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ICAO Aviation Language Proficiency Requirements – The Background Captain Daniel Maurino Captain Daniel Maurino Flight Safety and Human Factors, ICAO Flight.

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Presentation on theme: "ICAO Aviation Language Proficiency Requirements – The Background Captain Daniel Maurino Captain Daniel Maurino Flight Safety and Human Factors, ICAO Flight."— Presentation transcript:

1 ICAO Aviation Language Proficiency Requirements – The Background Captain Daniel Maurino Captain Daniel Maurino Flight Safety and Human Factors, ICAO Flight Safety and Human Factors, ICAO ASPA/ICAO CAR/SAM Regional Seminar on Safety Management Systems (SMS) Mexico City, 14 to 16 March 2005

2 Resolution A32-16 (1998) “…Council & Commission… strengthen provisions... obligating Contracting States to take steps to ensure that air traffic controllers and flight crews involved in flight operations in airspace where the use of the English language is required, are proficient in conducting and comprehending radiotelephony communications in the English language”

3 Air-Ground Communications A long standing safety concern  Conventional wisdom – Two pillars standardized phraseology standardized phraseology development of R/T speech based on simplified English development of R/T speech based on simplified English  Moderate success

4 Pillar #1 – Standardized Phraseology Insufficient to deal with the full range of situations requiring R/T exchange Insufficient to deal with the full range of situations requiring R/T exchange

5 Pillar # 2 – R/T Based Upon Simplified English Annex 1, pre-1998  ATCO’s: “… speak the languages designated for use in air traffic control without accent or impediment which could adversely affect communication”  Pilots: nothing

6 Air-Ground Communications Revisited A32-16 – The need for a fresh view  Development of Standards strengthening the use of standard phraseology strengthening the use of standard phraseology clarifying usage of English in aviation operations clarifying usage of English in aviation operations establishing language proficiency requirements establishing language proficiency requirements  The Price SG

7 Linguistic Research, circa 1998  Natural languages are most effective form of speech  Natural language is the only form of communication sufficiently reliable reliable comprehensive comprehensive adaptable adaptable for international aviation operations

8 PRICE Study Group – Premises 1.Make Standards acceptable to the target group(s)? 2.Allocate responsibility to airline operators and air navigation service providers? 3.Optimize interface between Standards and input from commercial training & testing providers? 4.Frame Standards that can be easily integrated into State regulatory frame works?

9 PRICE SG conclusions (1)  Standardized phraseology – First line of defence  Plain language – Second line of defence [for the full range of aeronautical R/T communication]  Exchange of critical operational information requires understanding of the fundamentals of linguistics understanding of the fundamentals of linguistics appreciation of the susceptibility of language to misapprehension appreciation of the susceptibility of language to misapprehension commitment to standards of discipline and care commitment to standards of discipline and care

10 PRICE SG conclusions (2)  Universal availability of one means of radiotelephony communication – important for safety and efficiency  Lack of a language common to flight crew and ground stations – safety concern  Need to retain the language used by stations on the ground

11 PRICE SG conclusions (3)  Similar proficiency requirements for pilots and controllers  A single minimum standard for the entire target group  Airline operators/ATS providers responsible for ensuring target group proficiency requirements

12 PRICE SG conclusions (4)  Heavy impact of the Standards in the aviation  “Do-able” if extensive guidance material extensive guidance material education & awareness programs worldwide education & awareness programs worldwide staff support activities by operators staff support activities by operators increased compliance with ICAO standardized phraseology increased compliance with ICAO standardized phraseology commitment commitment

13 Clarifying Usage of “Aviation” English  No silver bullet for all R/T communication problems blocked transmissions blocked transmissions not all aircraft on frequency not all aircraft on frequency controllers hand-over blocks of airspace to third parties controllers hand-over blocks of airspace to third parties crews workload disallows constant monitoring crews workload disallows constant monitoring  Enhances management of the immediate operational context If everyone is English-proficient If everyone is English-proficient  Over blowing the potential of English – boomerang effect

14 “Aviation” English  Does not belong to a particular culture  A tool for controllers & pilots [as a matter of convenience]  Has no special inherent qualities  Most accessible of all second languages can be successfully integrated into training programs in common English can be successfully integrated into training programs in common English

15 Language proficiency requirements  Annex 1 – Personnel Licensing  Annex 6 – Operation of Aircraft  Annex 10 – Aeronautical Communications  Annex 11 – Air Traffic Services

16 Annex 1  Demonstrate the ability to speak and understand the language used for radiotelephony communications  The Rating Scale and Holistic Descriptors  The “speak and understand” ability shall be demonstrated to level 4 of the ICAO rating scale Personnel Licensing

17 Annex 1  Language proficiency requirements apply to pilots engaged in international flights  Recurrent testing shall be required for those below level 6 every 3 years for level 4 every 3 years for level 4 every 6 years for level 5 every 6 years for level 5  Grandfather clause for licences issued before 5 March March March 2008 Implementation Notes

18 Annex 1  Manual on the Implementation of ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements (Doc 9835)  Review of progress in the implementation of the Language proficiency Standards in 2006  Consequences of non-compliance with the language proficiency Standards Other Aspects

19 Annex 6 –  Operators shall ensure that flight crews speak and understand the language used for radiotelephony communications Operation of Aircraft, Parts I and III

20 Annex 10  Plain language shall be used only when standardized phraseology cannot serve an intended transmission  Communications shall be conducted in the language normally used by the station on the ground or in the English language  English shall be available, on request from any aircraft station, at all airports and routes used by international air services Aeronautical Telecommunications

21 Annex 11  Air traffic service providers shall ensure that air traffic controllers speak and understand the language used for radiotelephony communications  English shall be used for communications between air traffic control units except when another language is mutually agreed Air Traffic Services

22 ICAO Audits The ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme  Language proficiency Standards in Annexes 1, 6, 10 and 11 starting in 2005

23 Language Proficiency: The Trail of Wreckage  Trident/DC-9 mid-air collision, Zagreb  Double B747 runway collision, Tenerife  B707 fuel exhaustation, JFK  B757 CFIT, Cali  IL-76/B747 mid-air collision, India  MD83/Shorts 330 runway collision, Paris/CDG  MD80/Citation runway collision, Milan  … Source: ADREP The common element: English language proficiency The common element: English language proficiency

24 From an SMS Perspective: A Hazard Weather Maintenance GroundCrew Ground Crew CabinCrew Cabin Crew Passenger management ATC Terrain Similar call signs Time pressure Heavytraffic Heavy traffic Unfamiliarairports Unfamiliar airports Automationevents Automation events Missedapproaches Missed approaches Flight diversions Systemmalfunctions


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