Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

Current legal situation to depart / approach IFR across Europe

During this discussion of an accident which happened in Austria discussion spun off about the actual legal situation throughout Europe. As a general rule, EASA rules apply, which for NCO non-complex operations (general aviation) allow for departures on visibility as low as 400m RVR on any airstrip in airspace G (minimum requirement seems to be a Runway Centerline Marking) and approaches down to CAT I (550m RVR, minimum (m)DA 200 ft AGL, or for an airfield without published approach procedures down to circling altitude (legal basis)

Rules Easy Access as of September 2021, specifically Part-NCO.

Now in several jurisdictions the General Means to NCO.OP.110 provided by EASA are not adopted in full broadth by every state. As in NCO.GEN.110 as well as NCO.OP.110 reference is made to legal restrictions of the country where the flight is performed, this thread shall serve as a starting point to summarize the current legal situation, country by country.

Of particular interest for start due to the time correlation is the situation in Austria. Additionally, as a lot of pilots here are Brits or Germans, and also France and The Netherlands, the situation in these countries might be settled quite fast, as there is a lot of knowledge around here.

To give a starting point, in Germany IFR in uncontrolled airspace G is impossible (not forbidden, just impossible) due to a combination of low base of airspace E (either 1000/1700 or 2500 ft AGL) and due to the requirement to be 1000 ft above the highest obstacle within 8nm radius in order to commence IFR. In-air IFR pickup is typically done stating that “IFR starts when reaching XXX” (where XXX is an altitude or flight level and might include a position like a GPS fix or nav aid).

Now if we summarize the conditions for the countries I could extract a pdf leaflet out of it, which I’d find most interesting also for myself

Germany

UdoR wrote:

EASA rules apply, which for NCO non-complex operations (general aviation) allow for departures on visibility as low as 400m RVR on any airstrip

Small but critical difference: It doesn’t “allow” operations down to 400m RVR, ist just “bans” operations below that.

Germany

Small but critical difference: It doesn’t “allow” operations down to 400m RVR, ist just “bans” operations below that.

What is the difference? In any country with a functioning justice system, there is none, because – with exceptions such as public policy – everything not prohibited is permitted.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

What is the difference?

A huge one in terms of subsidiarity of national rules to EU rules:

If a EU rule allows something, a national rules that does not allow it is a deviation to EU rules and subject to restrictions (based on the topic) up to the point that EU law is directly applicable in some areas and therefore a national law banning it is irrelevant.

As this rule is not allowing anything but bans departures below a certain RVR, a national regulation asking for a higher minimum is not a deviation from this EU law and therefore it is ok (there might be another EU rule, though, where it deviates from). It would be a national deviation if Germany publishes a lower minimum RVR…

The fact that the EU does not issue speed limits on motorways does not imply (due to subsidiarity) that it would be irrelevant if a member state restricts the speed.

Germany

“IFR starts when reaching XXX” (where XXX is an altitude or flight level and might include a position like a GPS fix or nav aid)

“Away” from aerdromes that does not mean much in Golf while you are off-airways and outside published routes…

The practice does relate to radio reception, min vectoring altitudes, controlled airspace, controllers sectors, nav aids coverage…

Unless you are on some “IFR FIS service in Golf”, you can add the following to the long list of fuzzy clearances in Golf: “remain VMC”, “remain VFR”, “standby for IFR”, “IFR start/end”, “remain outside controlled airspace”, “freecall en-route”, “radio silence while swapping units in Golf”, “radar service terminated”, “radar identified”, “clearance limit”, “confirm ground in sight”, “own traffic separation”, “own terrain separation”…

In Golf outside published routes, the PIC owns his distances from terrain, traffic and cloud but he is not entitled to enter controlled airspace or land in controlled aerodrome unless he has the right VFR/IFR clearances (this makes IFR in Golf harcodre IMC without an “IFR join” or “IFR route” clearance a tricky business in case of lost comms, short of declaring an emergency and making safe ILS landing without radio in Frankfurt)

Practically, as far as procedural and radar ATC are concerned you don’t exit bellow MEA & MVA & CAS and they don’t babysit or help outside published SID or IAP paths, you have to make your own way in/out IFR system

You are not entitled to missed approach & diversion to alternate if you decend bellow some altitude toward a DIY IAP, you are expected to remain outside airspace: either on VFR scud run (this needs lot of skills) or back IFR above MSA to find VMC OCAS (or fly an IAP, if your life is on the line)

Last Edited by Ibra at 16 Nov 12:55
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

I just checked recent Croatian regulation – two consecutive issues – one before aligning with EU regulation and the other after. The one before explicitly forbids IFR in G airspace and lists it as an exception. The latest one doesn’t mention this exception (which means IFR in G is allowed) but the only G airspace in Croatia is from GND to 1000 AGL. Since en route IFR is at least 2000 ft above highest obstacle that effectively means IFR in class G airspace in Croatia is not possible. Allowed but not applicable

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

@Emir thanks for the input! Would it be possible that you provided a link or citation of the respective regulation?

Germany

Emir wrote:

Since en route IFR is at least 2000 ft above highest obstacle that effectively means IFR in class G airspace in Croatia is not possible. Allowed but not applicable

@Emir, you say here “enroute IFR”, but the climb from 1000ft to 2000ft above obstacles in not enroute, right? It is departure, or am I misunderstanding something?

EGTR

arj1 wrote:

but the climb from 1000ft to 2000ft above obstacles in not enroute, right? It is departure, or am I misunderstanding something?

If airspace Golf in Croatia is only up to 1000ft, then a climb from 1000ft to 2000ft would happen in Echo not Golf – therefore it must not be done IFR without clearance. The question is if you get a clearance to enter Echo this way…

Germany

UdoR wrote:

@Emir thanks for the input! Would it be possible that you provided a link or citation of the respective regulation?

Only in Croatian:
Old regulation (article 15): https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/2014_10_128_2433.html
New regulation: https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/2018_04_32_646.html

LDZA LDVA, Croatia
82 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top