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No Special VFR for departures at Sabadell LELL

boscomantico wrote:

LELL is inside Barcelona CTR, but just barely. In addition, an ATZ is surrounding the airport. ATZs are usually made for specific reason: to define a volume of airspace around an airport in which a certain set of rules applies.

I did a little digging. Indeed, LELL sits barely in the CTR and is surrounded by a class D ATZ (per AIP).

SERA 5005 says :

Except when a special VFR clearance is obtained from an air traffic control unit, VFR flights shall not take off or land at an aerodrome within a control zone, or enter the aerodrome traffic zone or aerodrome traffic circuit when the reported meteorological conditions at that aerodrome are below the following minima:
(1) the ceiling is less than 450 m (1 500 ft); or
(2) the ground visibility is less than 5 km.

SERA.5010 says

Special VFR flights may be authorised to operate within a control zone….

S-VFR is only possible in a CTR, not in an ATZ.
SERA 5005 is quite clear on the weather minimum within an ATZ.

So this is not state / airport related.
Unless Barcelona redesigns it’s airspace, you’re stuck with the 5 km / 1500 ft minima.

Last Edited by Guillaume at 22 Nov 19:59

Guillaume wrote:

or enter the aerodrome traffic zone

The words “or enter” are curious. I wonder if they were specifically chosen to allow the possibility to “leave” an ATZ in poorer conditions?

EIKH Kilrush

You could enter the ATZ from below, when you take off.

I wonder if the intention was really to prohibit SVFR in all ATZ which are not CTRs?

Clearly not.

The intent of SVFR is quite simple. In any CTR (class E, D) IFR traffic can rely on being separated from other IFR traffic, and should be able to rely on see and avoid for VFR traffic. If the weather minima are not met, ATC now needs to separate VFR from IFR. Hence from their point of view it is like an IFR clearance.

The restriction in 5005 is a prohibition to take off, land at, or enter the circuit or atz of the airfield in the control zone, not any airfield. It is just badly worded.

Otherwise, you would not be allowed to enter the circuit of any airfield if the weather were worse than 5k/1500ft, which given the general VFR minima in class G of 1500m/501ft would mean you could fly but never take off or land anywhere.

Biggin Hill

boscomantico wrote:

LELL is inside Barcelona CTR, but just barely. In addition, an ATZ is surrounding the airport

LELL is NOT inside any CTR. The only airspace in LELL is the ATZ.

As said before, Barcelona APP cannot control the LELL ATZ and that is why SVFR are not allowed. Believe me, we had exactly the same issue in LECU.

By the way, it’s been said several times that LELL TWR has radar. Well, yes, they have a raster of Barcelona radar for situational awareness, but there are not allowed to use it to give control service. It is, again, the same case in LECU (and many other airports indeed)

LECU - Madrid, Spain

Guillaume wrote:

Airlines work the same way : Under particular circumstances, we can asssign an IAS > 250 kts below FL100 to an aircraft.

Our OPS manual states it’s ok
SERA states it’s ok
Part-CAT states it’s ok

Friend of mine got told he could disregard the 250kt flow 100ft on his Lancair, descending into London.

My other friend on the P2 seat said the contorller was a bit caught by surprise seeing an SEP flying down from ~FL225. According to him (and I trust him), the exchange went pretty much “Wait.. NXXXX, are you a Jet” “Negative, Lancair Single piston” “, NXXXX, you can disregard the 250kt speed limit”

So we have one of these less common cases where there is a TWR but no control zone.

But what I find even more uncommon is that the ATZ is airspace D. My impression is that most ATZ are in airspace G.

So we have a TWR, no CTR, but a ATZ and class D airspace. Confusing.


And, being TWR, they do control traffic. It’s mostly in Spanish – obviously – but you can frequently hear “I have on the screen” from TWR and then they provide instructions.

I do wonder why LELL with Radar, lights and awfully close to El Prat cannot support IFR. Especially given that there are numerous flight schools training commercial pilots for the airlines …

A fun fact that sometimes you can see a jet depart to join one of the SIDs of El Prat. They go straight ahead on heading 130

Last Edited by Stephan_Schwab at 23 Nov 14:47
Frequent travels around Europe
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