Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

Flying Airways in France (VFR)

Hi,

Further from my request for assistance for a flight San Sebastian LESO to La Rochelle LFBH I am now thinking of using airways.

I have never used airways and would appreciate any guidance.

I will have a flight plan due to moving LE to LF. Do I simply choose an airway point to ascend to ie LESO to URUNA or BTZ and likewise descend from ie MAREN or OLERO to LFBH. Or do ATC give instruction.

Any information on organising an airway route in France would be welcome.

John

Design4p wrote:

Further from my request for assistance for a flight San Sebastian LESO to La Rochelle LFBH I am now thinking of using airways.

I have never used airways and would appreciate any guidance.

I will have a flight plan due to moving LE to LF. Do I simply choose an airway point to ascend to ie LESO to URUNA or BTZ and likewise descend from ie MAREN or OLERO to LFBH. Or do ATC give instruction.

Any information on organising an airway route in France would be welcome.

I assume you are flying VFR? “Airways” is (today) a UK concept. There is no such thing in the rest of Europe — just airspace with different airspace classes. There are named ATS routes but you can disregard them entirely if you wish. You plan your flight just like you plan any other flight in the airspace class concerned.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

In France, airways below FL115 are class E, so when VFR, whether you chose to fly on an airway or off the airway is totally your choice, and there is nothing to be agreed with ATC/FIS or anyone.

The only advantages of being on such airway VFR in France are:

  • easy to describe your route in the FPL
  • easy to “explain” your routing to FIS or ATC in flight
  • logically, the airways tend to route around restricted airspace
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

Flying airways in VFR is sometimes a good idea but :

  • in your case, it will make you make a big detour
  • it will bring you overhead Bordeaux Merignac which ATC will not like

So file and ask for a shoreline transit and Biarritz FIS will help you. They know it’s more scenic and VFR (especially from abroad) like it.
If you go inland, they may not clear you in Bordeaux Class D so better stay low below it.

Last Edited by Jujupilote at 11 Mar 14:04

Jujupilote wrote:

So file and ask for a shoreline transit and Biarritz FIS will help you. They know it’s more scenic and VFR (especially from abroad) like it.
If you go inland, they may not clear you in Bordeaux Class D so better stay low below it.

What would you write on your FP in such case?

LPSR, Portugal

I would write DCT BTZ DCT LFCD DCT LFDK DCT

I am pretty sure DCT BTZ DCT would do (just to tell the Spanish which way you will leave their FIR).
The traditional way to write VFR FPL in France is just to put city names, with no DCT in between. AIS/ATC generally know the places or ATC will ask. VFR FPLs are processed manually.

IMHO you can file any VFR flight plan which happens to lie on “airways” exactly as if it was IFR so you use the airway name where appropriate. This is normal procedure in countries where IFR routing is more readily understood by ATC i.e. most of the world but in Europe a good case is Greece.

In the UK it has been traditional to use city or village names on flight plans but that works only because nobody looks at them unless you disappear

Otherwise DCTs as per post #6 is fine.

BTW the use of airports as enroute waypoints is not permitted (ICAO) even though it is widely done

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I do agree with Peter and I learned that on the hard way, airports as enroute waypoints are not permitted.

I did a small exercise on SD from LESO to LFBH with DCT OSGOT DCT (a waypoint N BTZ) and right after OSGOT there is a LFR31A1 surface FL195 active everyday. France airspace is full of those areas and active everyday (. How does it work in France? One need special clearance for it?

LPSR, Portugal

Active everyday in SD means activable everyday. You should see a notam depicted close by listing active areas and rimes of activation. If not, consider them inactive and ask confirmation to FIS. Maybe they will hand you over to some Military ATC but no problem.
If you want to avoid all areas, you will make a loooong flight
Sorry if airports are not valid, I rarely file FPLs in France :) Using airway points works.

What is the procedure for working out which R areas are active?

When I used to fly in France VFR I used the 1:1M SIA chart (sold by the SIA shop, as a “VFR pack” product) and in the pack you get a booklet which lists them all, their active times, and IIRC phone contact numbers.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
11 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top