The 5th ICAO Journal dates back to August 2013, and there is a chapter on Language Proficiency Requirements (LPR) in it. The Journal reviews ICAO’s LPRs and other recent initiatives developed, and reported during a technical seminar to support language proficiency in March 2013, and particularly English language testing among Member States.
All the stakeholders were gathered at the seminar. Those who implement the safety-critical language provisions as mandated by Assembly Resolution A32-16 in 1998, and embodied in Annexes 1, 6, 10 and 11, as well as Doc 4444 — PANS-ATM have their work cut out for them!
According to ICAO Convention, Annex 10, Vol.2, “If a pilot, and an air traffic controller don’t speak a common language, the default language is English. Additionally, the flight crew establishes the language to be used.”
The seminar presented an ICAO speech sample training aid. This tool provides examples of ICAO levels 3, 4 & 5. There was a discrepancy among the various ratings given to samples in a workshop. I know that the juries throughout the world have done some good work. However, candidates have already reported differences between juries within a fortnight. The ratings can vary up to almost two ICAO levels. Rating is difficult, and setting a test is difficult as well.
We know now from the journal that EUROCONTROL is developing a Level 6 examination and that EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) might establish a validity period of 9 years for Level 6.
Another initiative is the launch of a new AELTS (Aviation English Language Test Service) website at https://www.icao.int/safety/OPS/OPS-Tools/Pages/AELTS.aspx .
The LPR seminar report is available here:
ICAO JOURNAL 2013 LPR
FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF ICAO’S AVIATION ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST SERVICE (AELTS)
Manual on the Implementation of ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements
Latest news: The MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) on the aeronautical documents test might be given up in 2014. Therefore, the FCL .055 D might be deleted. The FCL .055 tests VFR and IFR only would be left unchanged ie without the 15-minute MCQ test.
Thanks to Thierry Hermas – English teacher at the French Air Force Academy (FAFA) – who passed the documents on.