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Intended change to VMC Criteria

The CAA have announced that through the Aviation Safety (Amendment) Regulations 2021, the Department for Transport (DfT) intends to amend SERA.5001 Table S5-1 VMC visibility and distance from cloud minima with effect from 20 May 2021. This amendment affects the VMC minima in airspace classes D, F and G.

Whilst the CAA have confirmation from the DfT of the effective date of the change in legislation, the Aviation Safety (Amendment) Regulations 2021 will not be laid in Parliament until 7 January 2021 and remain subject to Parliamentary process. As such, the amendment may not pass into law, or may be subject to further amendment; albeit the CAA considers both these possibilities unlikely. Irrespective, the CAA has decided to publish this SI ahead of the laying in Parliament in order to ensure that ANSPs have the maximum time available to undertake their implementation activities and, specifically, the safety assessment of the change to the functional system in accordance with ATS.OR.205.

The VMC minima in class D airspace at and below 3,000 ft AMSL or 1,000 ft above terrain, whichever is the higher, will continue to require flights to operate with a flight visibility of 5 km and a distance from cloud of at least 1,500 m horizontally and at least 1,000 ft vertically.

However, aircraft will also be deemed to have complied with these requirements if they are flying:

(a) during day only;

(b) indicated airspeed of 140 kts or less;

(c) remaining clear of cloud with the surface in sight and;

(i) for aircraft other than helicopters, with a flight visibility of at least 5 km;

(ii) for helicopters, with a flight visibility of at least 1,500 m.

The VMC minima in airspace classes F and G at and below 3,000 ft AMSL or 1,000 ft above terrain, whichever is the higher, will continue to require flights to operate with a flight visibility of at least 5 km, clear of cloud and with the surface in sight.

However, aircraft will also be deemed to have complied with these requirements if they are flying:

(a) during day only;

(b) indicated airspeed of 140 kts or less;

(c) for all aircraft, with a flight visibility reduced to not less than 1,500 m.

Amended CAP 493 Supplementary Instruction (SI)CAP 493 MATS Part 1

Amended CAP 797 Supplementary InstructionCAP 797 FISO Manual

 

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