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English Language Proficiency Validity

The validity of your ICAO / EASA English qualification is a reflection of your current language skills, which are measured using specific ICAO English Levels on a rating scale. To unify language proficiency requirements, both ICAO and EASA have established a harmonized system of Levels that determine the validity of your certification.

By undergoing the language proficiency exam in Level6 Aviation, you will receive language certificate issued in accordance with both - ICAO English and EASA English regulatory standards. It's validity is as follows:

  • English LEVEL 4:  4 YEARS EASA / 3 YEARS ICAO

  • English LEVEL 5:  6 YEARS both  ICAO and EASA



ICAO English level 4 is the minimum for operational use. That why it is so-called Operational level. English Level 4 is absolute minimum.

⚠️ ICAO English Level 4 in General ⚠️ 

ICAO English Level 4, often referred to as the Operational level of Aviation English, represents the minimum proficiency required for operational use. While this level is deemed sufficient from a regulatory standpoint to function as a pilot, certain airlines may enforce higher minimum standards. Therefore, achieving ICAO English Level 4 may not always meet the specific requirements of individual operators. Let's delve deeper into the implications and significance of ICAO English Level 4.

ICAO English Level 4 ✅ Pronunciation

Perfect pronunciation isn't the expectation for ICAO English Level 4. Language examiners can quickly identify English isn't your first language or mother tongue. A strong local accent is often the most noticeable marker of ICAO English Level 4 Pronunciation. This accent is influenced by your native language. For instance, German speakers have a unique pronunciation of "th". A classic example of ICAO English Level 4 Pronunciation is the word "think" pronounced as "sink". Nevertheless, the message's content remains easily understandable within context.

ICAO English Level 4 ✅ Sentence structure

At ICAO English Level 4, your sentence structure effectively communicates your intended message. You're capable of expressing time through various tenses, differentiating between past and present, using plurals, and applying various prepositions accurately. Although the syntax may not be flawless, an ICAO English Level 4 holder can distinguish between "a" and "an". In more complex conversations, you might generally rely on others or steer clear of constructing overly complex sentences.

ICAO English Level 4 ✅ Vocabulary

As an ICAO English Level 4 holder, your vocabulary naturally expands with your flying experience. It's essential that your vocabulary aligns with your level of experience and enables effective communication with other pilots and ATCs. When discussing diverse topics, you're able to express your thoughts in your own words, describing or paraphrasing the key aspects of various subjects.

ICAO English Level 4 ✅ Message comprehension

Achieving ICAO English Level 4 involves more than just mastering aviation phraseology; it also requires the ability to use and understand simple language beyond standard aviation phrases. You should be able to grasp different situations. While immediate comprehension may not always occur, repetition should help you understand the message's content or context. An ICAO English Level 4 holder is comfortable with using the phrase "say again" when necessary.

ICAO English Level 4 ✅ Interaction

An ICAO English Level 4 holder isn't hesitant to speak up. When something is unclear, you don't stay silent; instead, you seek clarification or utilize the essential aviators' phrase "say again".

ICAO English Level 4 ✅ Spoken fluency

An ICAO English Level 4 holder can find the right words to describe a situation or answer a question with relative ease. Although it may occasionally take a bit longer, it doesn't indicate significant issues with fluency.


ICAO / EASA English Assessment

The ICAO English assessment is conducted by a qualified language proficiency examiner. At Level6Aviation, we offer the ICAO English exam to cater to the needs of aviation specialists. In alignment with ICAO requirements, the assessment is divided into several sections, providing a comprehensive evaluation of language proficiency. The entire assessment process typically takes between 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Initial Briefing

  • Visual analysis

  • Communication with ATC (Simulation)

  • Audio analysis (listening ATC)

  • Personal Interview with Candidate

If you wish to gauge your proficiency level in a non-official capacity, you have the option to take a practice exam for €59. This practice exam allows you to assess your language skills and readiness for the official ICAO English assessment:

ICAO English vs EASA English
Understanding the

"ICAO English" refers to the language proficiency qualification required for pilots and flight crew members involved in international aviation communication since March 5, 2008, in accordance with ICAO regulations. Additionally, EASA license holders are also obligated to undergo language proficiency assessments based on similar requirements outlined in Commission Regulation No 1178/2011 Part FCL - FCL.055.

Due to ICAO's establishment of language proficiency standards three years prior to EASA, pilots commonly refer to both regulatory frameworks - EASA FCL.055 and ICAO Doc 9835 - as "ICAO English." This shared terminology has become prevalent in the industry.

Understanding the distinctions between ICAO English and EASA English is essential for pilots and flight crew members navigating language proficiency requirements in the aviation sector.

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