Proposed changes to VMC minima in class D airspace

Closed 31 May 2019

Opened 15 Apr 2019


Since 2014 the UK has exempted any aircraft being flown within UK class D airspace at or below 3,000 feet above mean sea level from SERA.5001 (VMC visibility and distance from cloud minima).

This exemption applies when the aircraft is flying in accordance with specific conditions currently set out in Official Record Series 4 (ORS4) No 1282. The exemption will remain effective (as ORS4 No 1302) until 12 September 2019. 

Why We Are Consulting

In October 2018 the Department for Transport agreed to extending the exemption on the understanding that the UK would move to comply with SERA.5001 (VMC visibility and distance from cloud minima).  

As a result, the SERA.5001 distance from cloud minima will apply to class D airspace in the UK at or below 3,000 feet from 12 September 2019.  

To support this, we are proposing changes to the requirements to provide separation between Special VFR (SVFR) aircraft in certain circumstances.

What we are proposing

We propose to remove the requirement for an ATC unit to provide separation between SVFR aircraft in certain circumstances.  

As a result, SVFR flights would maintain separation from other SVFR flights through see and avoid principles.  In effect this remains the same as flying VFR in accordance with the current UK exemption.

Give us your views

Stakeholders are invited to submit their views on our proposal and respond to questions set out either in the document or on the online survey.

Our proposal is outlined in CAP1779 - Consultation: Regulation (EU) 923/2012 Standardised European Rules of the Air - Visibility and Distance from Cloud Minima within Class D Airspace (paragraph 1.2).

How to respond

Responses can be submitted by email to (using the consultation response document below) or by online survey.

Further background


  • General Aviation
  • Air traffic control staff


  • Air Traffic Control