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European Central Question Bank (ECQB)

The ECQB is a bank of some 10,000 questions (Multiple Choice Questions – MCQs) used by all EASA Member States for the theoretical knowledge (TK) examinations of flight crew (professional aeroplane and helicopter pilots and applicants for an instrument rating). It is an important standardisation and safety tool, ensuring that pilots at European level have the appropriate knowledge and necessary competencies. The question bank today is under the responsibility of EASA, and the National Competent Authorities (NCAs) are responsible for the exams using the ECQB.

The questions included in the ECQB cover all subjects used for the relevant Part-FCL theoretical knowledge examinations. 

These are:

  • Air Law
  • Aircraft General Knowledge 
    • Airframe / Systems / Power-plant
    • Instrumentation
  • Flight Performance and Planning 
    • Mass and Balance
    • Performance (Aeroplanes)
    • Flight Planning and Monitoring
    • Performance (Helicopters)
  • Human Performance
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation 
    • General Navigation
    • Radio Navigation
  • Operational Procedures
  • Principles of Flight 
    • (Aeroplanes)
    • (Helicopters)
  • Communications 
    • Until end January 2022: VFR Communications
    • Until end January 2022: IFR Communications

The EASA ECQB process

The Agency continuously improves the quality of the question bank by:

  • Replacing old questions with new ones (about 1200 per year), keeping up-to-date with regulatory and technological developments and reflecting current safety concerns, 
  • Extensive reviews of questions on an annual basis, to ensure they are still current, accurate and relevant, 
  • Updating the theoretical knowledge syllabus and Learning Objectives (LOs) on which the ECQB is based.

According to the ECQB process, new questions are drafted by carefully selected and trained external subject matter experts. Thanks to close cooperation with Member States, new and existing questions are reviewed to assess their technical accuracy by subject matter experts nominated by the national aviation authorities. Further rounds of review, as well as the final approval, are performed by EASA.

If you are involved in exam deliveries at an NCA and have identified an error in the current question bank, please report this using the form provided under DOWNLOADS' below.

Developments

Syllabus and Learning Objectives (LOs)

The ECQB is based on the detailed theoretical knowledge (TK) syllabus and LOs published in AMC/GM to Part-FCL. Major changes to these were published in the course of 2018 and 2019, with the deadline for compliance with these changes being the end of January 2022. From February 2022 onwards all examinations should be based on the latest release of the ECQB that aligns to the “new” syllabus.

The Agency maintains two parallel versions of the ECQB, and provides these to the EASA Member State NCAs each year:

  • ECQB 2021 aligns with the “new” syllabus and LOs as published in Amendments 4, 6, 8 and 10 to AMC/GM to Part-FCL  (ED Decision 2018/001/R, ED Decision 2018/011/R, ED Decision 2019/017/R and ED Decision 2020/018/R). 
  • ECQB 8 aligns with the “old” syllabus and LOs as published in Amendments 1 and 2 to AMC/GM to Part-FCL. 

To support stakeholders in transitioning to the syllabi and LOs published in 2018 and later, TK Syllabus Comparison Documents are available. Version 2 compares the syllabi and LOs of 2016 (the “old” syllabi) with those published in 2018 - 2019 (the “new” syllabi). Version 3 compares the syllabi and LOs of 2018 - 2019 with those published in 2020. Please refer to 'DOWNLOADS' below. 

Disclaimer: The TK Syllabus Comparison Documents are made available for information purposes only. While every care has been taken in preparing the content of the TK Syllabus Comparison Documents to avoid errors, EASA makes no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or currency of its content. EASA shall not be liable for any kind of damages or other claims or demands incurred as a result of incorrect, insufficient or invalid data, or arising out of or in connection with the use, copying or display of the content, to the extent permitted by European and national laws. The information contained in the Documents should not be construed as legal advice.

Learning Objectives and detailed references
Amendment 10 AMC & GM to Part-FCL removes detailed references from the LOs – these are now instead provided in the TK Syllabus Comparison Document (version 3). The preamble of AMC1 FCL.310; FCL.515(b); FCL.615(b); FCL.835(d) contains some references for the syllabus: primarily legal material and standards. It is important that the syllabus and LOs remain current and stay aligned with any updates made to such material. Such material may be frequently updated, with the result that the LOs would fall out of alignment. In many cases these updates do not affect the content of the legal material/standard, but only change a paragraph number/title. They would however require frequent updating of the references in the LOs through the Rulemaking Procedure. In order to reduce the need for frequent amendments to AMC1 FCL.310; FCL.515(b); FCL.615(b); FCL.835(d), EASA has removed the detailed source references directly within the LOs, and provides the information in the TK Syllabus Comparison Document: please refer to the 'DOWNLOADS' box below.

Graphic images in the ECQB
The graphic images used in the ECQB as annexes to questions come from a variety of sources and in most cases are easily available. These include Appendix 1 to Part SERA, Met charts and the Jeppesen General Student Pilot Route Manual (GSPRM). To support students preparing for their exams, small number of ECQB sample annexes that might not otherwise be easily accessed is provided for private study: please refer to the 'DOWNLOADS' box below.

Aeronautical charts and the ECQB
The aeronautical charts that are used within the latest ECQB release are taken from the GSPRM, as published by Jeppesen (2017). The contents of this manual are described in the preface to subject 033 Flight Performance and Planning, in AMC1 FCL.310; FCL.515(b); FCL.615(b); FCL.835(d). Any chart provider may develop a GSPRM, and is requested to contact the ECQB team if they are so interested.  

Syllabus and LOs applicable by January 31, 2022 at the latest
The amendments 4, 6, 8 and 10 to AMC/GM to Part-FCL and AMC/GM to Part-ARA update existing AMCs and introduce new provisions covering the following:

  • Introduction of the Basic Instrument Rating and removal of the En Route IR,
    Extensive updates to the TK syllabus and LOs, 
  • Merged subject 090 Communications, 
  • Threat and error management (TEM) concept and its application, 
  • New Area 100 “Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes” (KSA), to ensure the appropriate integration of various topics from across the theoretical knowledge course while also developing students’ core competencies. ATOs will assess a student pilot’s ability in the Area 100 KSA LOs, 
  • Accommodation of modern teaching methodologies and evolving learning needs, 
  • Full review of the exam procedures.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and confidentiality of the ECQB

The ECQB is made available only to the NCAs and only for the purpose of TK examinations. It is not publicly available. The ECQB is an asset of great significance for aviation safety. It is also subject to IPR protection. It is therefore of key importance to protect the question bank from misuse and leakage. All organisations and persons involved in the process must ensure that the question bank is kept confidential and that the intellectual property rights of its owners are respected. All violations brought to the attention of EASA or the Member States will be investigated and enforcement measures may be applied.
If you wish to report a violation of confidentiality and IPR, please use the form provided under 'DOWNLOADS' below.

Data protection

EASA is committed to respecting the privacy of all persons involved in the ECQB process. Within the framework of the ECQB process, all personal data provided by those persons are dealt with in compliance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data – or any other Regulation that will supersede the aforementioned one. Should you need more information regarding the data EASA processes and your rights, you can contact ECQB [at] easa.europa.eu