flying in France

VMC Minima

Airspace Class

Flight visibility

Distance from cloud

A

VFR Prohibited

VFR Prohibited
D

8km

1500m horizontally, 1000' vertically
E

8km

1500m horizontally, 1000' vertically
G (Above 3000' MSL)

8km

1500m horizontally, 1000' vertically
G (At or below 3000' MSL or 1000' AAL (whichever is higher)

1500m

Clear of cloud and in sight of the surface
CTR's

8km

Ceiling not less than 1500'
Special VFR  

 

 

CTRs must not be entered unless on SVFR when the ground visibility is less than 8 km or the ceiling below 1500'.

VFR flight is prohibited at and above FL200.

Rules of the Air

Low Flying:

  • An aircraft must fly at a sufficient level to be able to execute an emergency landing without endangering persons or property on the surface.

  • Except when necessary for take off and landing, a VFR flight must not operate over very small built-up areas (radius 600m), Parks or Nature Reserves below 1000'.

  • Except when necessary for take off and landing, a VFR flight must not operate over small built-up areas (radius 1200m) below 1600' for single engined aircraft or below 3300' for multi engined.

  • Except when necessary for take off and landing, a VFR flight must not operate over medium sized built-up areas (radius 1200-3600m) below 3300'.

  • Except when necessary for take off and landing, a VFR flight must not operate over large built-up areas (radius over 3600m) below 5000'.

  • Except when necessary for take off and landing, a VFR flight must not operate over the city of Paris below 6600'.

  • Except when necessary for take off and landing, a VFR flight must not operate at a height of less than 150m/500' above the ground or water and less than 150m/500' from persons or any fixed or mobile man-made object, wherever they may be.

Flight Plans

  • Flight plans are required for all IFR flights, or flights with an IFR segment.

  • Flight plans are required for all VFR flight over maritime or inhospitable regions.  An aircraft is considered to be in a maritime region if it exceeds either a) the maximum range of the aircraft with an inoperative engine to enable a return to the coast or b) 15 times the altitude of the aircraft.

  • Flight plans are required for all VFR flights crossing the French Border.

  • Flight plans are required for all VFR night flights.

  • An abbreviated flight plan may be filed in the air before entering class D controlled airspace or for special VFR clearance.  The pilot is reminded to close such a plan either in person or over the radio.

Airspace Structure

  • Only airspace of classes A,D,E & G are used in France.

  • All airspace at and above FL195 is class A

  • Class A airspace is also used for TMAs and CTAs.

  • Class D, A and E is used in TMAs and CTAs between FL115 and FL195.

  • Class G forms the remainder of the airspace from the surface up to FL115 or 3000' above the surface (whichever is higher).

Airfields

  • Many airfields operate a flight information service in French only.

En-Route

TRANSITION LEVELS

Transition levels and altitudes vary, and at smaller airfields will be notified by ATC.  At larger airfields, the levels are published.

CRUISING LEVELS

VFR: Mag Trk 000-179 - odds+500' eg FL35, FL55             Mag Trk 180-359 - evens+500' eg FL45, FL65
IFR: Semi-Circular rules

Transponder rules

  • In Class D airspace mode A is compulsory, mode C recommended.

  • Above FL120 or 2000' above the surface, mode C and A compulsory.

Military flights

In France most military flight take place between 30 mins after sunrise and 30 mins before sunset below 1500' and at very high speeds.  In order to avoid conflict with such flights it is recommended to fly above 1500' where possible, and to minimise manoeuvres below that altitude.