Better Aviation English Goal of FAA Program

 - January 8, 2007, 10:09 AM

A new FAA program is intended to improve the use of comprehensible English as the international language of aviation and support new English language proficiency standards that are scheduled to go into effect in two years. The agency recently signed a five-year cooperative agreement with Ordinate of Menlo Park, Calif., to create a standard aviation English test. Ordinate has developed a completely automated method for testing spoken language, according to the FAA. Meanwhile, all International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) member states must “adopt, and controllers and aircrews must conform to and achieve, new English language proficiency standards” by March 2008. According to ICAO, “imposition and enforcement” of the new provisions “will improve aviation radio and telephone communications in English and therefore enhance aviation safety worldwide.”