|The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has mandated that on the 5th of March 2011 all pilots of international aircraft and air traffic controllers serving international airports or routes must be certified to have attained level 4 ICAO English or higher.|
- The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has introduced language proficiency requirements for air traffic controllers and pilots with the intent of improving the level of language proficiency in aviation around the globe and reducing the frequency of communication errors.
ICAO Language Proficiency Rating Scale
(image embedded from Skybrary 29 Sep 2010)
ICAO mandated a requirement of levels 4, 5 or 6. However they also require that the language skills of any pilots and controllers rated at:
- Level 4 - need to be reassessed every three years,
- Level 5 - need to be reassessed every six years, and
- Level 6 - need no further assessment of English language ability (considered fluent).
Goal of the Requirements
The advantages of an elevated international standard of aviation English are:
- Improved communicative understanding of all parties.
- Non-standard phraseology is less likely to cause confusion.
- Increased situational awareness of flight crews in relation to other aircraft, both in the air and on the ground.
- A higher standard of communication internationally.
- A broader range of English comprehensions by flight crews in their profession.
Want to know more?
Aviation Knowledge History of English in Aviation
ICAO full summary History
ICAO **Annex 1** – Personnel Licensing - Language Proficiency Rating Scale;
ICAO **Annex 10** - Aeronautical Communications, Volume II;
ICAO Doc 9835 AN/453 – Doc 9835.
ICAO Resolution A36-11 – Attachment A: Proficiency in the English language for Radiotelephony;
ICAO Resolution A36-11 – Attachment B: Guidelines for the Development of a Language Proficiency Implementation Plan;
ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements FAQ.