ABSTRACT

In response to results of analyses of data gleaned from accident report databases such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Accident/Incident Data Reporting System, the US National Transportation and Safety Board reports, and the United Kingdom’s Mandatory Occurrence Reporting Scheme, in 2003 ICAO introduced worldwide language profi ciency requirements (LPRs) for aviation personnel. The ICAO LPRs had the effect of offi cializing the role of English as a lingua franca in aviation, as while the ICAO language profi ciency requirements actually apply to all languages to be used in radiotelephony, they stipulate that English must be ‘made available’ in situations where the ground and the crew do not share the same native language. Prior to the introduction of the LPRs, profi ciency in English was recommended as opposed to required according to ICAO standards. Nevertheless, English has been widely used as a lingua franca in civil aviation for many decades.