ICAO English

What is ICAO English?

Language proficiency of pilots is colloquially known as ICAO English. If you want to become a professional pilot, getting ICAO English certification is a must as is pilot license and medical exam.

Since March 5 2008, every pilot or flight crew member coming into contact with international aviation communication including air traffic controllers must pass language proficiency exam in compliance with ICAO regulations.

Within EASA airspace, according to European regulations, ICAO English is often linked with language proficiency exam law FCL.055. Commission Regulation No 1178/2011 Part FCL - FCL.055 requires holders of IFR qualification - instrument rating to pass both language proficiency exams including the ICAO English.

Depending on the Exam candidate's knowledge of aviation English, they are assigned so-called ICAO English level with corresponding validity. ICAO English exam might have limited validity as do other aviation qualifications.

Aviation English examICAO English is a requirement for flying abroad. Holders of Slovak license can, however, fly VFR in Czech Republic without ICAO English exam or Austrians to Germany and vice versa.

In compliance with ICAO requirements the ICAO English exam is divided into a number of sections. The whole examination takes between 25-40 minutes.

  • conversation (interview)
  • aeronautical phraseology and communication
  • aviation theme picture description (visual analysis)
  • reading and translation of text with aviation focus
  • listening and reproduction of recording (audio/video) with aviation content

ICAO English is not focused on grammar use. The exam will be led by the language proficiency examiner. The examiner will, however, not help you, nor lead you to answers. The recorded exam is then analyzed by a rater.

Depending on the result of ICAO English exam, the language proficiency exam might need to be revalidated.

Aero Language provides ICAO English exam for all aviation specialists:

In content and structure, ICAO English exam is tailored to the applicant's specialization (pilot or ATC).

ICAO English certificate

ICAO English certificate issued by Aero Language is valid internationally.

The certificate holder of language assessment body, the ProfiPilot business company issues the ICAO English certificate.

The ICAO English certificate is issued in accordance with a number of international requirements. The entry in your license will be given depending on the country which issued your license.

The ICAO English certificate issued by Aero Language contains the validity of ICAO English level  in accordance with:

  • ICAO international regulations
  • EASA regulations for pilots
  • Eurocontrol and EASA requirements for ATC

Aviation English is not the only ICAO internationally accepted language. Some countries therefore make entries also proficiency in other languages.

In Aero Language, we provide language proficiency examination also in other languages than English.