In IAOPA verband nemen onze Zwitserse collega's deel in de EASA Task Force die zich bezighoudt met Language Proficiency. Voluit: ICAO Language Proficiency Requirement Implementation Task Force.
Europese eenheid is ook hier niet evident.
A short report from the ICAO Language Proficiency Requirement Implementation Task Force.
ICAO, and EASA especially, have realized that the LP requirements should not be the same for CAT and for VFR pilots. So EASA intends to work out a new regulation in order also to lower the GA burdens. A possible major change could be that the level system will be replaced by a passed/failed principle, like applied today for any other aviation related testing. Furthermore, it has been realized that the Level 4 (the criteria for operational/non-operational) is too demanding for VFR-pilots. But be aware that changes will take a very long time for implementation.
A mutual recognition of LP tests of each Member State is imposed by EASA. Any deviations must be reported to EASA. Some States refuses to recognize a foreign LP test when the principles of ICAO Doc 9835 are not applied. Right now a strange issue exists between the Danish and the German CAA: The Danish has given a Level 6 to a candidate, but the German CAA assessed a Level 3 only after having checked the test by listening to the recordings. This issue becomes a court case now, and proves that the main problem of harmonization is far away of being solved.
EASA has currently sent out a survey to all EASA CAAs in order to investigate the status of LP requirements and the implementation. EASA said that corrective action could be imposed in case of excessive violation. I will inform as soon as results are available.
It is foreseen to expand the LP Level 4 to other organizations like Fire Brigades (in communication with the aircraft crew in peril), MET staff, medical services at airport, etc. This issue does not affect GA, and therefore I do not intervene in that.
Since I am the only GA pilots representative in this Task Force, I brought up again the problem of the pricing for LP checks. The costs for a Level 4 LP check vary from € 50.00 to more than € 550.00. This inacceptable huge gap provokes a veritable testing tourism, which cannot be in the interest neither of the Member States nor the pilots. EASA should take preventative measures. Furthermore, I urge all Member States to accept – beside any national language – English at all stations. EASA has heard this point now several times without opposing it.
The next LP Requirement Implementation Task Force meeting will take place in spring 2020 at the ICAO premises in Paris. Please feel free to send me your thoughts, comments, wishes, etc. I will be more than happy to bring them in the Task Force’s discussion.