ride the glide!
These notes have been written for Special VFR in the London/London City Control Zones but the general principles are applicable throughout Vatsim-UK.
A Special VFR flight is a flight made in a control zone under circumstances which would normally require the flight to be made under the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) but is made under special conditions and with the permission of ATC instead of under full IFR.
Separate regulations will be published for helicopters.
|2: Operating on a Special VFR clearance|
SVFR clearance is required for a pilot unable to comply with IFR in order to fly
When operating on a Special VFR clearance the pilot must
SVFR clearance exempts the pilot from the 1500ft rule.
SVFR clearance will not normally be granted for aircraft with an All Up Weight greater than 5700kg and that are capable of flight under IFR
SVFR clearance will only be granted when traffic conditions will enable the flight to take place without hindrance to normal IFR flights.
Vatsim pilots are assumed to hold an IMC rating. This permits flight on a SVFR clearance with a minimum flight visibility of 3km and in sight of the surface. The minimum visibility for take off or landing is 1800m.
ATC will not issue a SVFR clearance to any fixed-wing aircraft for departure from an aerodrome within a control zone when the visibility is 1800m or less, or the cloud ceiling is less than 600ft.
The following additional criteria apply to SVFR clearances
into/out of Heathrow
Standard separation of 3nm or 1000ft is applied between IFR and Special VFR flights, and between all Special VFR flights. Traffic information will be passed on known VFR aircraft.
No separation can be provided between Special VFR flights flying in the access lanes and local flying areas for Denham (EGLD), White Waltham (EGLM) and Fairoaks (EGTF) aerodromes.
In order to maintain separation ATC may impose a height limitation which will require the pilot to fly at or not above a specific level. A specific geographical route may be given, and it may be necessary to issue a radar heading to maintain lateral separation.
The pilot must inform ATC if ATC instructions would prevent him from complying with the flight conditions in para 2. Alternative instructions will then be given
|Requests for clearance|
|A full flightplan is not required, but ATC must be given brief details of the call sign, aircraft type and pilot's intentions. A request for Special VFR clearance to enter or transit a Control Zone may be made while airborne; it must specify the ETA for the selected entry point, and be made 5-10 minutes beforehand.|
In the case of radio failure
|3: ATC procedures|
On Vatsim- UK ATC services to Special VFR traffic in the London/London City Control Zones are provided by Thames Radar on 132.70. In the absence of Thames Radar, the service will be provided by EGLL_N_APP if available.
The London/London City squawk codes for Special VFR are 7030-7047. Traffic survey aircraft will operate on permanently assigned squawk codes: Capital Radio (CAP) on 7100, and London Executive Aviation (LNX 500) on 7200.
Standard radar separation of 3nm or 1000ft must be provided between all traffic under the control of the Special VFR controller. The SVFR controller is also responsible for providing separation between that traffic and any other controlled traffic i.e. IFR traffic in the London/London City CTR and airways, and London Heliport traffic. IFR traffic takes precedence over SVFR except in an emergency.
Traffic information will be passed to VFR flights on IFR and SVFR flights and vice versa.
Separation will be provided by altitude restriction, geographical routing, or vectors. Wherever possible specific headings and altitudes should be avoided. Altitudes not above xxxx ft and geographical routes are preferred.
At London Heathrow, arriving aircraft on the ILS, ,and departing aircraft following the SIDS will cross 7dme at 2000ft. To avoid conflict SVFR flights should remain at least 3nm north or south of the EGLL extended runway centre line. Zone transits will be granted outside 7dme, and will be via the official routes specified in para 3.6.
Within the London City Zone traffic which has been instructed to remain north of the River Thames and traffic which has been instructed to remain south of it can be considered to be adequately separated as long as all pilots are kept informed of relevant traffic.
Minimum altitudes (see chart)
1) within the sector 020º to 140º from Heathrow in the Heathrow Control Zone.
2) In the London City Control Zone: all aircraft operating in the London City Zone west of a line North/South through the Isle of Dogs, except for helicopters following H4.
In order to provide vertical separation from IFR traffic approaching or departing EGLL or EGLC, SVFR aircraft transiting the zone may need to be restricted to a maximum altitude of 1500ft (see para 3.6). To conform to both maximum and minimum altitudes it may be necessary to issue the instruction to fly at 1500ft.
Outside the Heathrow 020º to 140º sector, aircraft should only be instructed to fly lower than 1500ft if it is necessary to maintain separation. Separate regulations apply to helicopters.
Maximum altitudes (see chart)
i) Aircraft transiting the London zone via Ascot/Burnham should be not above 1000ft between Ascot and BUR NDB to remain well below the ILS. Arrivals into the zone using this route should enter at 1500ft; northbound traffic may climb to 2000ft after BUR. Both the SVFR transit and the IFR traffic should be closely monitored in case of deviation from the required route.
ii) When runway 27L or 27R is in use aircraft transiting the London zone via Battersea should be at 1500ft
iii) Between a north/south line through Battersea and a north/south line through Vauxhall Bridge , aircraft must not fly above 1500ft. Between the north/south lines through Vauxhall Bridge and London Bridge the maximum altitude is 2000ft. Transit through the London City zone can be offered Crystal Palace Isle of Dogs Lee Valley not above 2400ft, or remaining west of Vauxhall Bridge at 1500ft.
SVFR aircraft inbound to Heathrow or London City without a formal flightplan must be notified to the appropriate tower controller. Expected joining instructions and hand-off to TWR will follow standard VFR procedures.
If Thames requires to allocate an altitude above those specified in para 3.6 then co-ordination must be effected with:
A detailed map of the Control Zones showing roads, railways and the River Thames can be downloaded from www.ais.org.uk/aes/pubs/aip/pdf/aerodromes/32LL0302.PDF