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 aspirant pilot must be proficient in Radio Procedures.

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 obtain 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 also includes the procedures and phraseologies used when flying under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).

For both Radio Telephony Certificates the candidate must:

  1. Write the relevant theory examination on-line at a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved test centre – usually at the flight school, and
  2. pass the practical test with a Designated Radiotelephony Examiner (RTE), which consist of “talking through” a mock flight, usually in a simulator or other apparatus, and
  3. finally, have the testing officer conducting the final flight test endorse the  application form stating that you were proficient in “radio work” during the flight test.

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

Page last updated on 5 August 2023