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, so-called ICAO English.

In addition, Commission Regulation No 1178/2011 Part FCL - FCL.055 requires the EASA license holders to attend language proficiency assessment on similar basis like ICAO English.

Since the ICAO came with the language proficiency standards first - back in 2008 and eventhough we are allways talking about both - ICAO and EASA English, majority of the people are calling the language proficiency simply as "ICAO English".

EASA or ICAO English?

All EASA licenses and its privileges (except LAPL, EIR and some other specific ratings) are issued in accordance with ICAO standards as well. Aero Language is language testing body (LTB) approved in accordance with both - international ICAO standards and pan-european EASA standards.

In fact by attending the language proficiency exam in Aero Language, you will receive language certificate issued in accordance with and indicating both standards - an ICAO English and EASA English as well.

Depending on your proficiency in aviation English (so-called ICAO English level) and standards of the license issue the rating will be assigned with corresponding validity.

ICAO English exam for Level 4 and Level 5 have limited validity as do other aviation qualifications.

ICAO / EASA English language assessment

In compliance with ICAO requirements the ICAO English exam is divided into a number of sections. The whole examination takes between 20-30 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

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 is issued online by Aero Language and is valid internationally.

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 state of your license issue.

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