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:
Aircraft General Knowledge – airframe, systems, power-plant
Aircraft General Knowledge - instrumentation
Mass & Balance
Flight Planning & Monitoring
Principles of Flight (Aeroplane)
Principles of Flight (Helicopter)
The EASA ECQB process
The Agency continuously improves the quality of the question bank by:
- replacing old questions with new ones,
- keeping up to date with regulatory and technological developments and reflecting current safety concerns,
- extensively reviewing 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 (resulting in amendments to the relevant AMC to Part-FCL).
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 NCAs. 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 for reporting errors contained in the ECQB
If you are interested in contributing to the ECQB as a Question Writer, please apply to become an Independent External Expert for EASA.
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, specifically as last amended by ED Decision 2020/018/R. The most recent release is ECQB 2022.
Amendments 10 to AMC/GM to Part-FCL and AMC/GM to Part-ARA update existing AMCs:
- introduction of the Basic Instrument Rating and removal of the En-Route IR,
- extensive updates to the TK syllabus and LOs,
- removal of Subjects VFR Communications and IFR Communications, and the introduction of Subject Communications with changes in the scope of the syllabi in particular for the CPL(A), CPL(H) and ATPL(H)/VFR,
- threat and error management (TEM) concept and its application,
- introduction of 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 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.
In 2021 and 2022 major changes in the EU regulatory framework were introduced as regards Fuel Management and also All Weather Operations. ECQB 2022 amendment 4 contains some amendments that partly address the Fuel Management provisions, where these can be applied in the same manner as per the previous fuel policy.
To support stakeholders in transitioning to the syllabi and LOs published in 2018 and later, TK Syllabus Comparison Documents are available:
- TK Syllabus Comparison Document Version 4 (January 2023) updates the Source references information.
- TK Syllabus Comparison Document Version 3 (March 2021) compares the syllabi and LOs of 2018 - 2019 with those published in 2020.
- TK Syllabus Comparison Document Version 2 compares the syllabi and LOs of 2016 (the “old” syllabi) with those published in 2018 - 2019 (the “new” syllabi).
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 instead provided in the TK Syllabus Comparison Document (version 3 and later). 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 latest version in 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, amongst others, Appendix 1 to Part SERA, Met charts and the Jeppesen General Student Pilot Route Manual (GSPRM). To support students preparing for their exams, a small number of ECQB sample annexes that might not otherwise be easily accessed is provided for private study.
Aeronautical charts and the ECQB
The aeronautical charts that are used within the ECQB 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.
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 for reporting violation of confidentiality and IPR.
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.