Professional language training for aviation careers
Call us for a free telephone consultation: +852 8179 9295

ICAO Aviation English for Commercial Pilots
Achieve ICAO level 4 or above in this 30-200 hour course.
Improve your listening comprehension
Comprehension of ATCOs in Asia towers.
Improve your pronunciation
Unique exercises to develop rapid improvement in intelligibility.
Improve your vocabulary
Learn relevant core technical and aviation-related vocabulary.
Prepare for an ICAO Language Proficiency Assessment
Develop genuine language proficiency to surpass the standards of ICAO document 9835.

This week's classes for Commercial Pilots in Hong Kong

This week's Supplementary Classes in Hong Kong


This course is pre-approved by the HK Government's MATF (Maritime Aviation Training Fund) as reimbursable up to $18,000 HKD 

MATF Reimbursable

Professional training for ICAO Level 4+

Aviation English Asia Ltd has been providing highly focused classes for airline pilots and advising assessors on a candidate's suitability for retesting since 2009.  Our courses are designed based on the real-life language needs of pilots working within the region. Therefore this course was custom-developed by Aviation English Asia Ltd's highly qualified linguistic and experienced Subject Matter Experts to build genuine language proficiency.  


  1. Pilots must achieve and maintain a minimum of ICAO level 4, but many airlines require ICAO level 5/6 for command.
  2. Due to variation in test standards and validity, pilots rated at ICAO level 4 might not necessarily have the language proficiency to communicate with ease.
  3. Pilots who achieve only marginal ICAO level 4 are at risk of slipping to ICAO level 3, and consequently being grounded if their language proficiency deteriorates.
  4. Specialised remedial training when a pilot is grounded can be costly - requiring up to 200 hours of training to achieve proficiency.
  5. General English courses used as remedial training are neither effective nor motivating so ultimately poor value.
  6. It can be stressful to pilots and disruptive to operations when personnel are grounded - requiring 4-8 weeks to gain proficiency.
  7. Pilots from different parts of the world may have difficulty in understanding accents used by their colleagues and other aviation personnel working within the Asia region.
  8. Pilots even with high levels of proficiency may have difficulty identifying phraseology which deviates from ICAO standard phraseology.
  9. Pilots sometimes lack the social or soft skills to integrate into their airline's culture and work effectively with colleagues.


  1. AEA courses will help pilots surpass ICAO level 4 and achieve ICAO level 5/6 within a realistic timeframe.
  2. Aviation English Asia Ltd teachers can recognise and identify when a candidates proficiency varies from their test results* and can advise accordingly. 
  3. AEA courses are designed so that learners become self-aware of their limitations and consequently motivated to improve.
  4. AEA provide cost effective training (with up to $18,000 HKD reimbursable from the Maritime and Aviation Training Fund - MATF course code AC047).
  5. Highly qualified Aviation English instructors facilitate practice of the productive, receptive and interactive skills demanded by flight operations - including basic and advanced structures, and pronunciation practice within an aviation context with specific reference to the ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements. 
  6. Flexible schedule - AEA courses run 7 days per week and pilots can attend classes as their roster allows.
  7. Asia specific content which is highly relevant to pilots working in the region.
  8. AEA courses encourage the use of ICAO standard phraseology, and clear, concise and unambiguous communication. 
  9. AEA courses develop cultural awareness and sensitivity when dealing with other aviation personnel.

* Instead of an ambiguous rating of 4/5/6 for each of the ICAO language criteria the AEROSTA Framework Enhanced Proficiency Standards can specifically identify the ease with which a pilot can perform a communicative function.  The AEROSTA Framework fleshes out the skeleton of the ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements suggested in ICAO Document 9835.

Features and benefits

ICAO Aviation English for Commercial Pilots builds effective communication strategies for flight operations, which ultimately gives pilots the language skills needed to perform well in an ICAO English test.  Training with Aviation English Asia Ltd will give you:

  • Appropriate professional training that facilitates practice of standard phraseology in routine situations
  • Unique emphasis on practice of communicative functions so pilots can effectively manage routine and non-routine situations 
  • Develop skills relevant to each of the six ICAO language criteria - vocabulary, pronunciation, structure, comprehension, fluency, interactions
  • Interesting subject matter directly related to aviation operations and flight safety
  • Flexible schedule to meet your needs that can also be delivered onsite
  • Hundreds of hours of graded listening practice material which can be used for self-study
  • Course designed by highly qualified language experts in collaboration with aviation Subject Matter Experts
  • Course conforms to the AEROSTA Framework developed by the Aviation English Organisation
  • Ongoing progress reports based on the AEROSTA Enhanced Proficiency Standards 
  • Soft skills and relevant General English pilots need for everyday life
  • Private and group classes
  • Intensive course and accommodation available for overseas students
  • Hundreds of hours of listening comprehension exercises
  • Understand the limitations of ICAO test types
  • Learn what ICAO raters expect, their traps and how to avoid them.

Course description

ICAO Aviation English for Commercial Pilots course is skills based with activities and drills designed to ultimately help pilots achieve ICAO level 5+. The course conforms to recommendations of ICAO document 9835 and ICAO circular 323, and the AEROSTA Framework developed by the Aviation English Organisation.  ICAO Aviation English for Commercial Pilots focuses on proficiencies required for both safe RT and crew-member to crew-member communications.  As pilots attend each unit of the course our linguistic experts will assess their proficiency across all six ICAO criteria - Pronunciation, Structure, Vocabulary, Fluency, Comprehension, Interaction.  

Course content

Each unit focuses on routine procedures at one of their destination airports, or non-routine situation of relevance to commercial pilots, eg bird strike, engine failure, equipment failure, fuel planning, volcanic ash, crew time limitation.  Each unit includes pair and group work activities to increase pilots' ability to communicate effectively and safely in aviation.  The range of activities is very wide but includes:

  • Picture description
  • Listening comprehension of plain English in an aviation context, eg weather briefing, news report, personal experiences, interview, group discussion.
  • Pronunciation practice
  • Grammar drills and practice of relevant structures
  • Listening comprehension of pilot/controller dialogues in routine and non-routine situations.
  • Role play of pilot-controller / pilot-crewmember communications using both ICAO standard phraseology and plain English
  • Group discussion and debate on contentious topics affecting flight safety

All learners receive feedback and tailored advice on their language proficiency in each unit.

Topics and themes include

  • Aviation safety standards
  • Describing faults and damage
  • Crew Resource Management
  • Dangerous goods
  • Radiotelephony
  • Security
  • Career development
  • and many more..

Language functions include 

  • Phrasal verbs as used in an aviation context
  • Conjunctions
  • Complex descriptive phrases
  • Clarifying and requesting information
  • Describing hypothetical situations
  • Relative clauses

Course suitability

The course is effective in preparing candidates for all types of ICAO English test, but Aviation English Asia Ltd has thousands of hours experience in preparing candidates for tests at CX/KA, HKA/HKE, Eurocontrol ELPAC, RMIT RELTA, Versant VAET, TEA, ANAC, Latitude CLEAR, ASPEQ, MAS, PEPEC, so much so, that assessors often seek our feedback and guidance before we recommend a candidate for retesting.

Course prerequisites

  • Typical students are pilots with Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong Express, Cathay Pacific Airways, Cathay Dragon.
  • Any member of Hong Kong-based full-time airline or airport staff may apply for this course and will most likely be eligible for MATF reimbursement.
  • It is not necessary to hold a commercial pilot licence to enrol on this course.
  • If you are applying for a Cadet Pilot Programme and not current airline/airport staff then we recommend enrolling in the ICAO Aviation English for Cadet Entry Pilots course, which has a more regular schedule.

Enrolment procedure

In order to enrol on this course candidates must first attend a consultation. After attending a consultation you will receive expert guidance on your current level and difficulties and a recommendation for the duratiion of course you should enrol in, eg 30, 50, 60 or 100 hours.  

After completing the recommended number of training hours you will be well prepared for the ICAO test. 

Please call us on +852 8179 9295 for further details.


Hong Kong

Aviation English Asia has been offering part time and full time courses in Hong Kong since 2009.

All courses are available in Hong Kong. Check the schedule above for details.


Aviation English Asia has been offering part time courses in Vietnam since 2014.

All courses are available in Vietnam - typically every 8 weeks, or by special arrangement.


ICAO Aviation English, English for Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, Technicians and Mechanics, and English for Flight Attendants are available in Taipei, Tainan and Kaosiung.


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