The Radio Telephony Certificates

Before a candidate can obtain any sort of Pilot’s Licence, be it for aeroplanes, helicopters, gliders etc., or even to fly drones, officially known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), the student pilot must pass an on-line examination at a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved test centre and a practical skills test in radio procedures with a Designated Radio Examiner (DRE).

The emphasis for the Restricted Radio Telephony Certificate is a good general knowledge of the rules and procedures governing visual flying — Visual Flight Rules (VFR).

A pilot who subsequently wishes to progress to a commercial licence or instrument rating or fly drones Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) must pass the on-line examination for the General Radio Telephony Certificate. This requires a deeper knowledge of the ATC system, its procedures and certain technical aspects of an aircraft’s electrical, communications and navigational systems. This examination includes the procedures and phraseologies used when flying under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).

The theory examinations for both the Restricted as well as the General Radio Telephony Certificate are written at CAA test centres. The practical test is done with a Designated Radio Examiner (DRE), and consists of filing a flight plan and “talking through” this planned flight, with the examiner playing the part of the Air Traffic Controller.

After passing the examination, the CAA will endorse the pilot’s licence with the Restricted or General Radio Certificate, as applicable.

Page last updated on 03 March 2020