…Say again?… – Miscommunications in Air Traffic Control

This paper presents an investigation into miscommunications between air traffic controllers (ATC) and pilots. These miscommunications may broadly be applied to a range of verbal communications problems ranging from misunderstandings, such as those due to ambiguity, cultural differences, language structure, and so on, to more technical problems, such as microphone…

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Predictive Power of English Testing: Training International Flight Students

Due to the impending pilot shortage in Asian countries many prospective students are being sent to the United States to receive their initial flight training. The purpose of this American study was to determine if Chinese students entering an American flight program with higher English testing scores are more successful…

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Solutions for Improving the Safety of Aviation Communication

An Investigation of Pilots’ and Air Traffic Control Officers’ Opinions on Aviation English. This dissertation has investigated the opinions and insights of pilots and air traffic control officers regarding various aspects of the global state of Aviation English. 288 participants have completed an online survey and a further 4 participants have…

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English language training for Air Traffic Controllers must go beyond basic ATC Vocabulary

Miscommunications can have serious consequences – especially when co-ordinating aircraft flying in a variety of environments and variables.  Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) responsible for international flights must have the skills in English to communicate in a very broad sense – much more than talking and repeating standard and learned phrases.…

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Implementing ICAO language proficiency requirements in the Versant Aviation English Test

This paper discusses the development of an assessment to satisfy the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Language Proficiency Requirements. The Versant Aviation English Test utilizes speech recognition technology and a computerized testing platform, such that test administration and scoring are fully automated. Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Federal Aviation…

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An analysis of pilot-controller occurrences – Eurocontrol

This Eurocontrol report provides an analysis of the incidents related to air-ground communication between controllers and pilots.  Significant safety issues, hazardous scenarios, causal factors, and potential prevention strategies concerning air-ground communication safety are provided in this report. Aviation English students are encouraged to read this report so they can gain…

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Language Experiences in Non-Native English-Speaking Airspace/Airports – FAA Report

This FAA report is a compilation of written responses and comments by a group of 48 U.S. pilots of their difficulties in international operations.  These pilots met with interviewers to discuss their language experiences flying into countries where English may or may not be the local or national language among…

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“Tell Them We are in Emergency” – Linguistic Factors Contributing to the Crash of Avianca Flight 052

Abstract On 25 January 1990, Avianca Flight 052 ran out of fuel and crashed after a missed approach to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. A number of causal factors were involved in the crash, some of which were linguistic. The accident has accordingly been cited by the International…

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English with Flying Colors: The Aviation English and the International Civil Aviation Organisation

There are several reasons for the English language to become lingua franca of aviation including some historical turning points for the world aviation and some specific linguistic features of the language itself. This paper aims to firstly present a short, yet interesting history of implementation of English as standardized language…

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Nobody seems to speak English here today: Enhancing assessment and training in aviation English

In 2003 the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) strengthened the provisions that English be made available for international radiotelephony communication.  ICAO also developed standards for English proficiency for international pilots and air traffic controllers. However, these standards are applied variably from country to country and in no country are native…

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Aviation English in South African airspace

A lack of English proficiency and failure to use standard phraseology played a role in the world’s largest aviation disaster which occurred in Tenerife in 1977 . As a result, the crucial role of effective communication between pilots and airtraffic controllers (ATCs) came under scrutiny, with the International Civil Aviation…

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ICAO Journal: 2015 – 4

ACTION ON THE ENVIRONMENT. State’s action plans drive partnerships and progress emissions/noise standards move ahead inder ICAO CAEP E-GAP seminar showcases emissions reduction aircraft end-of-life practices. State profile Special Features: United Arab Emirates Russian Federation. Also in the issue: ICAO Air Navigation Commission 200th Session. Public private partnerships. ADS-B to…

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ICAO Journal: 2015 – 3

PARTNERSHIPS FOR PROSPERITY. ICAO’s 2015 World Aviation Forum sets the stage for a new era of global aviation development in support of local prosperity and the UN SDGs. Also in this issue: 2015 ICAO Counil off-site puts focus on training. Harmonizing passenger rights globally. New manual on child restraint systems.…

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ICAO Journal: 2015 – 2

A SOLID FOUNDATION. ICAO brings together states and industry to chart the safe integration of remotely piloted and aerospace operations. State profile special features: Malaysia – Indonesia. NO COUNTRY LEFT BEHIND: Driving progress on sustainable security for Africa and Ongoing PBN Implementation. ICAO Journal: 2015 – 2 PDF File –…

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ICAO Standard Phraseology

Communication error is the biggest causal factor in both level busts and runway incursions. This document aims to provide Commercial Air Transport (CAT) pilots and other pilots flying IFR within controlled airspace with a quick reference guide to commonly used radiotelephony (RTF) phrases that may be encountered during a routine…

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Pilot-Controller Communication

Until data-link communication comes into widespread use, air traffic control (ATC) will depend primarily upon voice communication that is affected by various factors. Communication between pilot and controller can be improved by the mutual understanding of each other’s operating environment. Pilot-Controller Communications PDF File – 358 Kb

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Intercultural communication and discourse analysis: The case of Aviation English

Historically, applied linguistics has tended to shift from a theoretical approach toward a problem solving approach. Intercultural communication as a field of study has gained its position through asking how people from different cultures communicate and how misunderstanding can be prevented. Within the domain of English for Specific Purposes (ESP)…

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Pilots/Air Traffic Controllers Phraseology Study

As the world becomes more and more “global”, language becomes a key factor in the efficiency of Pilot – Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications. Language and communication issues are very important because a miscommunication could potentially lead to a dangerous situation without any of the involved stakeholders being aware. The…

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Australian air traffic control system will monitor both civilian and military aircraft in ‘world first’ approach

In what the Government says is a world first, Australia’s next air traffic management system will service both civilian and military aircraft, doing away with long-standing separation. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) previously resisted the move, arguing it was imperative Defence retained full control over military flight traffic. But…

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Coping with Long-Range Flying

This Airbus document provides a practical set of recommendations for the use of longrange crewmembers: alertness decrement, sleep, napping,life hygiene. During long-haul rotations, partial or complete compliance with these recommendations should allow pilots to better manage their levels of alertness in flight, limit sleep loss related to night flights, facilitate,…

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Evaluation and content analysis of “English for Aviation for Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers” textbook as an ESP book

Books in language learning and teaching have an undeniable significant role. Since English language teaching is essential for air traffic controllers and pilots all around the world, the aim of this study is to clarify the role of a coursebook used in educating and training air traffic controllers and pilots.…

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Aviate, Navigate, Communicate: Silence, Voice and Situation Awareness in Aviation Safety

Ph.D. dissertation by Theodoros Katerinakis,  The purpose of this dissertation is to show how important human communication is in order to accomplish a safe flight. A flight is represented as an act of conversation that combines culture with communication of co-present and cooperative actors, in the highly mediated environment of the flight deck.…

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Getting to Grips with MMEL and MEL

The MMEL is an Airbus document, developed by the Flight Operations Support and Services Department. Operators use the Airbus MMEL as a reference for creating their own MEL, which is provided to their flight crews, line maintenance personnel, and/or flight operations personnel. It is important to note that an Operator’s MEL cannot be less…

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Challenges of Teaching Aviation Vocabulary and Radio Phraseology at High School Level

This paper aims a) to analyze the challenges in teaching aviation vocabulary and radio phraseology at high school level in English language instructors’ perspective and b) to present some recommendations that can help to reduce encountered problems if taken into consideration in the design and implementation of the related syllabus…

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Preventing Landings without clearance

A variety of reports identify pilots’ failure to obtain clearances prior to landing. Fortunately, most incidents do not result in traffic conflicts or other hazardous consequences. However, the potential for a breach of safety is high. So that the industry can better assess the factors contributing to landing-without-clearance events, this paper analysed a small number (37)…

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English for Safety Purposes (ESP): Static Pitfalls & Dynamic Opportunities In Iranian Aviation Context

The pace of changes in the world is an ever-increasing one, leading to great demands in the synchronization of the two wings of education and technology, and resulting in great changes in the pace of success in the industries. With the emergence of the knowledge-based organization, the bridging the gap…

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Materials development for speaking skills in Aviation English for Malaysian Air Traffic Controllers: Theory and Practice

In 2004 the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) mandated that pilots and air traffic controllers the world over meet a set standard of language proficiency requirements as a safety measure against language- and communication-related problems in flying. In response to this mandate, aviation English training and testing initiatives mushroomed in…

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Implementing ICAO language proficiency requirements in the Versant Aviation English test

This paper discusses the development of an assessment to satisfy the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Language Proficiency Requirements. The Versant Aviation English Test utilizes speech recognition technology and a computerized testing platform, such that test administration and scoring are fully automated. Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Federal Aviation…

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Sharing The Skies

This Transport Canada document is a crucial tool for managing hazardous interactions between wildlife and aircraft in the vicinity of airports. For example, some land-use activities near airports – such as waste-disposal sites, attract high-risk bird species and, therefore, directly impact aviation safety. Transport Canada strives for the holistic, proactive…

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Antidepressants in Aviation

Use of antidepressant medications by pilots and air traffic controllers does not increase the risk of aviation accidents or incidents, according to a study of 10 years of aviation safety data from Australia, where aeromedical authorities have allowed the supervised use of antidepressants since 1987. The study, published in Aviation,…

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Running Rabbits and Shoulder Markings: Metaphorical Terms in Specialised Knowledge

The role of metaphor as a basic cognitive mechanism in the construction and retrieval of specialized knowledge has been well studied within cognitive terminological theories. However, the results of these analyses have mainly been applied in designing or improving terminological resources, leaving somewhat aside the impact metaphor has on bridging…

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