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UK CAA proposal to change VFR minima in class D airspace

huv wrote:

I am a little uneasy with doing away with required distance to clouds in D airspace as there is no separation required between IFR and VFR aircraft according to SERA

Anywhere else when you can’t meet cloud distances, you would be on SVFR and you will be separated from IFR
In the UK, SVFR is rather exceptional (few times I heard of it was on IFR cloud-break in class D before going VFR to my airfield OCAS), also, some ATC units like SVFR in class D or VFR in class C even when you are VFR in class D blue sky days as Xtophe said

In the other hand, the “UK weather exception” makes sense: there are only 10 days a year when SERA VMC in class D prevailed around London

Last Edited by Ibra at 10 Sep 22:08
ESSEX, United Kingdom

" Does Danish ATC let you go through class D just saying: “there is a stream of IFR arrivals, just avoid visually”? "

Well they certainly do not separate procedurally because that would limit capacity by about 90% in the usual mix of VFR and IFR traffic. ATC provides quite good traffic information, and in the the process frequently ask “do you have that Seneca on 3 miles final in sight” or similar. But without maintaining some distance from the clouds you would, as VFR traffic, rely 100% on that information to avoid meeting an approaching IFR just popping out of cloud. And there could be a NORDO or otherwise stray IFR.

Although requiring 1000 ft below cloud is an overkill. I think the US has got it right; they require 500 ft distance below (and 1000 ft above) cloud. In practical flying, I see 500 ft being more like the practised norm, and everyone (including skill test examiners) accept that.

EKRK, Denmark

But I think the issue here is that Standardized European Rules of the Air are not standardized at all and whether that could pose specific problems for international pilots.

EKRK, Denmark

It does not. Countries can relax rules, but not impose additional ones (without creating published restricted areas, at least), so if you stick to SERA you are compliant.

I would argue it was not a problem before SERA, either; you read the 1-2 pages in the national differences in the Bottlang and that was it.

Now you just need to remember to not expect your national relaxations to apply.

Biggin Hill

Cobalt wrote:

It does not. Countries can relax rules, but not impose additional ones (without creating published restricted areas, at least), so if you stick to SERA you are compliant.

Countries can’t relax EU rules either, unless the rules have an explicit provision for that. There is no provision for that in the VMC minima part of SERA except for lower visibility minima in uncontrolled (class F/G) airspace.

In this case the CAA/DfT refers to article 71(1) of the Basic Regulation. The article grants member states the right to grant exemptions to “any natural or legal person” for “urgent operational needs of those persons” subject to a number of conditions. It is debatable if this article is actually applicable. Even if it could be construed to be so, in my opinion, it is a misuse of article 71(1).

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Isn’t there a rule under ICAO (I don’t have the book to hand at the moment) which states that if I was flying an ‘F’ reg in the UK and UK regulations were less restrictive than those in France I would have to adhere to the more restrictive rules in France and vice versa if the UK rules were more restrictive.


The State of Registry rules, if more strict than those of the airspace owner, have precedence.

There is an argument around this (as usual ) but AFAICT it is based mostly around the obvious fact that enforcement of the more strict rules is just not going to happen (unless you crash and try to claim insurance ).

Sometimes it works the other way i.e. the State of Registry rules, if less strict than those of the airspace owner, have precedence. The EU has removed most of these opportunities over the years. One example I recall was that of an N-reg which can do a zero-zero departure in the US (Part 91 only of course) and which could do the same in Europe, until maybe 10 years ago. @bookworm posted the exact scenario somewhere at around that time.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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