Flight Radiotelephony Operator's Licence (FRTOL)

A FRTOL is an essential part of any pilot’s licence allowing you to use the aircraft radio and communicate with aeronautical stations. Almat Flying Academy are able to offer all required training for the issue of a FRTOL. Once training is complete our in house FRTOL examiner can administer the CAA exam for issue of the licence.

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It is a UK CAA requirement that in order to operate the radio equipment in a UK registered aircraft the operator must hold a Flight Radiotelephony Operator’s Licence commonly referred to as a ‘FRTOL’. If you are training to become a pilot the FRTOL is usually added to your flight crew licence. However it is possible to hold a stand alone FRTOL. This is ideal for friends and partners who may want to assist the pilot on the radio during flight. It is also a very useful accompaniment to the pilot’s companion course also offered by Almat Flying Academy.

In order to be eligible for issue of the FRTOL you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Passed the PPL Communications theoretical exam (this must be completed before the practical exam, and a 24 month validity period applies for the licence issue)
  • Pass a Radio Telephony practical test (24 month validity period applies for licence issue)
  • Demonstrated English Language Proficiency (ELP) to level 4,5 or 6 which must be valid on the date that the FRTOL is issued

All training and testing for the issue of a FRTOL can be done in-house at Almat Flying Academy.

FRTOL Instruction

Before attempting the FRTOL practical examination it is a requirement that the candidate has undertaken a course of RT training in order to prepare them for the test. For flight crew candidates this must take place at an approved training organisation such as Almat Flying Academy. This will cover all aspects of radio communications required for various stages of flight as well as emergency communications. All of which will be tested during the assessment. Once the training has been completed to a satisfactory standard the ATO or DTO will issue a completed form SRG1171 which must be given to the FRTOL examiner prior to the test. Any candidate who has not completed the required training and is therefore not in the possession of a SRG1171 will not be allowed to take the FRTOL practical test as per UK CAA regulations.

The rules are slightly different for standalone FRTOL candidates (those who are not pursuing a pilots licence but are still seeking a FRTOL) there is still a requirement for pre test training. However this can take the form of self study. A proof of training in the form of SRG1171 must still be handed to the examiner prior to test. A stand alone can self certify and can therefore sign the form themselves without the input of an ATO or DTO. Although no formal training is required Almat Flying Academy highly recommends that standalone candidates seek training in order to increase their chances of passing what can be a challenging test. A complete range of FRTOL training can be offered to suit all needs from full courses to short brush up sessions to confirm understanding or clear up any problem areas. Get in touch now to discuss your requirements.

Communications Theory Exam

A further requirement before taking the FRTOL practical test is that all candidates must have passed a communications theory exam. For candidates learning to fly the PPL Communications E-Exam meets this requirement. All candidates must provide proof of a communications theory pass to the FRTOL examiner before being allowed to take the practical test.

For standalone FRTOL candidates it is not practical to take the PPL Communications E-Exam, therefore such candidates will be required to sit a Communications theory exam on the day of their practical assessment. This is taken as a paper exam and is multiple choice, this must be passed in order to progress onto the practical portion of the FRTOL examination.

FRTOL Practical Test

The format of the FRTOL practical test has recently been overhauled by the UK CAA in order to ensure that the test is relevant and covers all areas of RT communications. The assessment can only be conducted by a UK CAA certified FRTOL examiner. Almat Flying Academy has its own in house FRTOL examiner and can therefore offer the FRTOL practical test.

On the day of the assessment the candidate will be required to prove to the examiner that they have satisfied all of the pre-requisites listed above. Once the examiner is satisfied they will conduct a short briefing outlining how the test will be conducted. The test will consist of the examiner simulating a VFR flight in the classroom and the candidate being required to demonstrate all of the required RT calls. The test is conducted in two separate rooms with the candidate and examiner using a form of two way communication to simulate the use of an aircraft radio. Once the practical element is complete the examiner will confirm understanding with a short session of questioning. The examiner will then advise the candidate of the result and issue a proof of pass which needs to be sent to the UK CAA in order to issue a FRTOL.


The FRTOL is essential part of training towards your pilots licence. Almat Flying Academy is able to offer all required RT training. Furthermore we can also offer both the theory exam and practical assessment required for the issue of a pilots or standalone FRTOL.  To book your test our to discuss your requirements call 02477220399 or email us on: info@almat.co.uk