Communication Guide for General Aviation VFR Flights

Communication Guide for General Aviation VFR Flights

Why is Communication with VFR Flights Important for Safety?

The priorities for safe flying are ‘Aviate, Navigate, then Communicate’. Whilst this is always true, correct, standard radiotelephony (RTF) phraseology makes an important contribution to the safe and efficient operation of aircraft. Communication errors and inappropriate use of phraseology continue to feature as contributory factors in safety-related incidents throughout Europe involving General Aviation (GA) aircraft, such as AIRPROXESrunway incursions and airspace infringements

Phraseology has been developed over time to provide maximum clarity and brevity in communications. However, while standard phraseology is available to cover most routine situations, not everything can be catered for or remembered. Therefore, pilots should be prepared to use simple language when necessary, keeping phrases as clear and concise as possible. Long radio calls with unnecessary information waste time and may endanger others.

Communication Guide Description

To conform to ICAO language proficiency requirements, pilots and others who use radiotelephony communications must have achieved a specified level of proficiency in English. GA pilots come from different backgrounds, and some have difficulty learning or remembering how to use RTF efficiently. The Communication Guide provides pilots with common phraseology, in English, to be used during GA flights in Europe and explains why certain words and phrases are used. The aim is to improve safety by helping pilots and ground stations communicate clearly. The guidance material covers all phases of flight and has been developed with the objective to ensure maximum degree of conformance to ICAO standard phraseology. Thus it may also be regarded as a useful tool to use in regions other than Europe.

Some States may specify national differences from the ICAO standard phraseology in the individual State’s Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). Pilots should consult the appropriate AIP(s) when planning cross-border flights.

This interactive guide incorporates a range of material published by ICAO, EUROCONTROL and the UK Civil Aviation Authority. It has been produced in cooperation with the European General Aviation Safety Team.

Open the Communication guide.

Related Articles

Further Reading


  • Document 4444 - PANS ATM
  • Doc 9432 - Manual of Radiotelephony
  • Annex 10 - Aeronautical Telecommunications




SKYbrary Partners:

Safety knowledge contributed by: