CAP 2325 – Guidance for FRTOL Practical Test Candidates

UK CAA have published their new CAP2325 Guidance for FRTOL Practical Test Candidates. Under the new FRTOL assessment regime, prior to booking the Practical Test, the candidate must complete form SRG1171 and present this to the FRTOL Examiner. Form SRG1171 confirms that the minimum required Radiotelephony training has been completed prior to the Practical Test. It also confirms to the FRTOL Examiner that the candidate is aware of the subject matter and knowledge required in order to pass the test.

Form SRG1171 must be signed by the person at the ATO, DTO or Training Organisation responsible for the training. Candidates who are not attending a recognised course of pilot training may self-certify. However, it is the responsibility of the FRTOL Examiner to first verify by questioning that the candidate has reached a satisfactory level of knowledge, prior to the Practical Test attempt.

Use of SRG1171 is mandatory from 1st June 2022 for all FRTOL Practical Test applicants. This mandatory requirement also includes applicants who will be attempting the outgoing RTF Practical Test with Examiners who have yet to transfer to the new system.

All change to the FRTOL Assessment!

It has long been known that UK CAA has been undergoing a review of the current RTF Practical test practices and recently they issued CAP 2117 “Introduction of new Flight Radiotelephony Operator’s Licence (FRTOL) Practical Test format and FRTOL Examiner Qualification Procedure” including the forthcoming publication of a new “FRTOL Examiners’ Manual (CAP2118)”.

The CAA aims to improve the current FRTOL testing system by introducing a new and more relevant FRTOL practical test format.

Changes to the RTF Practical and Communications Theory Include:
– Practical Test routes based on actual UK VFR Aeronautical charts and frequency reference cards replacing the current fictitious test routes.
– Candidates may choose their own aircraft category for the test (Aeroplane, Microlight, Helicopter etc).
– Scenario-based oral questioning included in the Practical Test.
– Updated set of Communication multiple-choice papers pending access to the eExam system.

More importantly, To enable FRTOL Examiners to verify that the required Radiotelephony training has been completed prior to the Practical Test, and to confirm that the candidate is aware of the subject matter and knowledge required, SRG 1171 has been updated and its completion is mandatory for all test applicants from 1 June 2022.

FRTOL application goes online!

The old SRG1106 paper-based application has been superseded by an online process for FRTOL applications. Please note that the SRG1106 form is titled “Application for Flight Radio Telephony Operator’s Licence – Issue or Renewal” but since the advent of the online process UK CAA seems to have split the initial application and renewal into separate processes – see below!

The online initial application process is much easier than the SRG1106 paper-based system. It requires uploading of a completed form CAA5003: Evidence of UK Examination and Test for Grant of Flight RadioTelephony Operator’s Licence, along with a certified copy of your valid passport or full photographic driving licence.

Note that the online process is for the “Application for Initial Issue of a PPL (A) or (H) or LAPL (A) or (H) and/or a Flight Radiotelephony Operators Licence”. When applying only for an FRTOL the flow of the process is simplified to encompass ONLY the fields required for the FRTOL application.

Lastly, the fee (as per the CAA Scheme of Charges) for the issue of the FRTOL is stated in Table 4 under paragraph 3.5 as £77.00 but according to Note 2 to Table 4

Except where the applicant is the holder of a licence issued by the UK CAA to act as pilot, flight navigator or flight engineer. This fee is also applicable for a renewal when the applicant is not the holder of a licence issued by the UK CAA to act as pilot, flight navigator or flight engineer.

This has been embedded into the online application so that if the question regarding the applicant holding an existing licence is answered ‘Yes’ the pre-populated fee box automatically reduces to £0.00, this is great news!

FRTOL Communications Theory and e-Exams

The new UK CAA e-Exam process is bedding in now, however, FRTOL examining arrangements are not part of PPL e-Exams implementation.  

As FRTOL is not in scope of e-exams:

  • FRTOL examiners should continue to use the VHF Communications paper (Subject 090) they have access to. 
  • FRTOL Examiners should recognise a TK exams pass achieved in VHF Communications (Subject 090) delivered by e-exams. 
  • A paper based VHF Comms paper pass undertaken by an FRTOL Examiner will always count towards licence issue.

Further information here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

RNAV to RNP

Following on from ICAO Circular 353 UK NATS has issued Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) Y 140/2019 which outline the plan for the transition of the naming of instrument approaches from ‘RNAV’ to ‘RNP’ – so what’s it all that about then?

Well according to the ICAO Performance Based Navigation (PBN) definition:
“Area navigation based on performance requirements for aircraft operating along an ATS route, on an instrument approach procedure or in a designated airspace.”
and within the construct of PBN lies ‘Navigation Specification’.
‘Navigation Specification’ can either be aRea NAVigation (RNAV) or Required Navigation Performance (RNP) – What’s the difference?

RNP has onboard performance monitoring and alerting and RNAV does not. So what has been traditionally called RNAV approaches are in fact RNP approaches.

This transition is all about changing the name on the plates that NATS produces in the UK eAIP and of course the what they are called on the radio. CAA has issued CAP 413 Supplementary Instruction 02/2020 for the RTF.

What more info? why not Pass Your Message! and we’ll explain.

Radiotelephony Manual CAP 413 Updated

After the recent publication of Edition 23 of the UK CAA’s CAP 413 on 9th April 2020 (effective from 8th June 2020) the UK CAA has published Edition 23 Corr (sic). We’re not sure what Corr actually means, perhaps Correction or Corrigendum either way CAP 413 Edition 23 Corr was published on 8th June 2020 (effective from 17th August 2020).

So what is the difference between Edition 23 and Edition 23 Corr and indeed Edition 22?

Very helpfully UK CAA have added a list of the revisions between Edition 22 and Edition 23 on Page 1 of Edition 23 Corr (if you take your page numbering from the document itself) or Page 21 of 365 (if, like we do, you open the pdf version in a document reader). They have also underlined in red the amended text throughout the document.

  1. Definitions and Glossary previously in Edition 23 on Page 29 of 368 has been removed and added to CAP 1430 – UK Air Traffic Management Vocabulary although at the time of writing (10th June 2020) the current version of CAP 1430 on the CAA website was Version 2 effective 12th October 2017 so expect a new version…
  2. Military Callsigns updated paragraphs 2.39 to 2.47 inclusive (Page 49 of 365)
  3. Aerodrome Phraseology for Helicopters vocabulary boxes updated to reflect callsign placement for rotary wing aircraft i.e. the surface wind now preceding the clearance. In fact this has been done throughout the document but to quote the document “The intention is to show that while there is a preferred order of delivery, there are circumstances under which it may be prudent to deliver the phraseology in another order, for example to emphasise a particular issue i.e an aircraft needing an immediate clearance or it will need to go-around. For that reason, some examples of these differing phraseologies are retained in the manual. These can be found at paragraphs: 4.47; 4.52 and in the table at paragraph 4.84 – Helicopter Operations”
  4. Emergency Phraseology : The placement of the callsign in the minimum fuel transmission has been changed to reflect the requirements of EASA Safety Information Bulletin (SIB) 2018 – 08. i.e. callsign was placed after the words MINIMUM FUEL and it is now afterwards e.g. “G-ABCD MINIMUM FUEL”
  5. Military Specific Phraseology has had a complete administrative re-write

Happy Reading!

UK CAA PPL TK exams are changing!

The conduct of the UK PPL Theoretical Knowledge (TK) exams is currently by Ground Examiners who hold paper copies of all the PPL examinations. A pass in each subject is recorded by the DTO/ATO and entered on to the PPL application form and signed by the Ground Examiner.

The UK CAA are in the process of rolling out a new E-Exam system where the applicant and DTO/ATO will be provided with a login each which will be used to conduct the exams on line digitally. The results then being held by UK CAA. This is similar to the system currently in use for ATPL, CPL and IR TK exams.

The implementation is planned for the first half of 2020 and UK CAA is currently busy communicating this to ATOs/DTOs by means of a roadshow.

What this space!

UK CAA looking for RT senior examiners

Following an in-depth review of the Flight Radiotelephony Operator’s Licence (FRTOL) examination system and the training, testing and oversight of RT examiners, a new system will be introduced.

Senior RT Examiners
The CAA will appoint, train and authorise a small number of examiners who together will form a new panel of senior RT examiners. The panel, on behalf of the CAA, will set and maintain RT standards, and will provide ongoing oversight of the training and testing of RT examiners.

The CAA would like to invite expressions of interest from those individuals who may wish to consider the role of senior sxaminer (RT).

Successful applicants will be invited to interview and will meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a current RT examiner certificate with at least 6 years’ experience
  • Have conducted a minimum 60 RT practical tests
  • Hold or have held either a CPL(A), a CPL(H) or an ATCO licence.
  • Hold or have held flight instructor and examiner privileges

Please send a brief email outlining relevant experience and contact details to examiners@caa.co.uk with the subject title ‘Senior Examiner (RT)’

All applicants meeting the minimum requirements will be contacted by the CAA chief RT examiner who will give an overview of the planned changes.