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Non-English Prerequisite for ATC


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I would think not, unless the native language you are referring to is English (and I would caution the use of the word "fluent"; I'd recommend considering "conversational" instead)....

 

As far as I'm aware, the only requirement is that ATC must be able to converse in English, the standard Air Traffic Control language globally.

 

From the VATSIM Code of Regulations:

ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP

§1.01 Membership

A. Requirements: VATSIM.net is open for membership to all individuals who have reached the age of thirteen (13) years old or older. In addition, membership is available to all individuals regardless of race, creed, color or nationality. Members should be able to converse and/or provide air traffic control services in English, the internationally accepted official language for air traffic control.

 

Interesting reading from about 10 years ago:

viewtopic.php?t=30544

Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership

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Devil's advocate... Is there any requirement for mentors/instructors to be able to mentor/instruct in English?

 

"You can only speak English? Okay, great, I'll add you to the queue for our English training staff. Your ticket number is 1. Now serving ticket #0. Expected wait time: Indefinite."

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Hmm, more interesting than I first thought. So nothing stopping a NON-English speaking pilot logging on and flying out of KLAX?

 

In my case I applied to visit a particular division but the response was, unless I can speak XXXXXX then I can’t be considered.

 

I guess if we can’t discriminate because of disability, then we can’t discriminate because of language.

Sean

C1/O P3

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Hmm, more interesting than I first thought. So nothing stopping a NON-English speaking pilot logging on and flying out of KLAX?

 

If he doesn't speak English and there's controllers on, he wouldn't be able to get a clearance, taxi etc. And if he ignores controllers, supervisors can get involved.

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I am 99% sure that DutchVACC requires controllers to speak Dutch fluently (besides English obviously), because co-ordination is done in Dutch (as it is in real life).

 

The only requirement we have on VATSIM is english. Hence you can't refuse controllers because they don't speak Dutch. it doesn't make any sense to limit such things, because a member doesn't speak the native language.

Morten Jelle

VATSIM Network Senior Supervisor
VATSIM Membership Manager, Asia/Pacific Region

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I am 99% sure that DutchVACC requires controllers to speak Dutch fluently (besides English obviously), because co-ordination is done in Dutch (as it is in real life).

 

The only requirement we have on VATSIM is english. Hence you can't refuse controllers because they don't speak Dutch. it doesn't make any sense to limit such things, because a member doesn't speak the native language.

 

Morten, can you point out where this requirement is please? This may be what I was searching for but couldn’t find in writing.

 

Out of both the CoC and CoR the only language mention I can see is here;

 

A controller may provide a voice ATIS in his or her native language. However, if a controller chooses to do so, then the required text version of the ATIS must provide the same information in English.

Sean

C1/O P3

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Members should be able to converse and/or provide air traffic control services in English,

 

Don already posted it - there is no requirement for anything else. You may use native language in your vACC but you must be able to communicate in English. Beside that, for whatever reason should a vACC not want a visiting controller, if he speaks english?

Morten Jelle

VATSIM Network Senior Supervisor
VATSIM Membership Manager, Asia/Pacific Region

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Thanks Morten.

 

I guess we do circles, I should have looked at Don link to ten years ago.

 

I agree that it says “should”, but does not say “shall” or even “must”. Anyway, give the discussion ten years ago, and it’s outcome, I will enjoy the network and be happy I can provide services to pilots.

Sean

C1/O P3

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Does anyone remember our Founders' message from a couple of years ago? They criticized with no uncertain terms the increasing degree of EXCLUSION within VATSIM and demanded to STOP IT with immediate effect, to turn around and become an INCLUDING organization again.

 

Building barriers like these language requirements was one of the items that were (and obviously are still) standing in the way of including all members. You can never have enough controllers and pilots and as long as they are able to communicate in English, this shall be a reason to stop someone from becoming an ATCO. In aviation the term "shall" is equal to "must", as all of you professional enthusiasts surely know.

 

vACCs will now come up with the reasoning that they have lots of pilots who speak their local language only and those pilots may choose to fly less when they encounter to many non-native speakers as ATCOs. Well, they better learn a few words in English, it will also be in their own interest. By choice our common language is English. Nobody asks for perfection, but everyone should be able to pick up the meaning of "climb", "descend", "cleared" etc..

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Indeed Andreas, but I think the issue here is that whilst there may be staff with adequate English proficiency to provide ATC services, they may not have adequate proficiency to train and communicate effectively with Sean, or translate all the local docomeentation in to English, for example.

 

The question thus is who to exclude. Do we exclude Sean from controlling in one particular part of the VATSIM globe because he cannot speak XYZ, or do we exclude an entire VACC staff until they have learnt sufficient English to translate all their docomeentation etc so that Sean can control?

 

I am sure that if Sean is that keen he could get on DuoIingo and pick up a few words of the local language so he can communicate with his fellow members and contribute effectively to their community. Can't be that hard, surely?

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Well, if you have a valid ATC-ticket you should be able to adapt to other airspaces/procedures. After all, there are charts to read and it should not be suuuuuuch a problem for local vACCs to have at least one person with sufficient English knowledge. Google translator is quite good at doing the job for manuals. For me, the argument "need to know local language for training/coordination" does not count. It is excluding VATSIM members.

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Maybe so; it's just that as very much a monolinguist permanently in awe of those such as (I presume) yourself who are able to hold these sorts of debates with me in what may be a second (or third or fourth) language, I personally would feel more than a bit uncomfortable turning up at a community where I knew full well the predominant language used between members in forums, docomeentation, casual conversation etc was something else - even if there is some level of aviation English proficiency - and demanding that I be 'included' despite making no effort to 'include' myself (because presumably without the ability to communicate in the local language it would be very difficult to engage in and contribute to the local forums, community etc).

 

Further, as the only reference to English proficiency in the CoC/CoR (as far as I can tell) appears to relate only to controllers -- what happens if and when a language barrier arises when communicating with pilots? I can't say I'd want to be the supervisor kicking pilots off the network for being unable to speak English, when they may have got by perfectly well for many years in the past in their local area and there is no specific regulation requiring it (and that too feels a rather 'exclusive' approach). Unless we are going to start testing VATSIM members' standard of English, for me as much as anything it is less a 'legal' issue ("the rules say you must let me in") and more a practical issue of day-to-day communication.

 

In any case, I wish Sean well in his endeavours -- he is a braver man than I to attempt this sort of undertaking, that is for sure

uc?export=download&id=0B7VIvxpWVbGuemJEQmVPOUh2U2M&revid=0B7VIvxpWVbGuQUdOREp3TGtiZFZXSXd2WDdUcVpvRzk5NWs0PQ

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Simon, I truly love your post. Just a minor point of clarification -- the requirement to be able to converse in English is a requirement of all VATSIM members. I have included an excerpt from the relevant section of the Code of Regulations, and added a little emphasis.

 

ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP

§1.01 Membership

A. Requirements: .... Members should be able to converse and/or provide air traffic control services in English, the internationally accepted official language for air traffic control.

 

Note that the requirement to converse in English is foundational; all members should be able to converse in English; the need to provide proper ATC services using proper ATC phraseology in English is applicable to those members who wish to provide ATC services.

 

I, too, applaud Sean's intestinal fortitude to jump into a Division and/or Region whose primary language may be different than his native tongue, and accept the heightened challenge.

Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership

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Yes, Simon, I totally agree with you there and we all know that VFR pilots in, let's say France, will talk to their French ATCOs in French, which is fine and also realistic. My point is just that as such pilot you always have to be prepared to encounter an ATCO who is NOT able to type/speak the local language, but only English. If those pilots do not agree or cannot communicate in English, then they have no other choice but disconnect or fly somewhere else.

 

I am all for encouraging visiting controllers to learn the local language/phraseology. I do not expect local members to suddenly switch their conversations on local forums to English. Docomeents can be translated by visiting controllers by mean of Google Translator. There's always a way to communicate somehow, you just need to give them a chance.

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