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Changes to the VMC Minima in Class D Airspace

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Changes to the VMC Minima in Class D Airspace

Old 20th Jan 2021, 11:06
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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jmm
You are mixing up two topics of the same general subject - a variation of the Class D VFR minima in the UK (as highlighted by the OP) and the common practice of ATC imposing a level restriction to VFR flights in Class D airspace. As regards the UK's imminent reversion to its pre-EU practice of permitting low-speed VFR flights to fly clear of cloud rather than 1,000ft below cloud, this is perfectly reasonable and practical as it avoids them being obliged to fly at low level for no good reason and we are not in the habit of descending IFR flights on top of them whatever the current rules may be! As regards VFR versus VFR, there is still the in-flight visibility requirement plus, commonly, specific routeings to minimise conflictions.

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Old 21st Jan 2021, 18:27
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Therein lies the key though 2 sheds. Clear of cloud works in the UK because we ask our ATCOs to go beyond what ICAO requires of them in class D airspace by applying what looks like class C rules. Of course, as you pointed out earlier, we don't call this separation...
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 19:42
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Hi WWW - I would not say that UK ATCOs are asked to go beyond the ICAO requirements because, in addition to the procedures for the class of airspace, the requirement is to prevent collisions. I understand your reference to "look(ing) like class C rules" though, hence my earlier point about prompt derestriction and use of, for example, a safe one or two miles only (e.g.diverging with no WT consideration) plus appropriate traffic information. And it's not separation!

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Last edited by 2 sheds; 22nd Jan 2021 at 09:11. Reason: typo
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 20:41
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Old 22nd Jan 2021, 12:40
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Originally Posted by 2 sheds View Post
jmm
You are mixing up two topics of the same general subject - a variation of the Class D VFR minima in the UK (as highlighted by the OP) and the common practice of ATC imposing a level restriction to VFR flights in Class D airspace. As regards the UK's imminent reversion to its pre-EU practice of permitting low-speed VFR flights to fly clear of cloud rather than 1,000ft below cloud, this is perfectly reasonable and practical as it avoids them being obliged to fly at low level for no good reason and we are not in the habit of descending IFR flights on top of them whatever the current rules may be! As regards VFR versus VFR, there is still the in-flight visibility requirement plus, commonly, specific routeings to minimise conflictions.
2 s
You kind of brought in the level restriction in your comment, so yes, I misunderstood it, I admit that.

EU was/is merely following ICAO in this matter. And I'm kind of weighing for and against more separation to clouds versus separation to terrain, and I'm not sure which one I like more.... if allowing clear of clouds, you can fly in at 500 ft with a solid overcast in 500 ft, the only difference being not having to request Special VFR which again removes the requirement for separation against other traffic. From a pilots perspective, having done it a couple of times, it's way more comforting approaching an airport in poor visibility/low clouds, knowing you only have to navigate and not look for traffic. From a controllers point of view, both tower and approach, it requires a bit more work and time, but it's definately easy (and our control zone is huge.... with poor radar coverage except on the extended centrelines).

I do agree, that D airspace should be limitless for VFR flights, otherwise you may just as well establish a more restrictive airspace.
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Old 22nd Jan 2021, 14:44
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if allowing clear of clouds, you can fly in at 500 ft with a solid overcast in 500 ft
No - UK will still have visibility and cloud limits on issue of VFR clearances to and from the aerodrome.

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