Visual flight rules
Visual Flight Rules (VFR)
VFR flight may only be conducted (CAR 172, ENR 1.2):
- in VMC
- provided that, when operating at or below 2000 ft above the ground or water, the pilot is able to navigate by visual reference to the ground or water
- at sub-sonic speeds
- in accordance with the speed restrictions identified at ENR 1.4
Unless the pilot in command is authorised under CASR Part 61 to conduct a flight under IFR or at night under VFR and the aircraft is appropriately equipped for flight at night or under the IFR, a VFR flight must not:
- be conducted at night (see the VFRG section pre-flight planning-preparation-daylight and darkness)
- depart from and aerodrome unless the ETA for the destination (or alternate) is at least 10 minutes before last light after allowing for any required holding.
By day, when VMC do not exist, the ATC unit responsible for a control zone may issue, at pilot request, a special VFR clearance for flight in the CTR, or in controlled airspace next to the CTR for the purpose of entering or leaving the CTR, providing
(AIP ENR 1.2):
- the special VFR flight will not unduly delay an IFR flight
- the flight can be conducted clear of cloud
- the visibility is not less than
- 1600 m for aeroplanes
- 800 m for helicopters, or
- for balloons, not less than 100 m below 500 ft AGL and 1600 m at and above 500 ft AGL
- a helicopter is operated at such a speed that the pilot has adequate opportunity to observe any obstructions or other traffic in sufficient time to avoid collisions
- the flight can be conducted in accordance with the requirements of CAR 157 regarding low flying.
Special VFR is not permitted in Class E airspace
Determination of visibility for VFR CAR 174
Flight visibility shall be determined by the pilot in command from the cockpit of the aircraft while in flight.
Subject to CAR 257, the pilot in command of an aircraft operating under the VFR is responsible for determining the visibility for the take-off and landing of the aircraft.
In determining visibility for the purposes of this regulation, the pilot in command shall take into account the meteorological conditions, sun glare and any other condition that may limit his or her effective vision through his or her windscreen.
Aerodrome meteorological minima CAR 257
CASA may, in respect of an aircraft operation, determine the meteorological minima for the landing or taking off of an aircraft at an aerodrome. This information must be published in AIP or NOTAMs.
If an element of the meteorological minima for take-off or landing is less than that determined for the aircraft operation at the aerodrome, the aircraft must not take-off or land at the aerodrome.