MONTRÉAL, 13 October 2011 – To further improve aviation safety worldwide, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has launched a new service to help its Member States more accurately assess the speaking and listening ability in English of pilots and air traffic controllers.
Test service providers around the world can now apply for, and receive, an endorsement for tests that rate proficiency in English used in aviation according to ICAO requirements. ICAO will endorse tests, not the test providers and the programme does not cover general English proficiency.
“In response to fatal accidents in which the lack of proficiency in English was identified as a contributing factor, ICAO adopted standards to strengthen language proficiency for pilots and air traffic controllers involved in international operations,” said Nancy Graham, Director of ICAO’s Air Navigation Bureau.
“The new ICAO endorsement service makes it easier to achieve that objective by providing States with impartial recommendations on selecting or developing English language tests that comply with our standards,” Graham added.
All tests are endorsed separately for a period of three years. The Organization will issue a certificate for each test endorsed and post the results on a dedicated website for all test endorsement activities (www.icao-aelte.org).
ICAO developed the endorsement service in partnership with recognized international professional associations: The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA), the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA), the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) and the International Civil Aviation English Association (ICAEA).