Headset ICAO Phonetic Alphabet

Welcome to this free course in basic radiotelephony from Aviation English Asia.

Pronunciation of letters used flight operations is very important.  To avoid confusion, the ICAO phonetic alphabet is used.  This is sometimes known as the NATO phonetic alphabet. The 26 code words in the NATO phonetic alphabet are assigned to the 26 letters of the English alphabet in alphabetical order as follows: Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

Read and memorise all of the ICAO phonetic alphabet.  The stressed syllable is in bold.

You will find it helpful to say the phonic (pronunciation) aloud.  After you have learned them all in sequence, try saying them backwards.

icao phonetic alphabet

Exercise:

  1. Spell your name using the ICAO phonetic alphabet
  2. Look at the pictures of aircraft below.  How would you pronounce their tail numbers?

250px-Vans.rv-7.g-kels.arp ICAO Phonetic Alphabet 220px-JAL_B747-400JA8089_5481514185 ICAO Phonetic Alphabet   US_Registration_Closeup ICAO Phonetic Alphabet  Qantas_Aircraft_flight449 ICAO Phonetic Alphabet

When you are confident using the ICAO phonetic alphabet, start the next lesson, which is about the pronunciation of numbers in aviation.

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