English Language Proficiency (ELP)
In an effort to improve the level of language proficiency globally and reduce communication errors, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) introduced language proficiency requirements for pilots and air traffic controllers. Consequently, and in accordance with EASA Part-FCL.055, pilots required to use the radio telephone can NOT exercise the privileges of their licences and ratings unless they have a language proficiency endorsement on their licence in either English or the language used for radio communications involved in the flight.
The English Language Proficiency assessment evaluates the applicant’s English language proficiency, in accordance with EASA Aircrew Regulations, to ensure that it is at least at an operational level, both in the use of phraseologies and plain language. To do so, the applicant shall demonstrate the ability to:
- communicate effectively in voice-only and in face-to-face situations;
- communicate on common and work-related topics with accuracy and clarity;
- use appropriate communicative strategies to exchange messages and to recognise and resolve misunderstandings in a general or work-related context;
- handle successfully the linguistic challenges presented by a complication or unexpected turn of events which occurs within the context of a routine work situation or communicative task with which they are otherwise familiar; and
- use a dialect or accent which is intelligible to the aeronautical community
There are 6 levels of English language proficiency (1 to 6). The minimum operational level, is level 4.
When a pilot demonstrates a language proficiency at an:
- expert level (level 6), the language proficiency is endorsed for lifetime;
- extended level (level 5), the language proficiency endorsement must be re- evaluated every 6 years;
- operational level (level 4), the language proficiency endorsement must be re- evaluated every 4 years;