Key changes resulting from the implementation of SERA include:
Aircraft flying VFR in Class C, D or E airspace must remain 1500 m horizontally and 1000 ft. vertically away from
cloud and in a flight visibility of at least 5 km at all times. The reduced minima for aircraft flying below 3000 ft.
AMSL at 140 kts or less no longer apply. Aircraft flying in a Control Zone can still request a Special VFR clearance
when they are unable to comply with the VMC.
The UK is seeking to retain the following VMC:
Retention of the criteria has yet to be confirmed, as this differs from the SERA VMC. For more information see our
summary infographic (including available
air traffic services).
The semi-circular level system replaces the quadrantal system and brings the UK into line with ICAO standards
applied elsewhere around the world. VFR and IFR aircraft are allocated different levels to fly at:
For VFR flights, compliance with the cruising levels remains good practice but is not mandatory.
VFR at night is permitted in accordance with SERA requirements. Aircraft leaving the vicinity of an aerodrome must
maintain 2-way communication with ATC and file a flight plan. The process of 'booking out' is still accepted as an
alternative method to filing a formal paper or electronic flight plan in certain circumstances. Similarly, abbreviated
flight plans filed in flight are still permitted.
There are also more restricting weather minima:
A speed limit of 140 kts applies to aircraft flying under SVFR, which must also comply with the following weather
Rules on overtaking and giving way are now less specific. Aircraft and vehicles overtaking other aircraft and
vehicles can now pass on either the left or the right.
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