Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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#1688570
Just received this by email which I guess some here will want to respond to

CAA wrote:Overview
Since 2014 the UK has exempted any aircraft being flown within UK class D airspace at or below 3,000 feet above mean sea level from SERA.5001 (VMC visibility and distance from cloud minima).

This exemption applies when the aircraft is flying in accordance with specific conditions currently set out in Official Record Series 4 (ORS4) No 1282. The exemption will remain effective (as ORS4 No 1302) until 12 September 2019.

Why We Are Consulting

In October 2018 the Department for Transport agreed to extending the exemption on the understanding that the UK would move to comply with SERA.5001 (VMC visibility and distance from cloud minima).

As a result, the SERA.5001 distance from cloud minima will apply to class D airspace in the UK at or below 3,000 feet from 12 September 2019.

To support this, we are proposing changes to the requirements to provide separation between Special VFR (SVFR) aircraft in certain circumstances.

What we are proposing
We propose to remove the requirement for an ATC unit to provide separation between SVFR aircraft in certain circumstances.

As a result, SVFR flights would maintain separation from other SVFR flights through see and avoid principles. In effect this remains the same as flying VFR in accordance with the current UK exemption.


https://consultations.caa.co.uk/future- ... -airspace/
#1688598
Why on earth does the UK insist in having exemptions???

We introduced full SERA without derogations in the huge swathe of the Class D Channel Islands CTR up to FL80 and it seems to work well for overflights and inbounds/outbounds from the three airfileds.

Irrespective of the destination airfield met conditions (ie IFR/SVFR or VFR) you can declare your own flight rules with only departures and flights into the ATZ determined by the METAR. (Which is why your initial zone entry clearance finishes at a VRP outside the ATZ)

Therefore, if you are flying VFR but choose to want more protection from other aircraft you ask for SVFR, but we don’t force the separation on you. (Our CTR is so large that telling you what your flight conditions are at ORTAC is pointless and over restrictive - esp with lots of light twins flying in excess of 140kts.
James Chan liked this
#1688600
Why on earth does the UK insist in having exemptions???


Because without exemptions, airfields are forced to close in flyable conditions - witness the mess that Redhill is currently in every time the cloudbase falls below 1500'. I haven't had time to read it in full, but this latest consultation at first glance appears to make it more likely that closures will be needed, and removes the SVFR get-out which Redhill has been hoping to use to undo the damage which SERA 5005 (b) has inflicted.
#1688603
I get the Redhill issues - but surely that is also based on the fact that 26R at LGW is very close to any slight weather-based-nav error at Redhill.

As LGW (and NATS) manage that airspace and perhaps delegate it back to Redhill they have a say in the criteria and conditions, surely?

I also think that the CICTR model would work at Redhill.

A brief to the Aero Club is shown here and shows the SVFR criteria.

https://cidca.aero/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=115009&p=0
derekf liked this
#1688605
AlanM wrote:Why on earth does the UK insist in having exemptions???


Because the original legislation isn't fit for purpose?

AlanM wrote:We introduced full SERA without derogations in the huge swathe of the Class D Channel Islands CTR up to FL80 and it seems to work well for overflights and inbounds/outbounds from the three airfileds.


Well, no, it doesn't, a friend of mine complained that he was held on the ground in good visible VMC conditions because of it in Jersey and it caused all sort of problems. He hasn't been back there since as it's too risky for him to be prevented from taking off due to this seemingly arbitrary rule.

If this wasn't how the rule should be applied, the controller on the day who refused to let him take off should be retrained.
#1688609
I think the biggest differences are the weather and the availability of SVFR which Redhill is currently unable to offer due to Gatwick. I can only currently process METARs (for Gatwick) for the last month, but in that time:
  • Cloudbase below 600' (IFR-only) = 44 METARs (9%)
  • Cloudbase between 600' and 1500' (IFR+SVFR only) = 206 METARs (40%)
  • Cloudbase above 1500' (VFR) = 261 METARs (51%)

In effect Redhill was able to operate for 51% of the month, but flight was actually possible (if not sensible) for 91% of the month, so we "lost" 40% of the month to SVFR conditions. Looking at your presentation (very useful, thank you!) the equivalent SVFR time in Jersey is only 7% for March.

When I get a moment, I'll try to compile a years' worth of METARs and update this post.
Last edited by T67M on Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
AlanM, Iceman liked this
#1688610
AlanM wrote:Slightly confused;

You think that 600ft Cloud Ceiling and 1500m visibility for SVFR flight is too restrictive?

Assuming that the weather was OVC005 then, how would your friend meet the 500ft rule?

The weather limits are there to offer protection.


Bearing in mind Jersey Airport sits on top of a 280ft cliff, he’d be in compliance the instant he was off the westerly end - not that there’s much to remain 500ft clear of after about a mile (unless you’re talking about Redhill).
#1688613
Paul_Sengupta wrote:I don't know why he wasn't allowed to do it SVFR to those limits. It was a lot better conditions than that.


Paul, was this pre-implementation of full SERA?

Can you tell me the exact date/time that this occurred and I can look at it.

Failing that, I would always encourage anyone aggrieved to call us or even fill in an MOR if they felt that they were unfairly treated.
#1688624
Don't know the details obviously but as an ATCO you cannot offer SVFR only grant it on request from a pilot. Therefore if the weather does not meet VFR conditions and the pilot is not IFR rated the ATCO can only say no unless the pilot actually requests SVFR. I consider SVFR as 'IFR light' as seperation must be currently maintained between SVFR & both IFR and other SVFR flights. Therefore SVFR can only be granted if it does not interfere with the flow of IFR traffic. So there you have it clear as mud or what!
#1688628
Vtr1000 wrote:..............ATCO you cannot offer SVFR only grant it on request from a pilot. Therefore if the weather does not meet VFR conditions and the pilot is not IFR rated the ATCO can only say no unless the pilot actually requests SVFR.....................


I had this departing the IOM a few weeks back. Called for taxi on a VFR departure...........called ready and was declined a VFR departure and was asked "what clearance would I like"? Departed on a SVFR but that was upgraded to IFR promptly after getting airborne. Never had weather change so fast.
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