Aviation Communication

Since 2009 I have been combining linguistics and aviation in a research project in which I investigate communication and potential communication problems in the aviation environment. The ultimate goal is to improve aviation safety by improving communication and to look at language technologies for solutions.





·         Brett Molesworth and Dominique Estival. (2015). “Miscommunication in general aviation: The influence of external factors on communication errors”. Safety Science, 73, pp.73–79..

·         Raymond, Jang, Brett R. C. Molesworth, Marion Burgess and Dominique Estival. (2014). “Improving Communication in General Aviation through the use of Noise Cancelling Headphones”. Safety Science 62 (2014) pp. 499-504.

·         D. Estival & B. Molesworth (2012). "Radio Miscommunication: EL2 Pilots in the Australian General Aviation environment”. Linguistics and the Human Sciences. Vol. 5.3, pp.351–78. (pdf).

·         D. Estival & B. Molesworth (2010). Improving radio communication in General Aviation: a preliminary investigation”. Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium of the Australian Aviation Psychology Association. (paper)

·         D. Estival & B. Molesworth (2009). “A study of EL2 pilots radio communication in the General Aviation environment”. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics. Special issue on Aviation English, vol.32-3. (pdf)




·         In July 2013, I was invited to the Workshop on Risks and Language for Aeronautics and Space (Linguistique et Traitement Automatique de la Langue pour l'Aéronautique et l'Espace : Dimensions langagières du risque), in Toulouse, organised by the CNRS and Université Toulouse 2 Le Mirail. The title of my presentation was « Anglais seconde langue : risques pour l’aviation générale ? ».


·         In March 2012, I presented an update of our work at the colloquium on “Language Tests And Language Policy: The Case Of Aviation English”, organised by Tim McNamara, at the Annual Meeting of American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) in Boston.


·         In October 2010, I was an invited speaker at the Free Linguistics Conference in Sydney and gave a first overview of the project.



With Candace Farris (McGill, Montreal) and Brett Molesworth (UNSW, Sydney), I am currently working on a book titled “Aviation English: a Lingua Franca for Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers”, to be published by Routledge in the ‘English for Specific Purposes’ series, edited by Brian Paltridge and Sue Starfield.