CAA Issues Update On Standardised European Rules Of The Air (SERA) Regulation

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) today issued preliminary guidance to pilots following the publication of The European Commissions Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA) regulation.
SERA has been jointly developed by Eurocontrol and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on behalf of the European Commission. It is intended to introduce a single set of operational rules for pilots to abide by when flying in European airspace. By aligning the rules for Europe it will make it simpler for UK pilots flying overseas as many of the unique rules applied across the continent will be removed.

Although the Regulation will apply from 4 December 2012, provisions in the regulation allow Member States not to apply it until 4 December 2014 and the UK has elected to take this option. The CAA is developing detailed plans for implementation by that date.

Although SERA is based upon existing International Civil Aviation Organisation requirements already in effect in UK airspace, there will be some changes from the current UK rules and regulations laid out in the Air Navigation Order and the UK Rules of the Air.

While these changes will apply throughout UK airspace the CAA recognises that certain aviation sectors not least recreational and business aviation pilots could be affected more than others. Changes include:

Transition to the SERA rules covering VFR night flying
Some modifications to flight planning requirements. For example, the UK expects to keep the existing process of booking out at an airfield before a flight but will consider whether to introduce some form of booking in at the end of a flight
A change from the use of quadrantal cruising levels to semicircular cruising levels to align the UK with the rest of the world.

As EASA and Eurocontrol continue to develop SERA requirements the CAA will provide further information to UK pilots including updates on UK implementation and how the changes will affect pilots.
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