Meeting language standards for flight crew and student pilots
New pilot licensing regulations commence on 1 September 2014. CASA is currently reviewing and, where necessary, updating all website content to ensure it correctly reflects these regulations. Please note the information on this page might be outdated. If you have any questions about the new licensing regulations please contact your local aviation safety advisor or CASA’s Licensing and Registration Centre for up to date advice.
You can also visit the licensing regulations section for more information.
We have two different English language proficiency standards for flight crew and student pilots:
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has aviation language proficiency standards for operational flight crew.
- We have general English language standards for student pilots.
Each standard is different and you can’t substitute meeting one standard for the other.
Language proficiency standard for operational flight crew (ELP)
The International Civil Aviation Organization has directed its member states, including Australia, to assess and certify that all operational flight crew and air traffic controllers are competent in radiotelephony communications as well as proficient in the language used in aviation including ICAO approved phraseologies.
The ICAO language standard came into effect in 2008. The aviation language used in Australia is aviation English. Aviation English is also the standard international aviation language.
Flight crew must meet the standard to be issued with an operational licence, including a private pilot Licence (PPL), commercial pilot licence (CPL), air transport pilot licence (ATPL) and flight engineer licence (FEL).
Language proficiency standard for student pilots (GELP)
We have an Australian standard on general, or everyday English language proficiency for student pilots doing their flying training in Australian airspace. A student pilot must meet the standard to be issued with a student pilot licence (SPL).
Note: ELP and GELP are different, if you have achieved one standard you cannot use it as a substitute for the other.
The following pages will help you understand how these different standards may affect you.