English Language

When I got my new license from TC with my night rating on it, there was an additional “rating” as well that I didn’t recognize.

It was the English proficiency rating. Here are the details from an email from the CFI at Toronto Airways:

All of the ICAO countries have passed an agreement that the international language of aviation is now English. As a result legislation has been passed in Canada to make this a new requirement for aviation licences.

As of March 05, 2008 all licenced pilots in Canada must have the English language proficiency rating on their licences.

Anyone that is the holder of a Pilots Licence before February 29, 2008 will be grandfathered, as an Expert in the English language. After March 05, 2008 every new pilot will have to take and pass the English Language Proficiency Test as a requirement of licencing. The levels that could appear on a licence are as follows:

EXPERT (Which is good for Life)

OPERATIONAL (This is good for 5 years, at which time the test must be taken again until the person reaches expert level)

Transport Canada is in the process of reprinting all of the ATPL and Commercial licences at this time.

They are not reprinting the Private Licences at this time due to the large number of them. When a change of licencing is done through a new rating etc. they will have the language proficiency entered on them.

The implication to this though is if any Private Pilot licenced person is planning to fly into another ICAO country like the United States after March 05, 2008, and do not have their language proficiency endorsed on their licence they technically are not a licenced pilot in that country. Any Private Pilot Licenced person who is planning to fly in an ICAO country after March 05, 2008 can call Transport Canada Licencing to have a new licence issued to them, to ensure they meet the legal requirements. Toronto Airways and Canadian Flight Academy now have Transport Canada Aviation Language Proficiency appointed examiners on staff, to assist with this new requirement.

2 Responses

  1. helpmefly.ca says:

    Hey Blake,
    I received the same email from Toronto Airways yesterday..Can anyone find a reference to this email from Transport Canada? I would like to know more details such as: is the test written or verbal? How do you become “Expert”? How much will the testing cost?
    I haven’t received my license yet due to not completing my written test.. How much of a benefit will it be for me to complete it by Feb 28th and skip this whole requirement.
    Thanks!
    Matt

  2. Blake says:

    Matt,
    Those are all excellent questions. I talked to Dispatch at Toronto Airways and they said that it’s an Oral test, with a $50 fee.
    I don’t know specifically. But, I’m assuming you become an expert by getting a certain mark on the exam. (ie, 90% or better).
    I would recommend getting that written test done before the 28th. Just to avoid going through the hassle of having to do yet another test and pay more money.
    COPA is also looking for information about this from Transport Canada. It seems that there is a lack of information (and warning) about this new rating from TC.
    Hope this answers your questions.