Pilots asked to renew language requirement

Date: 16 November 2012

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is advising pilots to check the currency of the English language proficiency endorsement associated with their licences. Pilots applying for any of the new EASA licences must have a valid English language endorsement before the licence can be issued by the CAA.

In 2008, all UK pilots who held a Flight Radio Telephony Operators Licence (FRTOL) were deemed by the CAA to be at ‘Level 4’ in the English language. This followed a global agreement through the International Civil Aviation Organisation requiring that pilots must demonstrate proficiency in English at Level 4, 5 or 6 and for Language Proficiency: English to be endorsed in their licences by a specified date. A ‘Level 4’ endorsement is valid for four years only. Consequently, the endorsements granted in 2008 to UK pilots who held radio licences expired in March 2012, unless they were renewed at Level 4 or were upgraded to Level 5 or 6 by one of the permitted methods. A ‘Level 6’ endorsement, the standard of an ‘expert’ English speaker, does not expire.

Since 2008 many UK pilots have been upgraded to Level 6 by demonstration to an examiner during a flying skill test, a proficiency check or a radio licence practical test. However, there are believed to be a significant number of pilots, mainly in the general aviation community, who have not obtained a Level 6 assessment from an examiner within the last four years during a test or check. Therefore, some existing licence holders may be unable to acquire an EASA licence until they renew their language proficiency endorsement.

Full details of how to renew a language proficiency endorsement are set out in www.caa.co.uk/cap804 Part 1, Section4, Part M.

More information is available, along with a list of all UK Radiotelephony Examiners

The CAA’s Licensing Department can be contacted at fclweb@caa.co.uk

For updates follow the CAA on www.twitter.com/UK_CAA

For further media information contact the CAA Press Office on: 00 44 (0)207 453 6030; press.office@caa.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy from an economic standpoint.