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Are we entitled to CAS entry?

Following from here there seems to be a view that somehow ATC are required to clear us into CAS.

It would be great if this was true but IMHO it can’t be otherwise CAS would lose its meaning.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Agree. There can’t be such a requirement, since they do refuse entrance and do it often. I assume here CAS is being used to reference Classes A, B, C, and D. Class E is CAS but doesn’t need a clearance for VFR in VMC.

LSZK, Switzerland

It would seem to be very much country dependent.
As i wrote in another thread VFR in France we expect to be cleared into CAS except Class A of course.
The question is how do you read the definition of an Air Traffic Controller and that of controlled airspace. Nowhere does it say that they are supposed to run a 2 tier system and deny you at will. Their job is to ensure safe and efficient traffic flows (I can’t remember the exact wording but its something along those lines)
French pilots take that as meaning clearances to transit or land or whatever should be given unless there is a damn good reason to deny.
It doesn’t mean they can’t ask you to go a little off your route if need be.
That is why I posted the REX I did. But you are PIC and should plan from your experience.


“expect to” is not the same as entitled.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

gallois wrote:

VFR in France we expect to be cleared into CAS

Well, as you know, not always. I’ve had some very recent experience with the eastern side of the Paris TMA where I was forced to descend iso getting that aimed for class D clearance. Nice LFMN is another un-cooperative one that springs to mind.
Big airports are divas, all over the EU, and only seldom give crossing clearances to VFR traffic…

gallois wrote:

Their job is to ensure safe and efficient traffic flows

Yes, you gotta re-read that job description, and see if you missed line #1 which says: protect one’s own job

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

I will ask an ATCO I regularly meet about this.

The way I understood it is, that to an extent it is ATC discretion to let you in or not, but if they refuse, they have to have an operational reason to do so (this for any airspace other than A, as A explicitly excludes VFR for instance). Clearly operational reasons include capacity and safety concerns.

In general I would answer the question in the positive though. Yes, we are entitled to use CAS under the conditions set for it (see above for Airspace A) and subject to availability for B,C,D airspaces where ATC actually can deny you entry. Class E is also CAS to be strict and yes we have the right to fly in it even without a clearance.

Peter wrote:

it can’t be otherwise CAS would lose its meaning.

Controlled airspace means that you are required to be under ATC control (Class D,C,B,A) while using the airspace, nothing more. It does NOT mean that you are by default forbidden to use it and can only do so by the grace of whoever controls it at the time.

Last Edited by Mooney_Driver at 17 Sep 15:57
LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

I think all aircraft whether operating IFR or VFR are entitled to the same level of service and entry unless its Class A airspace. ATC is not required to let anybody into any airspace if you are under their control, but for classes B or lower it should make no difference to ATC whether the plane is operating under IFR or VFR, as long as it has whatever surveillance equipment is required for that airspace.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 17 Sep 15:57

ICAO Doc 7300 – Article 5 – The right of non-scheduled flight

SERA.2005 Compliance with the rules of the air
The operation of an aircraft either in flight, on the movement area of an aerodrome or at an operating site shall be in compliance with the general rules, the applicable local provisions and, in addition, when in flight, either with:
(a) the visual flight rules; or
(b) the instrument flight rules.

SERA.5001 VMC visibility and distance from cloud minima

SERA.6001 Classification of airspaces

SERA.8001 Application
Air traffic control service shall be provided:
(a) to all IFR flights in airspace Classes A, B, C, D and E;
(b) to all VFR flights in airspace Classes B, C and D;
(c) to all special VFR flights;
(d) to all aerodrome traffic at controlled aerodromes.

SERA.8015 Air traffic control clearances
(a) Air traffic control clearances shall be based solely on the following requirements for providing air traffic control service:
(1) Clearances shall be issued solely for expediting and separating air traffic and be based on known traffic conditions which affect safety in aircraft operation. Such traffic conditions include not only aircraft in the air and on the manoeuvring area over which control is being exercised, but also any vehicular traffic or other obstructions not permanently installed on the manoeuvring area in use.
(2) ATC units shall issue such ATC clearances as necessary to prevent collisions and to expedite and maintain an orderly flow of air traffic.
(3) ATC clearances shall be issued early enough to ensure that they are transmitted to the aircraft in sufficient time for it to comply with them.
(b) Operation subject to clearance
(1) An air traffic control clearance shall be obtained prior to operating a controlled flight, or a portion of a flight as a controlled flight. Such clearance shall be requested through the submission of a flight plan to an air traffic control unit.
(2) The pilot-in-command of an aircraft shall inform ATC if an air traffic control clearance is not satisfactory. In such cases, ATC will issue an amended clearance, if practicable.
(5) An aircraft operated on a controlled aerodrome shall not taxi on the manoeuvring area
without clearance from the aerodrome control tower and shall comply with any
instructions given by that unit.

I mean it’s pretty clear what we are entitled to. You can fly, but according to the rules. Rules allow for flights in CAS, ATC must provide ATC service, but you must get authorization to enter CAS. So we are entitled to fly in CAS but not if ATC can argue that they are not able to fulfill their mandate if they let you in.

If you file a flight plan, if you use sensible altitude and routing, if you fly straight and level, if you are competent on the radio and speak to the correct ATS my experience so far has been that I was always cleared into CAS. It’s my suspicion that it’s usually the people who want the skies to be just for them and fly whatever that have problems since obviously no sane ATC will let them into their CAS and potentially have them screw with their orderly flow.

It really is a shame that this is not taught by almost any PPL instructors correctly.

Last Edited by hazek at 17 Sep 16:12
ELLX, Luxembourg

Here are a couple of examples through France flying through Class C of Lyon both directions:

ELLX, Luxembourg

Silvaire wrote:

for classes B or lower it should make no difference to ATC whether the plane is operating under IFR or VFR,

It makes a lot of difference as the separation requirements differ depending on the flight rules.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
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