Special VFR

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What is Special VFR?

A special VFR flight is a flight in a CTR in circumstances that would otherwise require compliance with IFR.

That could be:

  • Within a Class A CTR (VFR not permitted in Class A)
  • In IMC
  • At Night

  • Pilots Responsibility

    The pilot must:

  • Comply with ATC instructions
  • Remain clear of cloud and in sight of the surface
  • Remain clear of obstructions
  • Fly within the limitations of his licence

  • ATC Responsibility

    ATC must:

  • Separate SVFR from IFR and other SVFR
  • Inform SVFR aircraft of any weather implications

  • Class D CTR

    If the METAR for the aerodrome indicates a cloud ceiling (BKN/OVC) of less than 1500ft and/or visibility less than 5000m, VFR aircraft (other than helicopters) inside the CTR must be informed of the weather change and be asked what their intentions are. The pilot may elect to continue VFR or change to SVFR/IFR.

    If the METAR for the aerodrome indicates a cloud ceiling (BKN/OVC) of less than 1500ft and/or visibility less than 5000m, VFR aircraft (other than helicopters) inbound but still outside the CTR must be informed of the weather change and be asked what their intentions are. The pilot may elect to change to SVFR or IFR. A VFR clearance must not be issued. If the pilot is not willing to change to SVFR or IFR they must divert.

    If the METAR for the aerodrome indicates a cloud ceiling (BKN/OVC) of less than 1500ft and/or visibility less than 5000m, VFR aircraft (other than helicopters) wishing to take off or land must be informed of the weather and be asked what their intentions are, as no clearance can be issued. The pilot may elect to change to SVFR or IFR. A VFR clearance must not be issued. If the pilot is not willing to change to SVFR or IFR, the flight is cancelled. SVFR clearances must not be issued to aircraft (other than helicopters) to depart an aerodrome if the visibility reduces to 1800m or less and/or the cloud ceiling is less than 600ft.