Effective March 5, 2008, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requires the following certificate holders who operate internationally to have a certificate stating that the holder is proficient in the use of the English language:

  • Private, commercial, and airline transport pilots with powered aircraft ratings
  • Flight engineers and flight navigators
  • Control tower operators

The ability to read, speak, write, and understand English is already a U.S. regulatory eligibility requirement; the FAA Registry began issuing all new certificates with this endorsement on February 11, 2008. The U.S. has notified ICAO that it filed a difference that will extend the U.S. compliance date until March 5, 2009, in order to provide sufficient time for all affected U.S. airman certificate holders to comply with the ICAO Language Proficiency airman certificate endorsement requirements.

Certificates that are ordered as regular replacement certificates will include the endorsement. You can order a replacement certificate on-line or by mail. You will be asked to register with Online Services if you don't already have an on-line account. Note that there is a $2 fee for replacement airmen certificates.

Airmen who request temporary authority or verification of their airman certificate will not have the English proficiency endorsement until the replacement certificate has been requested and the $2 fee paid. If you have questions, you may contact the Airmen Certification Branch toll-free at 1-866-878-2498.

For more information regarding ICAO English proficiency, refer to Information for Operators (InFO) 08012 at the All InFOs page.