."
"13. Holder does not fully meet requirements of ICAO Convention Chapter 6 of Annex 1"

Effectively, this restricts them from gaining their commands in an airline multi-crew environment, despite their demonstrated operational experience including excellent references and check reports.  Subsequently, their careers have been halted at the airline First Officer stage.

A group of these pilots recently decided to challenge CASA and have lodged an application for appeal through the AAT, which will be an extension of the Pape & Denison AAT cases from the late 1980’s.  Their legal preparation is well advanced, with a good team engaged to tackle the case.  However, the financial burden is enormous and not something they can do on their own.  Whereas your benefits were partly paid for by "Legal Aid", that source is simply not available to these pilots.

So if you’re an Australian Pilot, particularly one who benefitted the most from Arthur Pape’s campaign which started twenty five years ago, please dig deep now and join CVDPA to help us tidy up the last loose ends in that campaign.

Your support will be greatly appreciated!