Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

aviation radiotelephony, air traffic control, aviation English training, aviation emergency training, aviation, radiotelephony


This paper focuses on what language needs to be used in emergencies by air traffic controllers based on an investigation of plain language definitions and descriptions in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) publications and in the beliefs of nine air traffic controllers in the United Arab Emirates. The aim of the study is pedagogical, in that it is important to establish what language trainee air traffic controllers need to use during emergencies, but there is little in the way of course books or materials that can inform course development. Findings suggest there are contradictions in the ICAO documentation, and differences in beliefs held by air traffic controllers largely mirror these documents. The paper presents a model of the contradictions found in interview and document data and explores the likelihood of differing assumptions leading to variation in language output. The implications for training, testing and ICAO policy are presented, as well as possibilities for future research.



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