Joan Bellec and Fiona Roberston at the Centre for Applied Linguistics of the University de Franche Compte (Besançon, France) organise the first Aviation English Forum, primarily for teachers. Over the years this event has evolved to encompass all aspects of the training, testing and use of English in aviation. From these early beginnings, ICAEA was born.


The Association was formally registered in Paris, as the International Aviation English Association (IAEA) – a non-profit making association – governed by French law.

Fiona Robertson: President & Treasurer
Philip Shawcross: Vice-President & Secretary


The name of the Association was changed to the International Civil Aviation English Association (ICAEA).


New Board Officials were elected:

Philip Shawcross: President & Treasurer
Bozena Slawinska: Secretary General
Elizabeth Mathews: Vice-President


The statutes of the Association were revised so that a Bureau of Office Bearers could be introduced.


An extraordinary meeting of the Association decided that the Bureau of Office Bearers would be extended to 6 persons including 3 new Vice-Presidents.

Philip Shawcross: retained the role of President
Terence Gerighty: was elected as Treasurer


ICAO Circular 323 – Guidelines for Aviation English Training Programmes is published.

Co-written by ICAEA and ICAO, this document sets out guidance and best practices by which aviation English training programs can be designed, delivered, staffed, managed and assessed for appropriacy, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

MORE   ICAO Circular 323


ICAO 2nd Rated Speech Samples Training Aid (RSSTA) is published.
This free resource of graded audio samples was developed by ICAEA for ICAO. It is designed for pilots, ATCOs, and testing & training service personnel, to help promote:

  • understanding of ICAO LPR Levels 1 to 6,
  • inter- and intra-rater standardisation,
  • harmonisation of rating standards between test service providers.



New Board Officials were elected:

Michael Kay: succeeded Philip Shawcross as President
Terence Gerighty: was re-elected as Treasurer
Adrian Enright: was elected as General Secretary

The ICAEA Board now consists of 6 Office Bearers and 9 Board Members.

MORE   Board


ICAEA establishes a new Research Group (ICAEA-RG) composed of Members of the Association who are currently involved in academic research into English language usage in aeronautical communications.

Areas of study by the Research Group include:

  • Specific Purpose Training and Testing
  • Corpus Linguistics
  • English as a Lingua Franca
  • Intercultural Communication

MORE   Research Group


New Board Officials were elected:

Michael Kay: was re-elected as President
Terence Gerighty: was re-elected as as Vice-President and Treasurer
Neil Bullock: was elected as Vice-President and General Secretary
Daniel Gorbold: was elected as Vice-President and Communications Secretary

The ICAEA Board now consists of 6 Office Bearers and 7 Board Members.

MORE   Board


The ICAO Test Design Guidelines (TDG) are published to assist Civil Aviation Authorities and Test Developers understand key issues related to the validity, effectiveness and fairness of test instrument design, and the effects they have on test takers and aviation safety. In October and November 2019, ICAEA provided four practical Workshops to demonstrate the use of the Guidelines to Regulators and other stakeholders.

MORE   ICAO Test Design Guidelines


The ICAEA Webinar Series began in 2020 in response to the emergence of Covid-19.

As many training and testing activities needed to transition quickly from face-to-face to online delivery, the initial objective was to offer opportunities for the sharing of ideas and experience. Interactive discussions sessions were led by ICAEA Board and Research Group Members, and training and assessment professionals.

The series has continued to explore other topics including corpus linguistics and the various factors influencing pilot-controller communications. Panel members have included pilots, air traffic controllers and experts in linguistics.

MORE   Webinars


ICAEA’s Membership continues to grow and now represents Aviation English interests in more than 75 countries worldwide. Members include Aviation English language trainers, examiners and raters, test and training materials developers, pilots, air traffic controllers, cabin crew, aircraft maintenance, regulators and other aviation professionals.

MORE   General Mailing List

MORE   Annual Membership

READ   In the Beginning  – by Fiona Robertson, ICAEA Honorary President