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The CAA has undertaken a detailed review of the Permissions and Exemptions made against SERA and published on the CAA website at Official Record Series 4 - Miscellaneous

This has resulted in a number of enhancements to improve understanding of them and in places provide additional mitigations to the impacts of SERA where scope for doing so exists within the SERA Regulation and also aspects of The Rules of the Air Regulations 2015.

ORS4 No 1124 ‘Exceptions to the Minimum Height Requirements’ replaces ORS4 No 1065 and introduces several definitions and refines the permissions previously made against SERA.5005(f)(2) ‘Visual flight rules’, in particular flight below 500’.  It additionally makes clearer the permissions concerning approaches to land and forced landings and applicability of these to training aerodromes.  ORS4 No 1124 also clarifies the applicability of the permissions to manoeuvring helicopters at ‘permitted sites’ by detailing where the ‘permitted sites’ are. This previously appeared in ORS4 No 1021 ‘Manoeuvring Helicopters’, which expired on 1 May 2015.

ORS4 No 1125 ‘Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Special VFR Flight at Night’ replaces ORS4 No 1066 and introduces an alleviation from the obstacle clearance requirements at SERA.5005(c)(5).  This brings UK night VFR requirements into line with the temporary provisions introduced by ORS4 No 930.

ORS4 No 1126 ‘Compliance with Cruising Level Requirements’ provides clarification regarding the UK’s continuing applicability of the cruising levels at  SERA.5005(g) (Visual flight rules) and SERA.5025(a) (IFR - Rules Applicable to IFR flights outside controlled airspace) as originally published in ORS No 1083.

ORS4 No 1127 ‘Landing and taking off within congested areas and near open-air assemblies’ clarifies the applicability of Rules of the Air Regulations 2015 rule 5(2) with regards to organised open-air assemblies.  Rule 5 will be amended in due course to reflect this omission. Rules of the Air Regulations 2015

ORS4 No 1128 ‘Emergency Services Helicopters – Landing and taking off within congested areas and near open-air assemblies’ clarifies the applicability of Rules of the Air Regulations 2015 rule 5 to Emergency Services Helicopter operations.

These will be published on Thursday 13 August 2015. 

UK exemptions to SERA.5001 (VMC visibility and distance from cloud minima) and SERA.5010 (Special VFR in control zones) were extended on 3 August 2015.

These developments do not require changes to UK legislation, however it will be necessary to amend the Aeronautical Information Publication to reflect them and provide guidance as necessary to industry through various other channels.

SERA is derived from ICAO Annex 2 (Rules of the Air) and parts of Annex 3 (Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation) and Annex 11 (Air Traffic Services). 

‘SERA Part C’ has been the subject of an EASA-led consultation on Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA 2014-05), details of which can be found at http://easa.europa.eu/document-library/notices-of-proposed-amendments/npa-2014-05.  SERA Part C is expected to enter EU law in 2016 – the CAA will advise industry of related developments.

For more information see www.caa.co.uk/sera and Official Record Series 4 - Miscellaneous.

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