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Night VFR

Which European countries have useful night VFR?

There is no night VFR in Ireland. (The closest you can get is SVFR in a control zone at night).

The UK does allow VFR at night, but from what I understand there are very few GA friendly airports open at night, which means that there is little opportunity to use it.

What is the situation like in other European countries for night VFR?

EIWT Weston

What is the situation like in other European countries for night VFR?

In Germany, night VFR is somewhat similar to IFR. You need to file a flight plan and obtain a clearance. While flying inside controlled airspace you have to be in contact with an ATC unit. When the military low-flying routes are active, you have to stay above them (which puts you inside controlled airspace). Apart from that, it is pretty straightforward. If you do only locals flights (e.g. practise night patterns) no flightplan or anything else is required. Quite a few small airfields are open after sunset, if not permanently, then on request (for a surcharge in most cases).

EDDS - Stuttgart

In Greece night VFR needs a special permission from the Hellenic CAA’ s relevant office, which is nowadays fairly easy to obtain. If you wish to fly only in a TMA then the airport also has to say the ok, something you can easily obtain, too. The permission is for a specific aircraft and you must always be in contact with an ATC unit, either the airport’ s local one, or FIC. When flying in controlled airspace you are separated from all other flights.

Usually night VFR permissions are granted to flight schools wishing to perform night qualification (in specific TMAs), to companies wishing to do some sightseeing stuff, to an authority’ s fleet (e.g. FRONTEX aircraft looking for illegal immigrants), and to the Air Force.

LGMT (Mytilene, Lesvos, Greece), Greece

In switzerland, night VFR is relatively straight forward. Visibility is required to be 8km, with 1.5km horizontal and 1000ft vertical cloud distance everywhere (i.e. higher than for day VFR).

The problem is the opening hours of the airports. So if you want to fly NVFR, you’ll have to do it when the days are short, certainly during “winter time” (non-DST). During these days, however, visibility fairly often decays below 8km fairly quickly after sunset…

I did my NIT rating by flying circuits in LSZH; something that’s no longer possible.

A flight plan used to be required in all cases, but I think that has now been somewhat relaxed.

France is very straight forward. They too require 8km visibility, for planning; it is ok if it drops to 5km during flight. You should either be using their night VFR route network, or plan your altitudes according to the IFR MEA rules. A flight plan is required for “non-local” flights. There should be no rain or thunderstorms. There are quite a few airports which have long opening hours, or where arrangements with the operator can be made. ENR 1.2

LSZK, Switzerland

In Finland you have to have 8 km visibility and ceiling at least 2000 ft for NVFR. In addittion you have to make flightplan for your flight even in uncontrolled airspace. In trafic circuit of uncontrolled airport you can fly with 3 km vis and clearly under clouds keeping airport all time in sight. Night time we have a lot during winter.


In Czech Republic, NVFR flights for the mere mortals (as opposed to the rescue service / HEMS) are subdivided into three categories:
- in the circuit: minimum altitude 1000 ft AAL, cloud base 2000 ft, visibility 5 km
- in CTR or ATZ (all uncontrolled aerodromes published in the AIP have an ATZ): minimum altitude 1300 ft AGL, cloud base 2300 ft, visibility 5 km
- en route: minimum altitude 2000 ft AGL, cloud base 3000 ft, visibility 8 km
(For HEMS, these requirements are substantially relaxed)

Additional requirements applicable in all cases:
- Away from clouds 1500 m horizontally and 1000 ft vertically
- Have a transponder and at least one certified and operational ADF, VOR or GPS
- Designate an alternate
- Take-off and landing only allowed at night-approved aerodromes with AFIS in operation
- FPL and two-way radio contact with ATS as far as practicable

Looks reasonable to me.

Last Edited by Ultranomad at 21 Feb 15:53
LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

The Netherlands allows night VFR for ATPL students and helicopters but for mere mortals it is a no-no

EHLE / Lelystad, Netherlands, Netherlands

So it looks like France and Germany are the places to go for a little night flying ;)

EIWT Weston

The regulation in Sweden is similar to that in Finland, NVFR allowed. In the southern tip we have a few airports that are open in the evenings as well as a few uncontrolled airports that have approved lighting.

The main issue is the fog that can really can ruin the day (night) .. at least where I’m based.

dublinpilot 22-Feb-14 10:24 #08
So it looks like France and Germany are the places to go for a little night flying ;)

which is what I do. Usually overnighting at Munster Osnabruck

EHLE / Lelystad, Netherlands, Netherlands
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