ICAO Promotes Aviation Safety By Endorsing English Language Testing


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 ICAO Promotes Aviation Safety By Endorsing English Language Testing

By Steve Hall

October 17, 2011 - 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 program 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). 

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth. Its headquarters are located in the Quartier International of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 

The ICAO Council adopts standards and recommended practices concerning air navigation, its infrastructure, flight inspection, prevention of unlawful interference, and facilitation of border-crossing procedures for international civil aviation. In addition, the ICAO defines the protocols for air accident investigation followed by transport safety authorities in countries signatory to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, commonly known as the Chicago Convention.

ICAO should not be confused with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade organization for airlines also headquartered in Montreal, or with the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), an organization for Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP's) with its headquarters at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands.

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