Key Personnel

John McKenzie

John McKenzie
Sales Director

Brian Day
Director of International Business

Philip Shawcross
Director of Curriculum

Don Toups
Director of Training Development


Brian Day served as an Air Traffic Management Technical Officer in the Secretariat of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) until January 2007. In this capacity he held the position of Secretary of the Study Group that formulated the proposed provisions for Aviation English proficiency for air traffic controllers and pilots. Brian had the responsibility to facilitate the development of the ICAO English Language Standards, ensuring their operational sufficiency, linguistic legitimacy, ease of regulation and general acceptability to the many stakeholders in the international aviation community.

Brian’s role in managing the PRICESG came after a career in civil aviation operations that spanned over thirty years. In this time, he worked as an air traffic controller (ATC), search and rescue (SAR) mission coordinator, instructor, supervisor, manager and regulator in the Australian administration and ICAO. He worked as a technical expert on ICAO technical cooperation projects over many years in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific island States, Mongolia, Kenya and, for lesser periods, in other African States. Throughout his career with the ICAO Secretariat, Brian represented the organisation in a prominent leadership role at numerous international conferences, seminars, workshops and on technical field missions. His skills as an international expert range over many disciplines including the soft sciences of aviation operations. As well as academic and licence qualifications in ATC, SAR and air accident investigation, Brian holds post graduate qualifications in Aviation Human Factors.

In associating with Aviation English Services, Brian brings long experience in aviation operations, training, management and regulation to the development of courseware and the formulation of training methodologies. Importantly, Brian has an intimate and broad knowledge of the ICAO procedural system including its criteria for setting standards and its auditing function. Brian enjoys close personal association with key personnel throughout ICAO’s 189 Contracting States as well as within ICAO and its sister international organisations. He continues to consult to ICAO as a SAR expert.

Brian is uniquely placed to provide expert guidance and insightful recommendations to States, airlines and ATC service providers in the many practical issues surrounding the implementation of Aviation English training and testing. He serves as AES’ essential operational and technical adviser in the development of all AES training solutions and represents the company at international forums worldwide.

Brian’s interest in the application of Aviation English training extends well beyond the purely commercial. He has championed this cause over many years in recognition of the criticality of clear and unambiguous air-to-ground radiotelephony communications. His concern, above all, is that international civil aviation operations be made increasingly safe by the effective mitigation of the risk inherent in communication.

Brian is confident that the AES training programmes are outstandingly effective in meeting this need and, with the entire AES team, is committed to assisting operators apply them in the most cost-effective manner.

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Elizabeth Mathewswas instrumental in establishing and launching Aviation English Services and served as a company director and linguistic consultant to AES until 2009.

She is an internationally recognized language expert who has a proven record of developing, directing and implementing international language training and testing programs and guiding global language policy development and implementation. Ms. Mathews served as Linguistic Consultant to ICAO during the development of the recent ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements and Rating Scale.

An early leader in aviation English and developer of world’s first aviation English language test, Ms Mathews was director of the Aviation and Academic English Language Programs at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Ms. Mathews continues to advise support AES in an advisory capacity while focusing the majority of her time on improving aviation communication safety standards through aviation English teacher training and advocating for increased regional and global cooperation in aviation English testing and training.

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John McKenzie has more than 30 years of experience in Air Traffic Services working for the New Zealand air navigation service provider, Airways New Zealand. From operational and management roles, John moved into the role of Manager of Training Solutions for Airways International in 2003. John's current role involves sales and marketing, project management and commercial applications. John has worked with Aviation English Consulting from the beginning in the establishment of Aviation English Services.

John’s aeronautical background includes 20 years in operational communications and flight information services roles within unsupervised aerodrome flight information services, Area Flight Information, Training and Quality & Standards. He managed the New Zealand Air Traffic Support Sector for eight years, providing Area Flight Information Services on a national basis, including flight planning and aeronautical briefing services, supervised AFTN, and managed the International NOTAM Office. Whilst in this role he was also responsible for Airways’ general aviation customer group, providing innovative solutions to pricing and service issues.

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Philip Shawcross is in charge of training curriculum design. After taking degrees at the universities of Manchester (UK) and Toulouse (France), and completing a Masters Degree in teaching, Philip joined Aeroformation (Airbus Training) in 1972. Here, he was involved in the editing of the CBT type qualification courses for flight and maintenance crew operating the A300, Concorde, A310 and A320 aircraft. In addition, Philip developed and delivered Aviation English training courses for a broad range of flight crew, instructors and technicians.

During his time in Toulouse, (1972-1986), Philip worked closely with the Airbus design office, as well as CNES, (the European Space Agency), assisting in the conduct of flight tests, certification, customer support, document translation and training.

As Director of "English for Aircraft", Philip has worked as a consultant on a variety of other aviation and technical English projects for pilots, instructors, engineers, mechanics, dispatchers and airport ground staff. He has been closely involved with the Air France group in overseeing the English language training of maintenance staff associated with the operation of the A320, A340, B747-400 and B777 fleets.

Philip has performed consulting, teacher training and instructional design in France, Sweden, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Morocco, Panama and Canada. His clients have included airlines, training centers, aircraft manufacturers, State authorities and technical colleges. He is the author of a 2-volume work on "English for Aircraft Maintenance" (Editions Belin, 1992-3). His company designed and developed "docWise", a CD ROM-based training course for aircraft technicians that is used worldwide.

Philip is co-founder and Vice President of ICAEA (the International Civil Aviation English Association) and has participated as a consultant in the ICAO PRICE study group since 2003.

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Don Toups manages the courseware development process for AES. Don holds a Master of Arts degree from Louisiana State University in English, with an emphasis on Teaching English as a Second Language. Don entered the field of Aviation English in 1995 at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

At Embry-Riddle, Don developed "English for VFR" and "English for IFR" courses for flight students from non-native English speaking countries. He also taught aviation-focused English courses to Embry-Riddle students from other countries.

Don's work at Embry-Riddle included developing curricula and delivering language instruction for the university's aviation training contracts, to clients such as Boeing, Air China and Saudia Airlines.

Don has more recently worked as an Instructional Design Manager and Course Developer of online technical training. He has developed, or supervised the development, of over 100 online courses on various topics. During 2001-2002, Don managed a team of Instructional Designers that was awarded an "Excellence in Practice" Citation by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Don's recent work includes development of a classroom-based "Instructor Development: Aviation English" course for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. This course is designed to prepare participants to deliver language training courses that meet the requirements of ICAO Language Proficiency Provisions

Prior to working at Embry-Riddle, Don supervised the Business English program at the Costa Rican - North American Cultural Center in San Jose. He also taught at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and at United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, U.A.E., where he first became involved in computer-based language instruction and testing.

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