Pilot Group Petitions against Language Program

 - November 21, 2006, 5:35 AM

The International Council of AOPA (IAOPA) submitted a petition to the International Civil Aviation Organization to modify language proficiency requirements scheduled to go into effect in two years. All ICAO member states must “adopt, and controllers and aircrews must conform to and achieve, new English language proficiency standards” by March 2008. The required proficiency level “will prove difficult and costly to both attain and maintain,” according to IAOPA. “While this requirement may be justified for those using the IFR ATC system, it is difficult to justify for the casual VFR user.” IAOPA recommends that the standards be upheld “only in Class A, B or C airspace.” Nevertheless, in support of the ICAO standard, the FAA in March announced a contract for the development of a program intended to improve the use of comprehensible English as the international language of aviation.