The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) today gave an update on the UK's implementation of the Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA) and said that it is working with the European Commission, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and UK Department for Transport (DfT) to conclude the work.

The UK's exemption from SERA allowing existing arrangements for flying clear of cloud within controlled airspace has been extended. An exemption from certain Special VFR requirements contained within SERA has also been put in place. The UK is now working with EASA and other European partners such as the Commission to develop proposals to enable these arrangements to continue in the long-term.

The CAA also confirmed that glider flying and parachuting within Class A airspace will still be possible where there are agreements with air traffic control.

The exemptions run until 4 August 2015 and mean that:

  • The UK's existing 'clear of cloud' rule governing flight in visual meteorological conditions (VMC) within Class C, D and E airspace continues.
  • Air traffic control will be able to issue a Special VFR clearance, within a control zone, when the ground visibility at the reporting aerodrome is below the specified SERA criteria, to aircraft flying away from the affected aerodrome and able to be flown either under a Special VFR clearance or in VMC.

On 2 April 2015 the UK will complete the move from quadrantal to semi-circular cruising levels. This change affects pilots flying under instrument flight rules outside controlled airspace below flight level 195, but higher than 3,000 ft. above mean sea level, as semi-circular cruising levels have been used in controlled airspace for many years. The time-scale for this change has been extended to allow a safe transition to the new arrangements.

CAA Head of Intelligence, Strategy and Policy, Padhraic Kelleher, said: “We welcome the very pragmatic approach that EASA and the Commission have taken. This means that as we draw the UK's implementation of SERA to a close the UK's position and the needs of our airspace users have been fully taken into account.”

Detailed information can be found on the CAA's SERA web pages at

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Notes to Editors

The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. It ensures the aviation industry meets the highest safety standards; protects consumers by making sure they have choice and value and are treated fairly; drives improvements in airlines and airports' environmental performance and ensures industry manages security risks effectively.