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VFR Rule change ?

Old 16th Apr 2017, 14:05
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VFR Rule change ?

Hi,
Wondered if anyone has heard of the introduction of restriction on VFR within class D airspace when cloud base is below 1500ft ???
Friend has mentioned it I'm confused with such a change ? More SVFR ?
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 17:00
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Oh yes! Expect delays!
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 21:08
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As of 24th April I think. It's to comply with European rules! Actually the rule is more straightforward as it's the same criteria day and night, fixed wing or rotary.

Regards, ADIS
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 13:46
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Thanks, how would it work with circuit training ?
Is it special vrf ?
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 14:06
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SVFR due cloud.
OR you could ask to not operate above 1500ft - (Does away with that requirement in a sense).

Don't quote me on that however, have done it a few times over here and has been said by tower, the "Not Above 1500".
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 15:13
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SVFR kind of makes sense, in class D you're not separated from IFR or vice versa, only traffic info.

Cloudwise class D restricts you to remain 1000ft from them vertically (added to this the normal 500ft above ground)

So, going closer to clouds, and removing the "time to respond"-buffer for an IFR flight comming out of clouds, they've added extra security in you need SVFR clearance.... and you'll be separated from IFR flights.

So in generel, if you want to go closer than 1000ft vertically to clouds, you need SVFR clearance, and you can always ask for one if going over cities/water/mountains etc... whether ATC will approve it.... is another matter
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 09:54
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From my understanding it applies only to traffic operating within the ATZ/circuit as opposed to the entire control zone, but local rules may differ
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 16:29
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Originally Posted by LookingForAJob View Post
Don't know if this is at the root of your question but SERA.5005 (b) 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.


This was law from, at the latest, December 2014 across EU States. There has been an update and extension to SERA since then but I don't think it has changed this bit. I'm not in the UK and not up to speed with UK compliance, but maybe something got deferred for a while and is changing only now.

HTH
Gets a bit messy when there's no reported Met at an "aerodrome" inside a control zone of a.n.other aerodrome.
(All landing sites, I believe, are now "aerodromes", whether licensed or not...)
What Met do you use then? The Met from the aerodrome that has the control zone established around it?
This is going to get messy....
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 14:22
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I think, to some degree, that common-sense has been applied regarding "aerodromes" within the control zone associated with a.n.other (bigger) aerodrome.
No "official" met required as I understand it. So the pilot of an arriving aircraft to said smaller aerodrome (with no official met report) can make an assessment of the weather to decide if it's within VFR criteria. I think. Stand to be corrected.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 15:48
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I raised this matter with an atco at an airport within Class D airspace a couple of years ago when these SERA changes were first due to be implemented. I was told that a special VFR clearance was extremely unlikely even in unlimited visibility if the cloudbase was below 1500ft. I thought that this would effectively stop VFR flying in Class D in perfectly flyable conditions.

Fortunately, implementation of these rules was deferred by the CAA at that time but it looks like they are now to be applied.

However, on reading them again, it now appears that they might only apply to the ATZ. Anyone got any comments on this?

On possibly a related note, I was recently told by a former airline pilot operating from a private strip 5 miles away from the aerodrome in question that atc are now telling him that that the met conditions will be determined at the aerodrome controlling the Class D airspace. Previously my understanding was that it was up to the pilot to determine whether the in-flight conditions complied with the VFR rules for the type of airspace the pilot was flying in. If this change has occurred. it means that, for instance, the controlling aerodrome could be covered in shallow fog (as often happens) but the pilot would be prevented from flying from the private strip even if it is completely in the clear!

If this is the case, VFR flying within Class D airspace will be severely restricted after all.

Anyone got any comments before I query the matter through official channels?

Last edited by Forfoxake; 21st Apr 2017 at 16:05.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 16:48
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This is still current on CAA website:

Official Record Series 4
United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority


The latest version of this document is available in electronic format at Publications | UK Civil Aviation Authority, where you may also register for e-mail notification of amendments.
29 September 2016 Page 1 of 2
Standardised European Rules of the Air - Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) Visibility and Distance from Cloud Minima within Class D Airspace

1) The Civil Aviation Authority, on behalf of the United Kingdom, with the consent of the Secretary of State for Transport and pursuant to article 14(4) of Regulation (EC) No. 216/2008 of 20 February 2008, exempts any aircraft being flown within the UK at or below 3,000 feet above mean sea level and within Class D airspace from the requirements of SERA.5001 (VMC visibility and distance from cloud minima) Table S5-1 and SERA.5005(a) (visual flight rules) of the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 923/2012 of 26 September 2012 (Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA)) when it is flying in accordance with the conditions in paragraph 2.
2) The conditions specified in paragraph 1 are that the aircraft is flown: a) by day only; b) at a speed which, according to its airspeed indicator, is 140 knots or less, to give adequate opportunity to observe other traffic and any obstacles in time to avoid a collision; and, c) clear of cloud, with the surface in sight and: i) if the aircraft is not a helicopter, in a flight visibility of at least 5 km; or ii) if the aircraft is a helicopter, in a flight visibility of at least 1,500 m.
3) This exemption supersedes Official Record Series 4 No.1158, which is revoked.
4) This exemption has effect from the date it is signed until 30 September 2018, both dates inclusive, unless previously revoked.


Mark Swan for the Civil Aviation Authority
29 September 2016

Miscellaneous No: 1195 Regulation (EU) No. 923/2012 Publication date: 29 September 2016 General Exemption E 4312

UK Civil Aviation Authority Official Record Series 4, No. 1195

29 September 2016 Page 2 of 2

Explanatory Notes:

1) This exemption does not include exemption from the requirements of SERA.5005(b) (Visual Flight Rules).

2) As defined in Schedule 1 of the Air Navigation Order 2016, ‘with the surface in sight’ means with the flight crew being able to see sufficient surface features or surface illumination to enable the flight crew to maintain the aircraft in a desired attitude without reference to any flight instrument and ‘when the surface is not in sight’ is to be construed accordingly
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 17:13
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The relevant rules, according to SERA, AIR NAVIGATION ORDER 2009 AND RULES OF THE AIR REGULATIONS 2015 - CONSOLIDATION are:

"SERA.5005 Visual Flight Rules

(a) Except when operating as a special VFR flight, VFR flights shall be conducted so that the aircraft is flown in conditions of visibility and distance from clouds equal to or greater than those specified in Table S5-1.
(b) 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"
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 17:28
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Does this mean that the much more restrictive VFR rules do not apply (at least until 30 September 2018 and by day at less than 140 knots) if you are flying through Class D airspace but DO apply if your are actually landing or taking off from an aerodrome (including one not controlling the airspace?!) within the airspace or entering an ATZ or circuit?

Anyone care to confirm this interpretation?
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 19:33
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Originally Posted by good egg View Post
Gets a bit messy when there's no reported Met at an "aerodrome" inside a control zone of a.n.other aerodrome.
(All landing sites, I believe, are now "aerodromes", whether licensed or not...)
What Met do you use then? The Met from the aerodrome that has the control zone established around it?
This is going to get messy....
As of today, the CAA have amended that to allow pilots to determine their own conditions at the unlicensed strips/non-met reporting airfields/field/side of a hill etc on the grounds that they will have some experience in Met gained when going through their PPL training.

Did anyone whisper "bugger's muddle"!?
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 19:59
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Originally Posted by Standard Noise View Post
As of today, the CAA have amended that to allow pilots to determine their own conditions at the unlicensed strips/non-met reporting airfields/field/side of a hill etc on the grounds that they will have some experience in Met gained when going through their PPL training.

Did anyone whisper "bugger's muddle"!?
Do you have the appropriate reference for that? I would like to have a quick read through of it myself. It doesn't seem to have filtered through to us yet.

Cheers


In fact, just been on CAA website and found it. Absolutely agree buggers muddle. A complete farce through and through.

Last edited by Doody2007; 21st Apr 2017 at 20:53. Reason: Reference found
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 21:57
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Originally Posted by Doody2007 View Post
Do you have the appropriate reference for that? I would like to have a quick read through of it myself. It doesn't seem to have filtered through to us yet.

Cheers


In fact, just been on CAA website and found it. Absolutely agree buggers muddle. A complete farce through and through.
This is good news. Could you point me to the correct page on the CAA website so that I can publish it in the Private Flying forum. Thanks.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 22:36
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OK. Found it too- see below. Only thing I am not clear about is the implementation date 24/4/17 or 5/5/17?

Supplementary Instruction (SI) CAP 493 MATS Part 1 Safety and Airspace Regulation Group Intelligence, Strategy and Policy



Page 1 of 23
Number: 2017/02 Issued: 21 April 2017 Version: 5 Effective Date: See Paragraphs 3.1 & 3.2

6A. Class D

6A.1 When the reported meteorological conditions at aerodromes in Class D airspace reduce below a ground visibility of 5 km and / or a cloud ceiling of 1500 ft, both by day or night, ATC shall advise pilots of aircraft intending to operate under VFR to or from such aerodromes, and request the pilot to specify the type of clearance required.

6A.2 Except for helicopters using Police; Helimed; Rescue; Electricity; Grid; Powerline, or Pipeline callsigns, or a SAR training flight operating in accordance with MATS Part 2, controllers shall not issue any further VFR clearances to aircraft wishing to operate in accordance with VFR to or from an aerodrome, or enter the aerodrome traffic zone, or aerodrome traffic circuit, of an aerodrome within Class D airspace when the official meteorological report at that aerodrome indicates, by day or night, a ground visibility less than 5 km and / or a cloud ceiling less than 1500 ft (SERA.5005(b)(1)&(2)

Note 2: UK General Exemption ORS4 No. 1195 enables the pilot in command of an aircraft to transit Class D airspace in accordance with VFR by day, remaining clear of cloud with surface in sight and an indicated airspeed of 140 kt or less, with a flight visibility of 5 km or for helicopters, a flight visibility of 1500 m. Except for commanders of a Powerline, Pipeline, Police, Helimed, or SAR helicopters, which operate in accordance with their respective ORS4, this exemption does not enable the pilot in command of an aircraft to transit an aerodrome traffic zone or aerodrome traffic circuit within a control zone, when the official meteorological report at that aerodrome indicates the values specified in paragraph 6A.2.

6A.4 Procedures for operations into subsidiary aerodromes will be found in MATS Part 2.

Note 1: For the purpose of observing the meteorological conditions at an uncontrolled and/or unlicenced aerodrome or operating site located within a control zone, and assessing whether those conditions satisfy the minima specified in SERA.5005(b) and SERA.5010(c) as appropriate, the Civil Aviation Authority deems the following to be competent to act as ‘accredited observers’ as required within Regulation (EU) 923/2012 Article 2(82) for their flight:
(a) The holders of valid EASA Flight Crew Licences, valid National Flight Crew Licences and Certificates issued by, or on behalf of, the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority, and third country licences deemed valid in accordance with Article 150 of the Air Navigation Order 2016; and
(b) A student pilot-in-command (SPIC) who has passed the theoretical knowledge examination in meteorology toward the grant of a EASA Flight Crew Licence or National Flight Crew Licence or Certificate issued by, or on behalf of, the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority within the preceding two years.

Last edited by Forfoxake; 21st Apr 2017 at 22:47.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 21:07
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It's a lot more restrictive. Before rule change the controller advised the pilot (in class D) if cloud ceiling was below 1500 feet and pilot could choose to fly VFR or ask for IFR/SVFR. Often pilots choose VFR- therefore no need to separate from IFR traffic

Under new rules the controller must deny VFR to pilots arriving/departing at aerodrome in class D so only option becomes SVFR or IFR. Because of this all aircraft must be separated. So unless you can provide reduced separation in the vicinity of an aerodrome you are restricted dramatically. For example- circuits VFR could have been done with IFR arrival down the ILS before rule change- not any more.

However , if you transit the same airspace and do not enter the ATZ the pilot can still determine flight conditions and transit VFR - probably out of sight of the controller.
So a delightful situation now arises where ATC cannot allow a VFR circuit where they could see the aircraft but can allow VFR transit where they cannot.

It's over restrictive and adopting rules for political not practical reasons.
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Old 1st May 2017, 20:19
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My understanding of ORS 4 1195 is that, amongst other things, it exempts those meeting the conditions specified of having to fly 1000' vertically and 1500m horizontally from cloud. Otherwise the situation could occur in Met conditions of at least 5km viz and OVC 1500' that all aircraft would have to be at 500' to comply both with rule 5 and SERA.

Any thoughts?
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Old 2nd May 2017, 09:22
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Originally Posted by Amexgull View Post
My understanding of ORS 4 1195 is that, amongst other things, it exempts those meeting the conditions specified of having to fly 1000' vertically and 1500m horizontally from cloud. Otherwise the situation could occur in Met conditions of at least 5km viz and OVC 1500' that all aircraft would have to be at 500' to comply both with rule 5 and SERA.

Any thoughts?
It's my understanding that the "daylight, max 140kts, 5km, clear of cloud, surface in sight" exemption now only applies to traffic remaining outside the ATZ, so in effect all VFR arrivals, departures & ATZ transits will have to be at 500ft if it's BKN or OVC015 in order to remain 1000ft from cloud.
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