Flight training units freelance flight instructors aeroplane and helicopter
|Commercial Flight Standards
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The purpose of this Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) is to highlight the risks associated to authorizing student pilots who have not yet reached an operational aviation language proficiency level to engage in radiotelephony communications.
In 2008, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) introduced the aviation language proficiency standards as a means to ensure that flight crews on international flights and air traffic control personnel are proficient in conducting and comprehending radiotelephony communications in English or the language used for aviation communications between aircraft and ground stations worldwide.
In 2008, the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) were amended to introduce the requirement to demonstrate language competency prior to the initial issue of any flight crew and air traffic controller licences.
Paragraph 401.06(1.1)(b) of the CARs states that applicants for a licence ‘include documentation establishing that the applicant demonstrated, by means of an evaluation, their ability to speak and understand English or French, or both, at the operational or expert level in accordance with the language proficiency scale set out in the table to subsection 421.06(4) of the personnel licencing standards’.
Currently, student pilots training towards their recreational pilot permit or private pilot licence, aeroplane and helicopter, are not required to demonstrate their aviation language proficiency by means of a language test prior to conducting radiotelephony communications.
Student pilots with below operational level of language proficiency are authorized by their instructor, to conduct radiotelephony communications in dual and solo flights, in effect utilizing flight time as a means to reach an operational level.
This practice has resulted in many instances where these student pilots have misunderstood instructions, have caused unnecessary repeats of communications, have been unable to provide accurate position reports, have been unable to acknowledge or understand reports of conflicting traffic.
Inadequate level of language proficiency results in additional workload for air traffic controllers and increase the risks associated to diminished situational awareness.
It is recommended that flight training units and freelance flight instructors ensure that student pilots have reached an operational level of language proficiency in accordance with the language proficiency scale set out in the table to subsection 421.06(4) of the personnel licensing standards prior to engaging in radiotelephony communications.
When in doubt that student pilots have reached an operational level of language proficiency, it is recommended that flight training units and freelance instructors require the demonstration of aviation language proficiency level by means of a formal language test. This Civil Aviation Safety Alert replaces CASA 2017-04 Operational level of language proficiency prior to first solo issued on June 23, 2017.
For more information concerning this issue, contact Pierre-Laurent Samson, Commercial Flight Standards in Ottawa, by telephone at (613) 462-1152, by fax at (613) 990-6215 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Original signed by Pierre Ruel for
The Transport Canada Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) is used to convey important safety information and contains recommended action items. The CASA strives to assist the aviation industry's efforts to provide a service with the highest possible degree of safety. The information contained herein is often critical and must be conveyed to the appropriate office in a timely manner. The CASA may be changed or amended should new information become available.