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Comprehension on numbers in frequency changes

"Sometimes I won't catch the numbers in a frequency change, the name of a fix or off-route waypoints because they might be pronounced differently"

United States Airline Transport Pilot International Flight Language Experiences - Report 2

There are many factors which affect effective communication.  The quote above highlights that transmission of numbers and unfamiliar waypoints are sometimes a problem for Native English Speakers.  To remedy this, numbers should be transmitted with appropriate tempo not exceeding 100 words per minute, and all parties should build an awareness of different pronunciations.  These are our tips for transmission of numbers.

  • When it is known that elements of the message will be written down by the recipient, speak at a slightly slower rate.  

  • Press the transmit switch fully before speaking and do not release it until the message is complete. This will ensure that the entire message is transmitted.

  • Use a normal conversation tone, speaking clearly and distinctly.

  • A slight pause before and after numbers will assist in making them easier to understand.

Aviation English Asia Ltd courses incorporate activities to reinforce checks against miscommunication, directly built into the Learning Method.

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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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