Aviation Language Proficiency Test (ALPT) Requirement

The introduction of aviation language proficiency standard by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is meant to ensure that flight crews and air traffic control personnel are proficient in conducting and comprehending radiotelephony communications in English or the language used for aviation communications between aircraft and ground stations. Transport Canada now annotates flight crew and air traffic controller licences to indicate the linguistic competence of the licence holder. New regulations are being introduced to require a demonstration of language competence for the initial issue of a new licence. Transport Canada has also developed the Aviation Language Proficiency Test (ALPT) to assess linguistic ability in English and French. Canadian testing and licensing requirements are based on ICAO standards, recommended practices and associated guidance material.

Assessing Language Proficiency

a) The Aviation Language Proficiency Test rates language proficiency as either “Expert” (corresponding to ICAO Level 6) or “Operational” (corresponding to ICAO Levels 4 & 5) or “Below Operational” (corresponding to ICAO levels 1-3)

b) Those assessed at the Below Operational level do not qualify for a Canadian flight crew or air traffic controller licence.

c) Those assessed at the Expert level require no further testing

d) Those assessed at the Operational level must be re-tested every 5 years

The Test Format

a) The test is a proficiency test of speaking and listening. It is scored using a rating scale and holistic descriptors developed by ICAO. It tests language in a broader context beyond the use of ICAO phraseologies. The test is designed to measure language proficiency in an aviation context.

b) A trained test administrator or Examiner conducts the Aviation Language Proficiency Test. The Examiner will present several different scenarios and ask the candidate to respond as if he or she were part of the scenario (“role-play”). The test consists of up to 20 responses and takes about 20 minutes to complete.

c) The ALPT will assess:

  1. Listening comprehension
  2. Speaking ability
  3. Responses to different scenarios

d) Candidates are evaluated on 6 areas of their verbal communications:Pronunciation, Structure, Vocabulary, Fluency, Comprehension and Interactions.

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Scheduling an Appointment

This test is a requirement that needs to be met in order to hold a Private Pilot Licence. Testing needs to be done in person and you will be able to schedule an appointment with the assistance of your flight instructor. You will need to have a valid Canadian Aviation Medical in hand, as well as provide photo ID. The cost of the exam is $50 plus HST for members and $100 plus HST for non-members. Please note there is to be a 90-day waiting period prior to attempting a re-test of an Aviation Language Proficiency Test (ALPT).