A good command of foreign languages has always been linked to professional and personal success. For many years, people have been trying to maintain that speaking a foreign language, especially English, is important or even essential for the development of a good career.
This is not exactly the point anymore: the discussion has changed from “how important/ essential is English?” to “the degree of linguistic competence should one have in English about an area of performance?” That is: to interact with the world, people have to speak English. This way, people are going to adjust the degree of language command to their needs.
That is: to interact with the world, people have to speak English.
In the specific case of aviation, English has always been a requirement. From the reading of manuals to ATC communications. Unfortunately, it has been proved that the sole understanding of technicalities in English does not assure safe aeronautical communication. History shows us accidents that were caused by language problems, such as Tenerif (1977), Avianca 052, Charki Dardri, and so many other crashes and near-crashes.
With the growing market worldwide, changes have been made in order to guarantee safety in operations with a minimum level of English language command. Pilots must now apply for the ICAO compliance test, which is supposed to certify that professionals working in aviation operations have a minimum of linguistic competence in English that puts together plain English and standard phraseology.
There is always room for learning.
In general lines, pilots must be prepared to perform linguistically well in English in routine and non-routine situations. We all know how hard it can be to reach a point where one can say he/she has enough linguistic tools to feel confident. In other words, we should all aim at endless improvement. There is always room for learning.
One of the goals of this blog is to help student pilots and pilots in this task. So, if you like Aviation, English or Aviation English, enjoy our blog.