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English language proficiency for flight crew

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 Please note the information on this page might be outdated.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.

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The Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA) has promulgated two different English language proficiency standards for flight crew, namely, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation language proficiency standards for operational flight crew and the CASA general English language standards for student pilots.

ICAO language proficiency standard for operational flight crew (ELP)

ICAO has directed its member states, including Australia, to assess and certify that all operational flight crews (and air traffic controllers) are competent in radiotelephony communications as well as proficient in the language used in aviation including ICAO approved phraseologies. Hence it is about aviation language.

This ICAO language proficiency standard became effective on 05 March 2008. CASA has fully implemented the ICAO standards to enhance safety in flight operations.

The aviation language used in Australia is aviation English; aviation English is also the standard international aviation language. Therefore the language used by CASA to assess flight crew aviation language proficiency is aviation English.

In Australia, the ICAO required aviation English language proficiency is commonly known as or referred to by the abbreviation ELP.

ELP is a mandatory prerequisite for the issue of an operational licence, namely, the Private Pilot Licence (PPL), Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) and Flight Engineer Licence (FEL).

CASA general English language proficiency standard for student pilots (GELP)

CASA has promulgated an Australian standard on general (or everyday) English language proficiency for student pilots undertaking flying training in Australian airspace.

The standard is commonly known as or referred to by the abbreviation GELP.

GELP is a mandatory prerequisite for the issue of a student pilot licence (SPL).

Important note: As ELP and GELP are different, an achievement in one standard cannot be used as a substitute to satisfy the other standard.

More information

The following pages provide all the information necessary to understand how these different standards (ELP and GELP) may affect you.

Language proficiency poster