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TEA - Test of English for Aviation


Language Proficiency Requirements

The ICAO Council (International Civil Aviation Organisation) has established that as of March 5, 2008, the pilots of airplanes, helicopters, air traffic controllers and aeronautical station operators must demonstrate the ability to speak and understand the English language (as used in aeronautical communications with not less than a minimum standard of competence defined as operational Level 4. (Higher levels defined as 5 and 6 also exist).Those who demonstrate Level 4 proficiency will be subject to periodic review at three year intervals. This requirement was implemented by Italy .

Thus, as of March 5, 2008, pilots who are possess the appropriate ratings and a language proficiency level of Level 4 or above will be allowed to :

  • Perform flights outside national borders;
  • Fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR);
  • Perform scheduled and non- scheduled air transport service activities.

Pilots without this certified level of linguistic proficiency will only be allowed to :

  • Fly within the limits of the national territory ;
  • Fly in accordance with visual flight rules (VFR ) ;
  • Perform scheduled and non- scheduled air transport service activities.


From 2017 March 1st the agreed price is 145 euro for each test.

What is the " Test of English for Aviation"?

  • The TEA (Test of English for Aviation) is intended to assess the pilot's ability to communicate in English.
  • It is a test of linguistic proficiency concerning aviation in general - it is not merely an examination on the specific phraseology used in air to ground communication .
  • It is a face-to- face interview with an examiner lasting about 20 minutes and consists of 3 sections:

Section 1 - Introduction

Section 1 is a series of simple questions relating to the candidate's experience in aviation. There are no "right " or "wrong " answers – the intention is to allow you to demonstrate that you understand the questions concerning the world of aviation and can formulate an adequate reply.

Section Two - Interactive Comprehension

There are three parts to this Section. In each, you will hear a series of recordings in English performed by people from different parts of the world.

Each recording can be heard only once . You can request one repeat of a recording .

The first part consists of 10 recordings in which a pilot or Air Traffic controller talks about a non-routine, aviation-related situation. At the end of each recording you must tell the examiner what you have heard. All information is important .

The second part consists of 3 recordings. These are in a more general context of non-routine situations. After each recording, the candidate will have 20 seconds to ask questions - directly to the speaker that you heard in the recording - to learn more about the situation. Again there are no "right" answers , but you will have to demonstrate that they have understood the situation by asking relevant questions.

The third part is similar to the second part. There are 3 recordings of different non-standard situations. After each recording, the candidate will have 20 seconds to give the speaker some advice. Again there are no "right" answers , but you will have to demonstrate that you have understood the situation by giving relevant advice.

Section Three - Images , Descriptions and Discussion

You will be shown two images. You will be asked to describe and compare them to the fullest extent possible. You will have one minute in which to do this.

This operation will be repeated with another pair of images. The candidate will then take part in a discussion on general aviation topics related to the second pair of images.

What happens on the day of the exam?

You must present yourself to the Secretary at least half an hour before the time set for the test. This interval is necessary for the Administrator to take your photograph (for the certificate) and to complete your paperwork in your presence.

Be sure to bring with you the same identity document or passport quoted at the time of registration. Without this you will not be allowed to take the exam .

You do not need anything else.

Mobile phones are not permitted in the test room and must be left in custody outside. The examination will be recorded for checking purposes. If you are not satisfied with how the test was carried out, you must notify the course Administrator as soon as possible on the same day of the test.

The examiner will be unable to provide any assessment of proficiency as the test result is only determined at a later date. There is no point in asking for his/her opinion.

What kind of results are given?

The test is conducted in accordance with the ICAO Language Proficiency Rating Scale . This provides a score from 1 to 6 for your performance in the following topics :

  • Pronunciation
  • Grammatical Structure
  • Vocabulary
  • Linguistic Fluency
  • Understanding


The lowest score awarded in any topic will be assigned as the final score. The awarded Level will be recorded on your certificate of competence.