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Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers Phraseology Study

Language is a key factor in the efficiency of  Pilot - Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications, particularly for safety reasons. The use of standardized phraseology allows to overcome differences in language while reducing misunderstanding. Ambiguous or non-standard phraseology is a frequent causal or contributory factor in aircraft accidents and incidents.

This Phraseology Report is the result of a survey carried out by IATA, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations (IFALPA) and the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA), focusing on the  non-use of ICAO standard phraseology.

The survey was an initial evaluation of the safety risks associated with air-ground communications. It compiles input from 2070 pilots and 568 air traffic controllers. 

Main factors leading to misunderstanding and misinterpretation: 

  • Use of general aviation English in lieu of standard phraseology
  • Rate of speech delivery
  • Lack of Harmonization

 Download full phraseology report (pdf) 

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