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Why Air Baltic Pilots Don't Speak Russian?  
User currently offlineBushman From Russia, joined Jan 2007, 62 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3457 times:

Hi everyone!

This is my first thread so please don't judge me very strictly  Smile

Yesterday I was listening to SVO tower on my radio-scanner. There was an Air Baltic flight landing. The pilot communicating with the ATC had definite Russian accent but spoke English. Shortly before them I heard a Lithuanian pilot communicating with ATC in Russian. And some time ago there were Estonian guys speaking Russian too.
I know that nearly all crews from former Soviet republics speak to ATC in Russian when flying to Russia. They use English mostly in cases there is a supervisor on board checking their knowledge. But all Air Baltic crews I was listening to spoke only English no matter they were Russian-speakers or not.

My question is:
Can it be an airline internal policy of using only English for ATC communications or is there any other reason for this?

IMPORTANT NOTE!
I respect all nations and all languages in the world and I expect the same from you, guys. Please don't post anything offensive regarding Latvia, Russia or any other country or language.

Thank you!

Bushman

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3425 times:

Isn't English required for ATC communication per international agreements?

http://books.google.com/books?id=zIe...=KKiove6R3hAHg2BMKwed3nLuDaU&hl=en


User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5566 posts, RR: 36
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3401 times:

Actually I find ALL pilots must speak English to the ATC anywhere in the world on international airports for security reasons. Pilots of other airlines should be able to understand what they are talking. In some countries it is a very bad habit to talk the local language. In Switzerland it would never be allowed to Swiss pilots to talk German or French to the ATC. BTW when this pilot was from a Baltic country he probably does not like the Russian language at all.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6420 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3347 times:



Quoting Bushman (Thread starter):
Can it be an airline internal policy of using only English for ATC communications or is there any other reason for this?

Almost sure  checkmark 

Air Baltic is a fully owned subsidiary of SK and they will follow SK policy. Just like no Danish SK pilot will ever dream about speaking Danish when going into CPH. An Air Baltic pilot, having a minor incident (his fault or not, maybe ATC fault), if he spoke any non-English on the CVR, then he might be in great trouble.

SK has a minority stake in Estonian Air (49%?), but it's an Estonian company. Lithuanian is a Lithuanian company. They may be more relaxed. Just like I have been told that some AF pilots do talk French when approaching CDG.

But a company like the SAS group, spreading their home base activities over several countries with separate national languages, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish (Spanair), Latvian (Air Baltic), Finnish (Blue1), will definitely stick 100% to the internationally agreed ATC language, which is English.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25117 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3331 times:



Quoting ZRH (Reply 2):
Actually I find ALL pilots must speak English to the ATC anywhere in the world on international airports for security reasons. Pilots of other airlines should be able to understand what they are talking. In some countries it is a very bad habit to talk the local language.

That's not correct. Local languages are used in ATC communications all over the world.

Quoting ZRH (Reply 2):
In Switzerland it would never be allowed to Swiss pilots to talk German or French to the ATC.

If you are referring to Swiss pilots generically (and not the airline LX) that's also not correct. I often hear ATC communications with the GVA ATC centre in French.


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6370 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3331 times:



Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 1):
Isn't English required for ATC communication per international agreements?

http://books.google.com/books?id=zIe...hl=en

 rotfl  IIRC, all controllers are required to know English, and so are flight crews that venture out of the "home territory."

If you fly in Mexico, everyone speaks Spanish on the radio, unless you have an N-number, then you get to talk to the controller only in (my experience, at least) English that's as good as the controller knows  Smile (Which may be excellent, easy-to-understand English or extremely broken English). If you only speak English, don't expect to be able to get more than the basic communcations needed for aviation out of the controllers down there. Unfortunately, my knowledge of aviation Spanish (which has many technical terms, just like aviation English) was lacking  Sad .



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineRyu2 From Taiwan, joined Aug 2002, 490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3308 times:



Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 1):
Isn't English required for ATC communication per international agreements?

In mainland China, ATC with mainland carriers is done in Mandarin.

But in HK and Taiwan it is in English. Even if HK/Taiwan carriers fly in mainland airspace, they will still use English.


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3289 times:



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 4):
That's not correct. Local languages are used in ATC communications all over the world.

Correct..the French speak French, the Germans speak German, etc

Quoting Ryu2 (Reply 6):
But in HK and Taiwan it is in English. Even if HK/Taiwan carriers fly in mainland airspace, they will still use English

A lot of the controllers in HKG are not Chinese


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17015 posts, RR: 67
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3255 times:



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 7):

A lot of the controllers in HKG are not Chinese

And even if they were their native language would be Cantonese, not Mandarin.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3564 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3237 times:



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 7):
Correct..the French speak French, the Germans speak German, etc

Yes, but at international airports in Germany, German airlines would NEVER speak German. Germans always speak English on passenger planes, which does not cause safety issues like the ones which might occur at CDG. Private Pilots are something else, of course.


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3208 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 9):
at international airports in Germany, German airlines would NEVER speak German.

I'm sorry but I've heard the German controllers speaking German at FRA and CGN as well.


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3564 posts, RR: 29
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3203 times:



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 10):

I stand corrected then. If there is not much traffic around, maybe, but I think it is hardly professional, as it helps if everybody understands ATC...


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3187 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 11):
as it helps if everybody understands ATC...

Yes I've heard that said alot however on the good side when I hear English come over the radio it does get my attention!


User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1865 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3076 times:
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English is the wold standard and is required by IATA regs to be spoken but that doesnt mean that complacency does not exist


The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17015 posts, RR: 67
Reply 14, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3067 times:



Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 13):
English is the wold standard and is required by IATA regs to be spoken but that doesnt mean that complacency does not exist

I'm a bit fuzzy on this but AFAIK It is not a domestic requirement in all countries. In fact Russian is quite enough domestically in Russia.

http://www.icao.int/icao/en/trivia/peltrgFAQ.htm#23. Note "Therefore, pilots on international flights shall demonstrate language proficiency in either English or the language used by the station on the ground. Controllers working on stations serving designated airports and routes used by international air services shall demonstrate language proficiency in English as well as in any other language(s) used by the station on the ground."



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25117 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3055 times:



Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 13):
English is the wold standard and is required by IATA regs to be spoken but that doesnt mean that complacency does not exist

Any regs. on that subject would involve ICAO, not IATA.


User currently offlineSomeone83 From Norway, joined Sep 2006, 3359 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3000 times:



Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 3):
Air Baltic is a fully owned subsidiary of SK and they will follow SK policy

Actually, they only own 49%, but is still recognized to be part of the SAS Group


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