On March 2003, ICAO modified its Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention, to include the requirement of being tested on the use of the language in which radio communications are done by aeronautical personnel; pilots, navigators, flight engineers and air traffic controllers.
Following a scale from 1 to 6, native would be evaluated with a Level 6 (expert), and non natives with a Level 4 (operational) as a minimum for the issuance of their license.
ICAO does not specify a language in particular, just “that one used for radiotelephone communications”.
The new requirements became valid last March 5th 2008, and are mandatory for all which requires the issue of a license.
Those who do not achieve alLevel 4, 5 or 6 in English Language Proficiency will not be permitted to fly outside of their birth country. Including those pilots holding a PPL license which operate outside of controlled airspace, but excluding those with a National PPL license.
The Level 4 (operational) will have to be revalidated at least once every 4 years, and those with a Level 5 (extended) at least once every 6 years.
ICAO established that candidates should be evaluated in six aspects of their language proficiency:
Once the test is done, the examined may attach the acquired level to his license.
Panamedia offers his On-Line Aviation English course, whose aim is to achieve detailed knowledge to speak, read, write and understand until the maximum Level 6.
More info on On-Line Aviation English Course >