All aeroplane, airships, powered lift aircrafts and helicopter pilots, flight navigators and air traffic controllers need to hold valid language proficiency endorsement for radio communication. The UK CAA can only endorse English language proficiency levels on the licences that we issue.
Your language skills will be rated on a scale of 1 to 6 (as defined by ICAO) and you must achieve a minimum of level 4. If you are graded at level 4 or 5 you will need to be retested regularly, but if you achieve level 6 you will not need to be retested. You will then have a language
proficiency endorsement on your licence, and a validity date. In the UK, you will need to do the retest as follows:
If you are graded below a level 4, you will not be able to get a licence that includes radiotelephony privileges. This also applies to national licences. In the UK, you need to obtain a Flight Radiotelephony Operator’s licence to use radio communications equipment, and to be able to use
this you must have a language endorsement on your licence at level 6, or have a valid proficiency if you achieved a level 4 or 5.
In order to get the endorsement, you will need to demonstrate that you are able to do the following:
If you hold and instrument rating (IR) or en route instrument rating (EIR) you must be able to demonstrate your English language proficiency to a level that will allow you to:
There are a number of ways you can be tested for your language proficiency level, as follows:
A UK approved examiner holding a level 6 proficiency in English can assess you during your practical test for the UK FRTOL. If your language level does not meet a level 6 then you
will need to go to an expert assessor, such as a CAA approved language school.
UK CAA approved type rating examiners (TREs), flight examiners (FEs) and class rating examiners (CREs) holding level 6 proficiency in English can assess your English language proficiency level as part of a licence proficiency check for renewal or revalidation of a rating or certificate.
If your language level does not meet a level 6 then you will need to go to an expert assessor, such as a CAA approved language school.
You need to make sure the school is approved by the CAA. Details of these organisations are published in
Standards Document 31 (pdf)
A number of approved training organisations (ATOs) will offer language training modules as part of your overall training package, and if approved to do so by the CAA the ATO will be able to assess
your language proficiency.
These are only acceptable as part of a change of state application.
All relevant European regulations such as Part- ARO, ORO, CAT, SPA, NCC, NCO, MED are available on the link shown below.
For Flight Crew Regulations please refer to the consolidated version Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011.
For other regulations such as Part-ORO, Part-ORA, please check the Air Operations regulations.
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