FAQs - Aviation English

Frequently asked questions about teaching and learning English for aviation are available here.
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What are the new requirements in language proficiency for aviation staff?

From 5th March 2008 all flight crew members and air traffic controllers involved in international traffic will be required to prove their competence in English. It will be a condition of licensing that the professional pilot or air traffic controller should have demonstrated their proficiency in Plain English and English medium phraseology to a standard equivalent to level 4 in theICAO universal rating scales. The level of the candidate above level 4 will be shown by an endorsement on the flying or air traffic control licence. Read more about the legislation..

Why English for Aviation and not, say, French?

English was chosen because things have naturally gone in that direction by default and because both the US and the UK became major players in the field of aviation in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

What happens if level 4 requirements are not met?

In theory, unless a country/institution has filed for a difference, then the pilots or air traffic controllers will not have the required symbol on their license and should not be allowed to work. However, how exactly this will be policed is uncertain.

Is there one approved test?

ICAO will not accredit any one test - at the moment there are about 10 test providers: RELTA, TEA, VAET, TELPA, EPT (Aerosolutions). Click here for a more comprehensive list. We have a list of testing providers here.

Who is providing the training for this test?

It has been left entirely up to individual countries and institutions. It may be outsourced, done 'en masse' in-house or left to the employees to get themselves. We have a list of testing providers here.

Where/how can our students or employees do the test?

This really depends on each country. It may be dictated by Ministries or decided on a scale by individuals or schools.

Has Aviation English been accredited by ICAO?

ICAO have not accredited any course or test, claiming it is the responsibility of the country to impose this legislation appropriately.

If you would like to find out more about ICAO and the new Aviation English proficiency legislation, visit their website:http://www.icao.int/

Will this course prepare students for the required ICAO level 4?

This course has been designed closely with the ICAO level 4 language profile to develop students for these very specific skills.

Where can I find more free resources for teaching Aviation English?

We have a dedicated range of free online resources offering extra material and advice for teachers. Visit the resources area to find out more.

For a host of English Language Teaching resources visit Onestopenglish.com.

Is Aviation English available to buy online?

Yes, all components will be available to buy online through the secure Macmillan English Bookshop at UK price.

For full details on how to order, both online, or through your local bookshop or Macmillan representative, take a look at our How to buy page.