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Who decides what language must be used at which airport?

The DGAC has no authority to answer. They may tell you what they think. They have some prosecution power, they might have a policy regarding to that, they might be willing to make it public, but they usually don’t. I don’t know if their prosecution power would allow them to prosecute you, I think they would have to request your own authority to do so.
A gendarme/policeman might be willing to prosecute you, and then the prosecutor will press the charges, and then judge would answer the question.
But obviously the risk is not there. You might end up with a small fine and I’m not even sure of that.
The risk is that you have an accident, and that people request money from you or your estate (to the expense of your widow and children) because your French was not legal. In that case, the judge will answer the question.

The only way to get a practical answer would be to request the AOPA to ask the EASA to clarify the regulation. I do not know if there is an official list of pending subjects that need clarification from EASA.
If your French is good enough, you can get a level 4 in France and … well not add it to your licence obviously as the CAA does not want to do so, but keep the paper with you. I have a paper signed by someone at the DGAC saying that I may speak French.
Another way to get a French RT certificate is get a microlight French rating, it’s fun and cheap. No medical needed.

LFPN Paris

but for some reason SSB is not used in aviation comms.

It is used in HF COM.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
I don’t know where you are going.

By any chance, are you saying that if you have the English endorsement and you want to fly to FR-only fields, then you need to the French endorsement in addition? Indeed, this has been beaten to death already, so let’s not start it again.

Did I point to FCL.055 yet?
Frankfurt (EDFE and EDFC)

the FCL0.55 which says that your license is not valid without an LP ??
Does not come near saying that with an English LP you can speak FR on and FR only airfield….

FCL.055 Language proficiency
(a) General. Aeroplane, helicopter, powered-lift and airship pilots required to use the radio telephone shall not
exercise the privileges of their licences and ratings unless they have a language proficiency endorsement on their licence in
either English or the language used for radio communications involved in the flight. The endorsement shall indicate
the language, the proficiency level and the validity date

or in other words, you don’t have a license if you don’t have an LP… Nothing more

Last Edited by PapaPapa at 16 Mar 14:01
ELLX (Luxembourg), Luxembourg

@papapapa but you did notice the “in either english or” subclause?

If it was as you claimed that you needed an endorsement in the language used, why then did they add the “in either english or” subclause? Why did they even mention english before the language used?

Thanks Tom. The way the rule was worded makes it clear that they wanted to give English a prioritary position over other languages. And that’s what they did. The fact that the rule, as it is, makes little logical sense is totally another matter.

EASA has had several years of time now if they had wanted to rephrase it. But they have not.

Both an EASA rulemaking officer and a director of the DGAC have recently confirmed that as long as the pilot holds the English LP, he is legal, even for flying at French RT airfields. Just as the rule says.

It goes without saying that the pilot must be able to speak French on the radio (if the airfield requires the use of the radio), otherwise he might be in breach of other rules, e.g. the general “careless operation/endangerment” clause.

Frankfurt (EDFE and EDFC), Germany

Apparently, judging from several French documents referenced here, the French position is that non-professional pilots need to document proficiency in French but do not necessarily need the LP entered into their licenses.


This is an old thread, but I can’t for the moment find anything more recent related to the subject for Germany. There is lots of discussion about France, but little about Germany, although I thought I saw something recently about someone having a problem after flying into a (ge) only airfield when he didn’t speak German or was missing a DE LP in his licence.

The quote from @achimha is from 2015. Anyone know if this is still good advice? For example, what should a French pilot do (assume has EN LP) if he wants to fly in to, say, Rügen EDCG which is (ge) and doesn’t have an RMZ or Heringsdorf EDAH which is (ge) only when the tower (and CTR) is not active (otherwise (en,ge))?

- announce and communicate in English, hoping that it works out ok without legal repercussions??
- go in NORDO, just to avoid a possible violation for speaking English when the field is noted as German-only?

achimha wrote:

In Germany, you need to possess a radio certificate in order to legally participate in ground-air communication. This is the only (!) formal requirement an AFIS needs to meet. If he got a BZF I (German radio certificate for VFR in English), then he can legally speak English on the radio.

Therefore you are fine and in case there is no English, check if NORDO is possible. Even when the AIP plate says radio communication is required, they can still give you NORDO permission. I would be very surprised if you had to cancel your plan to fly to an airfield in Germany because of the language.

Last Edited by chflyer at 16 Apr 14:01
LSZK, Switzerland

BTW, upon his #6 disappearance from here, Achim disabled his forum notifications…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I don’t yet have DE LP. They are only just bringing it in. So I hope to formalise it this year.

What I’ve done, up to now, is contact the ge only airfield, via email, and explain the situation. They’ve (the ones I’ve wanted to use) have always replied that EN is OK.

Last Edited by italianjon at 16 Apr 16:21

Thanks @italianjon. That’s the kind of feedback I’m seeking, and a good tip.

LSZK, Switzerland
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