Regulation 923/2012 Common Rules of the Air and Operational Provisions Regarding Services and Procedures in Air Navigation

Regulation 923/2012 Common Rules of the Air and Operational Provisions Regarding Services and Procedures in Air Navigation

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 923/2012 of 26 September 2012 laying down the common rules of the air and operational provisions regarding services and procedures in air navigation and amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1035/2011 and Regulations (EC) No 1265/2007, (EC) No 1794/2006, (EC) No 730/2006, (EC) No 1033/2006 and (EU) No 255/2010 - text published in the Official Journal of the European Union


To establish the common rules of the air and operational provisions regarding services and procedures in air navigation that shall be applicable to general air traffic.



This Regulation shall apply to airspace users and aircraft engaged in general air traffic:

  • operating into, within or out of the Union;
  • bearing the nationality and registration marks of a Member State of the Union, and operating in any airspace to the extent that they do not conflict with the rules published by the country having jurisdiction over the territory overflown.

This Regulation shall also apply to the Competent Authorities of the Member States, Air Navigation Service Providers and the relevant ground personnel engaged in aircraft operations.


The Regulation consists of a main body and an Annex named "Rules of the Air". The Annex contains rules and procedures equivalent to the provisions of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 2 (Rules of the Air) and Annex 11 (Air Traffic Services).

The most notable provisions cover:

The Annex is followed by five Appendices:

  • Appendix 1 - Signals
  • Appendix 2 - Unmanned free balloons
  • Appendix 3 - Table of cruising levels
  • Appendix 4 - ATS airspace classes — services provided and flight requirements
  • Appendix 5 - Requirements regarding services in air navigation (technical specifications related to aircraft observations and reports by voice communications)

A Supplement to the Annex describes the commonly agreed differences between Regulation 923/2012 and ICAO Annex 2 and Annex 11.


The Member States shall:

  • notify ICAO that all previously notified differences with respect to ICAO SARPs that are covered by this Regulation are withdrawn, with the exception of those relating to essential security and defence policy interests of the Member States.
  • notify ICAO of the commonly agreed differences contained in the Supplement to the Annex to this Regulation.
  • publish through its AIP the commonly agreed differences.

The Supplement contains:

  • eight differences to Annex 2:
    • new provision: An aircraft that is aware that the manoeuvrability of another aircraft is impaired shall give way to that aircraft.
    • the display of lights intended to indicate the extremities of their structure shall be as far as practicable.
    • provisions regarding landing/take off into the wind and direction of turns do not apply to balloons.
    • submission of flight plans for flights across international borders may be skipped if otherwise prescribed by the States concerned. Also, a flight plan shall be submitted for any flight planned to operate at night, if leaving the vicinity of an aerodrome.
    • new provision for overtaking regarding sailplanes: A sailplane overtaking another sailplane may alter its course to the right or to the left.
    • provisions for night VFR flights leaving the vicinity of an aerodrome.
    • obstacle clearance criteria for VFR flights outside congested areas of cities, towns or settlements or over an open-air assembly of persons are apended with above the highest obstacle within a radius of 150 m (500 ft) from the aircraft.
    • The scope of escort missions is enlarged to any type of flight requesting such service and is not limited to flights in distress.
  • six differences to Annex 11:
    • Time checks are given at least to the nearest minute as opposed to the nearest half minute.
    • Exemption possibility to exceed the 250 kt speed limit where approved by the competent authority.
    • Own separation in airspace classes D and E must be agreed by the pilots of both aircraft and is to be used below 10 000 ft, during climb or descend and during the day (in addition to the ICAO requirement for VMC).
    • Newly assigned communication channels must always be read back (this is not required by Annex 11).
    • An explicit requirement to read back or acknowledge taxi instructions is added.
    • Provisions to be applied for special VFR flights by pilots and controllers.
  • one difference to Annex 3:
    • new provision: Competent authorities shall prescribe as necessary other conditions which shall be reported by all aircraft when encountered or observed.

Entry Into Force

This Regulation entered into force in November 2012.

This Regulation applies from 4 December 2012.

By way of derogation, Member States may decide not to apply the provisions of this Regulation until 4 December 2014.

This regulation amends:

The amendments address definitions and references.

Amendments to this Regulation

This Regulation was amended by Regulation 2015/340 by a minor update of the "psychoactive substance" definition.

This Regulation was amended by Regulation 2016/1185 by including the remaining relevant ICAO provisions, in particular those set out in Annex 10 to the Chicago Convention and in Doc 4444 (PANS-ATM).

This Regulation was amended by Regulation 2020/469 by:

  • Replacing he definition for "controlled aerodrome" and adding definitions for "critical area" and "sensitive area".
  • Stating that while the emergency frequency (121.500 MHz) is only to be used for emergency purposes, it may, as an exception, be used for other purposes.
  • Ammending the Annex, the most notable changes being:
    • Paraphrasing of certain provisions.
    • Adding a provision that if an aircraft is being vectored or cleared a direct flight outside the flight planned route, the controller should ensure than obstacle clearance is maintained.
    • Adding a provision that FIS also includes messages and clearances, received from other ATS units to be relayed to the aircraft.
    • Adding provisions for the use of emergency frequency 121.500 MHz.
    • Adding a provision that flight crews should report to the controller when the runway braking action is not as good as expected.

This amendment is applicable from from 27 January 2022 except for the provision that flight crews should report when the runway braking action is not as good as expected which is applicable from 05 November 2020. 

This Regulation was amended by Regulation 2021/666 by adding relevant definitions as well as requirements for communications, SSR transponder and electronic conspicuity in U-space airspace. This amendment is applicable as of January 2023.

Several language-related amendments to this regulation were necessary due to errors:

  • Regulation 2017/835 corrects the Slovenian and Swedish language versions
  • Regulation 2020/886 corrects the Italian language version

Regulation 923/2012 - Common Rules of the Air and Operational Provisions Regarding Services and Procedures in Air Navigation (OJ, 13.10.2012)

Regulation 923/2012 - Consolidated version, including amendments by Regulations 2015/340, 2016/1185, 2020/469 and 2021/666 (external link).

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