Regulation 2016/1185 amending Regulation 923/2012 as regards the update of SERA

Regulation 2016/1185 amending Regulation 923/2012 as regards the update of SERA

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1185 of 20 July 2016 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 923/2012 as regards the update and completion of the common rules of the air and operational provisions regarding services and procedures in air navigation (SERA Part C) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 730/2006 - text published in the Official Journal of the European Union


To amend Regulation 923/2012 by including in it the remaining relevant ICAO provisions, in particular those set out in Annex 10 to the Chicago Convention and in Doc 4444 (PANS-ATM).


The most notable changes to Regulation 923/2012 are:

  • Aerodrome operators are included in the scope of the Regulation
  • Updated provisions for VFR flights, e.g.
    • The competent authority may prescribe a period shorther than 60 minutes for submitting VFR flight plans for domestic flights
    • The option to approve VFR helicopter flights when the visibility is below 800 m is removed
    • Exceptions are defined for operating VFR flights above FL 195
  • Updated provisions for SVFR flights
  • Added phraseology for changing from IFR flight to VFR flight
  • The designation of the airspace classification shall be appropriate to the needs of the Member States, except that all airspace above FL 195 shall be classified as Class C airspace
  • When an identified controlled flight is observed to be on a conflicting path with an unknown aircraft the pilot of the controlled flight is to be informed of the conflicting aircraft. If appropriate, an avoiding action is to be suggested.
  • Provisions for the application of wake turbulence separation are added.
  • Clarification on the issue of ATC clearances added as well as detailed description of specific cases (e.g. changes to clearances, conditional clearances, etc.)
  • Provisions for the use of "Operations normal" call added
  • Added a provision that aircraft in a state of emergency shall be given maximum consideration, assistance and priority over other aircraft.
  • Added provisions for minimum fuel and fuel emergency as well as for degraded aircraft performance.
  • Added procedures to be followed by flight crews and air traffic controllers in case of ACAS resolution advisory (standard ICAO procedures)
  • Added a provision for the compilation of AIREP SPECIAL reports by flight crews.
  • A new section for the operation of SSR transponders introduced
    • If an aircraft is equipped with a serviceable transponder, it is to be used at all times, except under very specific circumstances.
    • The IDENT feaure is to be used only upon ATS request
    • Procedures for setting mode A codes are provided, defining the use of contingency codes (7500, 7600 and 7700), codes 2000 (no ATS instruction) and 7000 (no ATS being received).
    • Procedures for handling discrepancies between assigned and observed codes introduced.
    • When the aircraft carries serviceable Mode C equipment, the pilot shall continuously operate this mode unless otherwise dictated by ATC. Verification of the pressure-altitude-derived level information displayed to the controller shall be effected at least once by each suitably equipped ATC unit, preferably on initial contact.
    • Mode S identification transmission procedures introduced.
    • In case of a transponder failure after departure, ATC units shall attempt to provide for continuation of the flight to the destination aerodrome in accordance with the flight plan. Pilots may, however, be expected to comply with specific restrictions.
    • Introduced provisions for handling a transponder failure that cannot be fixed before departure.
  • A new section for voice communications procedures added. While the provisions within this section generally adhere to standard ICAO phraseology, a number of differences are introduced (shown in bold):
    • Transmition of numbers:
      • Flight levels shall be transmitted by pronouncing each digit separately except for the case of flight levels in whole hundreds.
      • The altimeter setting shall be transmitted by pronouncing each digit separately except for the case of a setting of 1 000 hPa which shall be transmitted as “ONE THOUSAND”.
      • All numbers used in the transmission of transponder codes shall be transmitted by pronouncing each digit separately except that, when the transponder codes contain whole thousands only, the information shall be transmitted by pronouncing the digit in the number of thousands followed by the word “THOUSAND”
    • For transfers of communication within one ATS unit, the call sign of the ATS unit may be omitted, when so authorised by the competent authority.
  • Detailed provisions added in Appendix 5 for position reports and special air-reports.

Entry Into Force

This Regulation entered into force in August 2016 and became applicable as of 12 October 2017.

Selected provisions of this Regulation became applicable as of 18 August 2016.

This Regulation amended Regulation 1033/2006 and repealed Regulation 730/2006.

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Further Reading

European Commission


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