What is RELTA?
RELTA is the RMIT English Language Test for Aviation available in
three forms: one for pilots, one for air traffic controllers and one for
light aircraft pilots. RELTA evaluates the English language skills of
pilots or air traffic controllers in accordance with the ICAO language
The test assesses English language in routine and non-routine
radiotelephony communication contexts, as well as general English skills
in aviation-related contexts.
Does RELTA test according to ICAO requirements?
Yes. RELTA has been trialled extensively with pilots and air traffic
controllers whose first language is not English. The trials found RELTA
- an extremely reliable test
- a valid and effective measure of language proficiency
- an appropriate and valid test for pilots and air traffic
controllers (measuring language areas associated with communication in
both radiotelephony and face to face contexts)
- an appropriate test instrument for assessing pilots/air traffic controllers in relation to the 6-band ICAO rating scale
Why do I need to sit RELTA?
If you are asked to sit RELTA, it means your organisation needs to
demonstrate the ICAO language proficiency levels of all personnel to the
civil aviation authority in your country, in accordance with ICAO
Language Proficiency Requirements.
Who is RELTA for?
RELTA is designed for pilots and air traffic controllers who need to
demonstrate English language proficiency to meet ICAO Language
Who delivers RELTA?
RELTA is delivered at an approved RELTA Test Centre. The organisation
you work for can tell you where you can sit the test and what dates are
How do I apply for RELTA?
Contact your local RELTA Test Centre to register to sit the test. You
need to provide your personal details, including your license number.
The organisation you work for can tell you where you can sit the test
and what dates are available.
How long does RELTA take?
RELTA Speaking component takes 25 minutes and RELTA Listening component takes up to 35 minutes.
What does RELTA involve?
RELTA consists of two different tests: and one for speaking and one for listening.
- The speaking component is delivered by an examiner and takes 25 minutes
- The listening component is delivered by a computer and takes up to 35 minutes.
Participants' voices are recorded onto a computer and then marked by an accredited rater after the test is completed.
Do I have to sit both listening and speaking components?
Yes, both speaking and listening components must be completed by all candidates.
Can I repeat one component of RELTA?
If you are repeating RELTA, you are required to sit the entire test,
even if you received a low score for only one component. Results from
previous tests are not carried forward.
Is every test the same?
There are many versions of the test and systems are in place to
monitor the allocation of each version across all test centres. No
candidate will repeat the same test, however, the structure of RELTA
remains the same for all versions.
What does RELTA assess?
RELTA tests candidates' ability to speak and understand English in
aviation-related situations, including routine and non-routine
radiotelephony communications focussing on plain English.
RELTA does not test a candidate's ability to read or write in English or aviation knowledge.
Does RELTA require knowledge of aviation?
Yes. RELTA candidates' must have adequate and appropriate aviation
experience, including knowledge of flight operations and situations
relevant to pilots and air traffic controllers.
RELTA tests candidates' ability to use radiotelephony language and
incorporates radiotelephony words and phrases. It does not test aviation
knowledge or ICAO phraseology.
How can I prepare for the test?
Candidates can prepare for RELTA by completing the RELTA Preparation course and downloading practice tests from this website.
If I complete a RELTA training course before the test, will I get the score I need?
Completing an English language program delivered by RMIT English
Worldwide or another language provider, does not guarantee you will
achieve ICAO Level 4, 5 or 6.
These courses are designed to develop English language skills and
participants should notice an improvement in their confidence when
speaking and using English. However, these courses will not determine
whether a participant is likely to achieve IACO Level 4.
What do I need to bring on day of RELTA?
You need to bring:
- Booking confirmation form
- Photo identification
- Pen or pencil to write with
You must bring the above identification documents in order to be permitted to sit the test.
You cannot use your own paper or notes, a dictionary or mobile phone during the test.
How soon can I get my results?
Results are issued 15 working days after the test date. Results may
be made available to individual candidates from their organisation,
directly from the test centre or from their local civil aviation
Can I appeal my results or request a re-mark?
Yes. If you feel the result does not accurately reflect your test
performance, you can request your test be remarked. If you wish to
appeal your RELTA result, contact your local RELTA Test Centre as soon
as possible after you receive your results.
How does RELTA assess results? Are RELTA results in accordance with ICAO levels?
RELTA assesses your performance using the six-band ICAO language
proficiency rating scale. The minimum level to achieve ICAO compliance
is Level 4.
There are six language criteria for each level: pronunciation,
language structure, vocabulary, fluency, interactions and comprehension.
Your lowest score on any criterion will determine your overall score.
In other words, you need to achieve at least Level 4 in each of the six
How long is the test score valid for?
Your local civil aviation authority determines how long your test score remains valid. ICAO recommendations are:
- Level 4: valid for licence endorsement for 3 years from test date
- Level 5: valid for license endorsement for 6 years from test date
- Level 6: valid for license endorsement for indefinite period from test date.
What are the ICAO language proficiency requirements?
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is a body within
the United Nations with responsibility for international civil aviation
governance. ICAO has passed regulation requiring all member states to
demonstrate by March 2011 that their international pilots and air
traffic controllers are proficient in the English language.
The new ICAO standards in relation to language proficiency requirements are as follows:
- Annex 1, Standard 18.104.22.168: As of 5 March 2008, aeroplane and
helicopter pilots, air traffic controllers and aeronautical station
operators shall demonstrate the ability to speak and understand the
language used for radiotelephony communications to the level specified
in the language proficiency requirements in the Appendix.
- Annex 6, PART 1, Standard 3.1.6: Operators shall ensure that
flight crew members demonstrate the ability to speak and understand the
language used for aeronautical radiotelephony communications as
specified in Annex 1.
- APPENDIX: The language proficiency requirements are
applicable to the use of both plain English in radiotelephony and face
to face situations.