Rules of the Air

Standardised European Rules of the Air

The European rules of the air are established by EU regulation and known as SERA – Standardised European Rules of the Air.

SERA rules are based on ICAO recommendations and in particular ICAO Annex 2 (rules of the air). They apply to all airspace users and aircraft operating in the EU.

Glider pilots are expected to be familiar with SERA and should have a good knowledge of the elements that apply to their operation, including collision avoidance rules, VFR, IFR and airspace classifications. Appendix 1 contains important information about ground signals and signs. There are elements of  SERA which, while interesting, are not particularly relevant to gliding operations, eg the 4000, 8000, 9000, 10000 and 12000 series.

SERA can be viewed on the EASA website. For ease of reference, the SERA publication current in January 2017 is available here as a pdf.

Now please read about UK differences…

UK Rules of the Air Differences

The UK has retained a small number of supplementary rules derived from the former Rules of the Air Regulations 2007. These were published on 17 March 2015 as The Rules of the Air Regulations 2015 and took effect on 30 April 2015. They are supported by permissions and general exemptions that preserve legacy operational flexibilities to the greatest possible degree.

A helpful consolidation of SERA, the ANO, and Rules of the Air Regulations 2015 is available here.

Study Guides

Bronze and Beyond‘, which is periodically updated by the experienced gliding instructor author, and ‘Air Law Aeronautical Knowledge’ (AFE, published 2016), which covers the ANO 2016, SERA and other EASA requirements, are excellent guides for glider pilots for both examination study as well as practical day to day knowledge.