Belgocontrol has been accredited by the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority to organise tests proving the operational knowledge of the English language in civil aviation.
As an official examination centre, Belgocontrol organises the ELPAC test (English Language Proficiency for Aeronautical Communication) which is intended for air traffic controllers. The ELPAC test can be taken in the Training Centre of Belgocontrol situated at Steenokkerzeel, alongside Brussels Airport. The ELPAC test has been developed by Eurocontrol and meets the ICAO language requirements of level 4 (operational) and 5 (extended). Moreover it fulfils the criteria for proficiency in English set by the European Directive on the air traffic controller licence. This directive standardises the grant of the air traffic controller licence in the European Union countries. And the obligatory proficiency in English in civil aviation was laid down in Belgian law by the royal decree dated 30 June 2008. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has introduced new obligations concerning language proficiency so as to guarantee intelligible radio communications between pilots and controllers and also from one controller to the other. The language proficiency obligation is a measure intended to increase air traffic safety. Bad communication has been proved to be the major origin or one of the main reasons for various accidents and incidents. In most countries, English is used for radiotelephone communications. And at Belgocontrol, the training and the exams of air traffic controllers are already conducted in English. Belgocontrol is one of the very first providers of air traffic services in Europe to receive this accreditation. Its training centre, one of the most modern on the continent, complies with the requirements of the European directive on a Community air traffic controller licence, and is recognised in the industry as a leader on the subject.