Regulation (EU) No 923/2012 SERA : Standardised European Rules of the Air
Revision from March 2022
SECTION 11 Interference, emergency contingencies and interception
SERA.11001 General - Regulation (EU) 2016/1185
- In case of an aircraft known or believed to be in a state of emergency, including being subjected to unlawful interference, ATS units shall give the aircraft maximum consideration, assistance and priority over other aircraft, as may be necessitated by the circumstances.
- Subsequent ATC actions shall be based on the intentions of the pilot, the overall air traffic situation and the real-time dynamics of the contingency.
GM1 SERA.11001 General - ED Decision 2016/023/R
EMERGENCY DESCENT PROCEDURES
- When an aircraft operated as a controlled flight experiences sudden decompression or a malfunction requiring an emergency descent, the aircraft should, if able:
- initiate a turn away from the assigned route or track before commencing the emergency descent;
- advise the appropriate ATC unit as soon as possible of the emergency descent;
- set transponder to Code 7700 and select the emergency mode on the automatic dependent surveillance/controller–pilot data link communications (ADS/CPDLC) system, if applicable;
- turn on aircraft exterior lights;
- watch for conflicting traffic both visually and by reference to airborne collision avoidance system (ACAS) (if equipped); and
- coordinate its further intentions with the appropriate ATC unit.
- The aircraft is not to descend below the lowest published minimum altitude that will provide a minimum vertical clearance of 300 m (1 000 ft) or, in designated mountainous terrain, of 600 m (2 000 ft) above all obstacles located in the area specified.
- Immediately upon recognising that an emergency descent is in progress, ATC units are to acknowledge the emergency on radiotelephony.
In particular, when recognising that an emergency descent is in progress, ATC may, as required by the situation:
- suggest a heading to be flown, if able, by the aircraft carrying out the emergency descent in order to achieve separation from other aircraft concerned;
- state the minimum altitude for the area of operation, only if the level-off altitude stated by the pilot is below such minimum altitude, together with the applicable QNH altimeter setting; and
- as soon as possible, provide separation from conflicting traffic, or issue essential traffic information, as appropriate.
When deemed necessary, ATC will broadcast an emergency message, or cause such message to be broadcast, to other aircraft concerned to warn them of the emergency descent.
FRA.11001 c) bis
Mise en œuvre
Note. — Pour indiquer qu’il est en état d’urgence, un aéronef doté d’un moyen de
liaison de données approprié et/ou d’un transpondeur SSR peut procéder de la façon
- utiliser le transpondeur sur le mode A, code 7700 ; ou
- utiliser le transpondeur sur le mode A, code 7500, pour indiquer expressément
qu’il est l’objet d’une intervention illicite ; ou
- utiliser la fonction d’urgence absolue et/ou de situation urgente appropriée de
l’ADS-B ou de l’ADS-C ; et/ou
- envoyer le message d’urgence approprié par CPDLC.
FRA. 11001 c)
Le largage de carburant en vol n'est permis qu'en cas d'urgence et après affichage du code 7700 sur le transpondeur SSR de l'aéronef.
Toutefois, l'alinéa précédent ne s'applique pas aux aéronefs utilisés sous le contrôle de l'Etat lorsque les circonstances de la mission le justifient.
FRA. 11002 Système sol de détection de rapprochement dangereux d'un aéronef par rapport au relief et aux obstacles artificiels
Lorsque les organismes des services de la circulation aérienne sont équipés d'un système sol de détection de rapprochement dangereux d'un aéronef par rapport au relief et aux obstacles artificiels, les types de vol qui ne sont pas éligibles à la génération d'avertissements de ce système sont les suivants :
- les vols VFR ;
- les vols VFR ayant obtenu une clairance VFR spécial ;
- les aéronefs évoluant en IFR qui subissent une panne de transpondeur ;
- les aéronefs évoluant en IFR et qui utilisent un aérodrome pour lequel il n'existe pas de procédures de départ ou d'approche aux instruments ;
- les aéronefs ayant obtenu, de jour, une clairance d'approche à vue ou évoluant par repérage visuel du sol ;
- les aéronefs effectuant des manœuvres à vue à l'issue de leur procédure d'approche.
Lorsqu'un avertissement de proximité du relief ou des obstacles artificiels se déclenche pour un vol contrôlé, les mesures suivantes sont appliquées sans délai :
- si un guidage est assuré à l'aéronef concerné, le contrôleur lui donne l'instruction de monter immédiatement au niveau de sécurité applicable et, si c'est nécessaire pour éviter le relief, un nouveau cap lui est assigné ;
- dans les autres cas, le contrôleur informe le pilote commandant de bord qu'un avertissement de proximité du relief ou des obstacles artificiels s'est déclenché et lui demande de vérifier immédiatement le niveau de l'aéronef.
SERA.11005 Unlawful interference - Regulation (EU) 2016/1185
Site de l'EASA
( Easy Access )
SERA.11010 Strayed or unidentified aircraft - Regulation (EU) 2016/1185
- As soon as an air traffic services unit becomes aware of a strayed aircraft it shall take all necessary steps as outlined in (1) and (3) to assist the aircraft and to safeguard its flight.
- If the aircraft’s position is not known, the air traffic services unit shall:
- attempt to establish two-way communication with the aircraft, unless such communication already exists;
- use all available means to determine its position;
- inform other air traffic services units into whose area the aircraft may have strayed or may stray, taking into account all the factors which may have affected the navigation of the aircraft in the circumstances;
- inform, in accordance with locally agreed procedures, appropriate military units and provide them with pertinent flight plan and other data concerning strayed aircraft;
- request from the units referred to in (iii) and (iv) and from other aircraft in flight every assistance in establishing communication with the aircraft and determining its position.
- The requirements in (1)(iv) and (1)(v) shall apply also to air traffic services units informed in accordance with (1)(iii).
- When the aircraft’s position is established, the air traffic services unit shall:
- advise the aircraft of its position and the corrective action to be taken. This advice shall be immediately provided when the ATS unit is aware that there is a possibility of interception or other hazard to the safety of the aircraft; and
- provide, as necessary, other air traffic services units and appropriate military units with relevant information concerning the strayed aircraft and any advice given to that aircraft.
- As soon as an air traffic services unit becomes aware of an unidentified aircraft in its area, it shall endeavour to establish the identity of the aircraft whenever this is necessary for the provision of air traffic services or required by the appropriate military authorities in accordance with locally agreed procedures. To this end, the air traffic services unit shall take such of the following steps as are appropriate in the circumstances:
- attempt to establish two-way communication with the aircraft;
- inquire of other air traffic services units within the flight information region about the flight and request their assistance in establishing two-way communication with the aircraft;
- inquire of air traffic services units serving the adjacent flight information regions about the flight and request their assistance in establishing two-way communication with the aircraft;
- attempt to obtain information from other aircraft in the area;
- the air traffic services unit shall, as necessary, inform the appropriate military unit as soon as the identity of the aircraft has been established.
- In the case of a strayed or unidentified aircraft, the possibility of the aircraft being subject of unlawful interference shall be taken into account. Should the air traffic services unit consider that a strayed or unidentified aircraft may be the subject of unlawful interference, the appropriate authority designated by the State shall immediately be informed, in accordance with locally agreed procedures.
GM1 SERA.11010 Strayed or unidentified aircraft - ED Decision 2013/013/R
- An aircraft may be considered, at the same time, as a ‘strayed aircraft’ by one unit and as an ‘unidentified aircraft’ by another unit. This possibility should be taken into account when complying with the provisions of SERA.11010(a)(1)(iii) and SERA.11010(b)(2) and (b)(3).
- Navigational assistance by an air traffic services unit is particularly important if the unit becomes aware of an aircraft straying, or about to stray, into an area where there is a risk of interception or other hazard to its safety.
SERA.11012 Minimum Fuel and Fuel Emergency - Regulation (EU) 2016/1185
- When a pilot reports a state of minimum fuel, the controller shall inform the pilot as soon as practicable of any anticipated delays or that no delays are expected.
- When the level of fuel renders declaring a situation of distress necessary, the pilot, in accordance with SERA.14095, shall indicate that by using the radiotelephony distress signal (MAYDAY), preferably spoken three times, followed by the nature of the distress condition (FUEL).
GM1 SERA.11012 Minimum fuel and fuel emergency - ED Decision 2016/023/R
The declaration of MINIMUM FUEL informs ATC that all planned aerodrome options have been reduced to a specific aerodrome of intended landing, and any change to the existing clearance may result in landing with less than planned final reserve fuel. This is not an emergency situation but an indication that an emergency situation is possible should any additional delay occur.
SERA.11013 Degraded aircraft performance - Regulation (EU) 2016/1185
- Whenever, as a result of failure or degradation of navigation, communications, altimetry, flight control or other systems, aircraft performance is degraded below the level required for the airspace in which it is operating, the flight crew shall advise the ATC unit concerned without delay. Where the failure or degradation affects the separation minimum currently being employed, the controller shall take action to establish another appropriate type of separation or separation minimum.
- Degradation or failure of the RNAV system
When an aircraft cannot meet the specifications as required by the RNAV route or procedure, as a result of a failure or degradation of the RNAV system, a revised clearance shall be requested by the pilot.
- Loss of vertical navigation performance required for reduced vertical separation minima (RVSM) airspace
- The pilot shall inform ATC as soon as possible of any circumstances where the vertical navigation performance requirements for RVSM airspace cannot be maintained. In such cases, the pilot shall obtain a revised ATC clearance prior to initiating any deviation from the cleared route and/or flight level, whenever possible. When a revised ATC clearance cannot be obtained prior to such a deviation, the pilot shall obtain a revised clearance as soon as possible thereafter.
- During operations in, or vertical transit through, RVSM airspace with aircraft not approved for RVSM operations, pilots shall report non-approved status as follows:
- at initial call on any channel within RVSM airspace;
- in all requests for level changes; and
- in all read-backs of level clearances.
- Air traffic controllers shall explicitly acknowledge receipt of messages from aircraft reporting RVSM non-approved status.
- Degradation of aircraft equipment — pilot-reported:
- When informed by the pilot of an RVSM-approved aircraft operating in RVSM airspace that the aircraft's equipment no longer meets the RVSM requirements, ATC shall consider the aircraft as non-RVSM-approved.
- ATC shall take action immediately to provide a minimum vertical separation of 600 m (2 000 ft) or an appropriate horizontal separation from all other aircraft concerned that are operating in RVSM airspace. An aircraft rendered non-RVSM-approved shall normally be cleared out of RVSM airspace by ATC when it is possible to do so.
- Pilots shall inform ATC, as soon as practicable, of any restoration of the proper functioning of equipment required to meet the RVSM requirements.
- The first ACC to become aware of a change in an aircraft's RVSM status shall coordinate with adjacent ACCs, as appropriate.
- Severe turbulence — not forecast:
- When an aircraft operating in RVSM airspace encounters severe turbulence due to weather or wake vortex that the pilot believes will impact the aircraft's capability to maintain its cleared flight level, the pilot shall inform ATC. ATC shall establish either an appropriate horizontal separation or an increased minimum vertical separation.
- ATC shall, to the extent possible, accommodate pilot requests for flight level and/or route changes and shall pass on traffic information, as required.
- ATC shall solicit reports from other aircraft to determine whether RVSM should be suspended entirely or within a specific flight level band and/or area.
- The ACC suspending RVSM shall coordinate with adjacent ACCs such suspension(s) and any required adjustments to sector capacities, as appropriate, to ensure an orderly progression of the transfer of traffic.
- Severe turbulence — forecast:
- When a meteorological forecast is predicting severe turbulence within RVSM airspace, ATC shall determine whether RVSM should be suspended and, if so, for how long and for which specific flight level(s) and/or area.
- In cases where RVSM will be suspended, the ACC suspending RVSM shall coordinate with adjacent ACCs with regard to the flight levels appropriate for the transfer of traffic, unless a contingency flight level allocation scheme has been determined by letter of agreement. The ACC suspending RVSM shall also coordinate applicable sector capacities with adjacent ACCs, as appropriate.
GM1 SERA.11013(b) Degraded aircraft performance - ED Decision 2016/023/R
DEGRADATION OR FAILURE OF THE RNAV SYSTEM
If an aircraft cannot meet the requirements due to a failure or degradation of the RNAV system that is detected before departure from an aerodrome where it is not practicable to effect a repair, the aircraft concerned should be permitted to proceed to the nearest suitable aerodrome where the repair can be made. When granting clearance to such aircraft, ATC should take into consideration the existing or anticipated traffic situation and may have to modify the time of departure, flight level or route of the intended flight. Subsequent adjustments may become necessary during the course of the flight.
- With respect to the degradation/failure in flight of an RNAV system, while the aircraft
is operating on an ATS route requiring the use of RNAV 5:
- aircraft should be routed via VOR/DME-defined ATS routes; or
- if no such routes are available, aircraft should be routed via conventional navigation aids, i.e. VOR/DME; or
When the above procedures are not feasible, the ATC unit should, where practicable, provide the aircraft with radar vectors until the aircraft is capable of resuming its own navigation.
- With respect to the degradation/failure in flight of an RNAV system, while the aircraft is operating on an arrival or departure procedure requiring the use of RNAV:
- the aircraft should be provided with radar vectors until the aircraft is capable of resuming its own navigation; or
- the aircraft should be routed by conventional navigation aids, i.e. VOR/DME.
Subsequent ATC action in respect of an aircraft that cannot meet the specified requirements due to a failure or degradation of the RNAV system, will be dependent upon the nature of the reported failure and the overall traffic situation. Continued operation in accordance with the current ATC clearance may be possible in many situations. When this cannot be achieved, a revised clearance may be required to revert to VOR/DME navigation.
GM1 SERA.11013(c) Degraded aircraft performance - ED Decision 2016/023/R
LOSS OF VERTICAL NAVIGATION PERFORMANCE REQUIRED FOR RVSM
An in-flight contingency affecting flight in RVSM airspace pertains to unforeseen circumstances that directly impact on the ability of one or more aircraft to operate in accordance with the vertical navigation performance requirements of RVSM airspace.
FRA. 11013 a)
Les procédures de décalage latéral stratégique et les procédures en cas d'événement imprévu en vol en espace aérien océanique s'appliquent conformément aux dispositions, respectivement, des paragraphes A et B de la partie FRA. Appendice 7 de l'annexe au présent arrêté.
SERA.11014 ACAS resolution advisory (RA) - Regulation (EU) 2016/1185
Site de l'EASA
( Easy Access )
SERA.11015 Interception - Regulation (EU) 2016/1185
- Except for intercept and escort service provided on request to an aircraft, interception of civil aircraft shall be governed by appropriate regulations and administrative directives issued by Member States in compliance with the Convention on International Civil Aviation, and in particular Article 3(d) under which ICAO Contracting States undertake, when issuing regulations for their State aircraft, to have due regard for the safety of navigation of civil aircraft.
- The pilot-in-command of a civil aircraft, when intercepted, shall:
- immediately follow the instructions given by the intercepting aircraft, interpreting and responding to visual signals in accordance with the specifications in Tables S11-1 and
- notify, if possible, the appropriate air traffic services unit;
- attempt to establish radio-communication with the intercepting aircraft or with the appropriate intercept control unit, by making a general call on the emergency frequency 121,5 MHz, giving the identity of the intercepted aircraft and the nature of the flight; and if no contact has been established and if practicable, repeating this call on the emergency frequency 243 MHz,
- if equipped with SSR transponder, select Mode A, Code 7700, unless otherwise instructed by the appropriate air traffic services unit;
- if equipped with ADS-B or ADS-C, select the appropriate emergency functionality, if available, unless otherwise instructed by the appropriate air traffic services unit.
|Signals initiated by intercepting aircraft and responses by intercepted aircraft|
||INTERCEPTING Aircraft Signals
||INTERCEPTED Aircraft Responds
||DAY or NIGHT — Rocking aircraft and flashing navigational lights at irregular intervals (and landing lights in the case of a helicopter) from a position slightly above and ahead of, and normally to the left of, the intercepted aircraft (or to the right if the intercepted aircraft is a helicopter) and, after acknowledgement, a slow level turn, normally to the left (or to the right in the case of a helicopter) on the desired heading.
Meteorological conditions or terrain may require the intercepting aircraft to reverse the positions and direction of turn given above in Series 1.
If the intercepted aircraft is not able to keep pace with the intercepting aircraft, the latter is expected to fly a series of race-track patterns and to rock the aircraft each time it passes the intercepted aircraft.
|You have been intercepted. Follow me.
||DAY or NIGHT — Rocking aircraft, flashing navigational lights at irregular intervals and following.
||Understood, will comply.
||DAY or NIGHT — An abrupt breakaway manoeuvre from the intercepted aircraft consisting of a climbing turn of 90 degrees or more without crossing the line of flight of the intercepted aircraft.
||You may proceed.
||DAY or NIGHT — Rocking the aircraft.
||Understood, will comply.
||DAY or NIGHT — Lowering landing gear (if fitted), showing steady landing lights and overflying runway in use or, if the intercepted aircraft is a helicopter, overflying the helicopter landing area. In the case of helicopters, the intercepting helicopter makes a landing approach, coming to hover near to the landing area.
||Land at this aerodrome.
||DAY or NIGHT — Lowering landing gear, (if fitted), showing steady landing lights and following the intercepting aircraft and, if, after overflying the runway in use or helicopter landing area, landing is considered safe, proceeding to land.
||Understood, will comply.
|Signals initiated by intercepted aircraft and responses by intercepting aircraft|
||INTERCEPTED Aircraft Signals
||INTERCEPTING Aircraft Responds
||DAY or NIGHT — Raising landing gear (if fitted) and flashing landing lights while passing over runway in use or helicopter landing area at a height exceeding 300 m (1 000 ft) but not exceeding 600 m (2 000 ft) (in the case of a helicopter, at a height exceeding 50 m (170 ft) but not exceeding 100 m (330 ft)) above the aerodrome level, and continuing to circle runway in use or helicopter landing area. If unable to flash landing lights, flash any other lights available.
||Aerodrome you have designated is inadequate.
||DAY or NIGHT — If it is desired that the intercepted aircraft follow the intercepting aircraft to an alternate aerodrome, the intercepting aircraft raises its landing gear (if fitted) and uses the Series 1 signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.
If it is decided to release the intercepted aircraft, the intercepting aircraft uses the Series 2 signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.
|Understood, follow me.
Understood, you may proceed.
||DAY or NIGHT — Regular switching on and off of all available lights but in such a manner as to be distinct from flashing lights.
||DAY or NIGHT — Use Series 2 signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.
||DAY or NIGHT — Irregular flashing of all available lights.
||DAY or NIGHT — Use Series 2 signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.
- If any instructions received by radio from any sources conflict with those given by the intercepting aircraft by visual signals, the intercepted aircraft shall request immediate clarification while continuing to comply with the visual instructions given by the intercepting aircraft.
- If any instructions received by radio from any sources conflict with those given by the intercepting aircraft by radio, the intercepted aircraft shall request immediate clarification while continuing to comply with the radio instructions given by the intercepting aircraft.
- If radio contact is established during interception but communication in a common language is not possible, attempts shall be made to convey instructions, acknowledgement of instructions and essential information by using the phrases and pronunciations in Table S11-3 and transmitting each phrase twice:
|Phrases for use by INTERCEPTING aircraft
||Phrases for use by INTERCEPTED aircraft
||What is your call sign?
|My call sign is (call sign)
||Understood, will comply
||Descend for landing
||Unable to comply
||Land at this aerodrome
||Repeat your instruction
||You may proceed
||I am in distress
||I have been hijacked
|I request to land at
||I require descent
- As soon as an air traffic services unit learns that an aircraft is being intercepted in its
area of responsibility, it shall take such of the following steps as are appropriate in the
- attempt to establish two-way communication with the intercepted aircraft via any means available, including the emergency radio frequency 121,5 MHz, unless such communication already exists,
- inform the pilot of the intercepted aircraft of the interception;
- establish contact with the intercept control unit maintaining two-way communication with the intercepting aircraft and provide it with available information concerning the aircraft;
- relay messages between the intercepting aircraft or the intercept control unit and the intercepted aircraft, as necessary;
- in close coordination with the intercept control unit take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of the intercepted aircraft;
- inform air traffic services units serving adjacent flight information regions if it appears that the aircraft has strayed from such adjacent flight information regions.
- As soon as an air traffic services unit learns that an aircraft is being intercepted outside its area of responsibility, it shall take such of the following steps as are appropriate in the circumstances:
- inform the air traffic services unit serving the airspace in which the interception is taking place, providing this unit with available information that will assist in identifying the aircraft and requesting it to take action in accordance with (f);
- relay messages between the intercepted aircraft and the appropriate air traffic services unit, the intercept control unit or the intercepting aircraft.
GM2 SERA.11015 Interception - ED Decision 2016/023/R
- Interception of civil aircraft should be avoided and should be undertaken only as a last resort. If undertaken, the interception should be limited to determining the identity of the aircraft, unless it is necessary to return the aircraft to its planned track, direct it beyond the boundaries of national airspace, guide it away from a prohibited, restricted or danger area or instruct it to effect a landing at a designated aerodrome. Practice interception of civil aircraft is not to be undertaken unless prior agreement has been reached to conduct such activity with the pilot and operator of the civil aircraft concerned.
- To eliminate or reduce the need for interception of civil aircraft, it is important that:
- all possible efforts be made by intercept control units to secure identification of any aircraft which may be a civil aircraft, and to issue any necessary instructions or advice to such aircraft, through the appropriate ATS units. To this end, it is essential that means of rapid and reliable communications between intercept control units and ATS units be established and that agreements be formulated concerning exchanges of information between such units on the movements of civil aircraft, in accordance with the provisions of SERA.4001(b)(4), SERA.11010(a)(1)(iv), SERA.11010(a)(3)(ii), SERA.11010(b), and SERA.11010(b)(5);
- areas prohibited to all civil flights and areas in which civil flight is not permitted without special authorisation by the State be clearly promulgated in the AIP together with the risk, if any, of interception in the event of penetration of such areas. When delineating such areas in close proximity to promulgated ATS routes, or other frequently used tracks, account should be taken of the availability and overall systems accuracy of the navigation systems to be used by civil aircraft and their ability to remain clear of the delineated areas;
- the establishment of additional navigation aids be considered where necessary to ensure that civil aircraft are able to safely circumnavigate prohibited or, as required, restricted areas.
- To eliminate or reduce the hazards inherent in interceptions undertaken as a last resort, all possible efforts should be made to ensure coordinated actions by the pilots and ground units concerned. To this end, it is essential that steps be taken to ensure that:
- all pilots of civil aircraft are made fully aware of the actions to be taken by them and the visual signals to be used;
- operators or pilots-in-command of civil aircraft implement the capability of aircraft to communicate on 121,5 MHz and the availability of interception procedures and visual signals on board aircraft,
- all ATS personnel are made fully aware of the actions to be taken by them in accordance with the provisions of SERA.4001(b)(4), SERA.11010(a)(1)(iv), SERA.11010(a)(3)(ii), SERA.11010(b) and SERA.11010(b)(5);
- all pilots-in-command of intercepting aircraft are made aware of the general performance limitations of civil aircraft and of the possibility that intercepted civil aircraft may be in a state of emergency due to technical difficulties or unlawful interference;
- clear and unambiguous instructions are issued to intercept control units and to pilots-in-command of potential intercepting aircraft, covering interception manoeuvres, guidance of intercepted aircraft, action by intercepted aircraft, air-to-air visual signals, radio-communication with intercepted aircraft, and the need to refrain from resorting to the use of weapons;
Note. See paragraphs 2 to 6.
- intercept control units and intercepting aircraft are provided with radiotelephony equipment so as to enable them to communicate with intercepted aircraft on the emergency frequency 121,5 MHz,
- secondary surveillance radar and/or ADS-B facilities are made available to the extent possible to permit intercept control units to identify civil aircraft in areas where they might otherwise be intercepted. Such facilities should permit recognition of aircraft identity and immediate recognition of any emergency or urgency conditions.
- Interception manoeuvres
- A standard method should be established for the manoeuvring of aircraft intercepting a civil aircraft in order to avoid any hazard for the intercepted aircraft. Such method should take due account of the performance limitations of civil aircraft, the need to avoid flying in such proximity to the intercepted aircraft that a collision hazard may be created, and the need to avoid crossing the aircraft’s flight path or to perform any other manoeuvre in such a manner that the wake turbulence may be hazardous, particularly if the intercepted aircraft is a light aircraft.
- An aircraft equipped with an ACAS, which is being intercepted, may perceive the interceptor as a collision threat and thus initiate an avoidance manoeuvre in response to an ACAS RA. Such a manoeuvre might be misinterpreted by the interceptor as an indication of unfriendly intentions. It is important therefore that pilots of intercepting aircraft equipped with a secondary surveillance radar (SSR) transponder suppress the transmission of pressure-altitude information (in Mode C replies or in the AC field of Mode S replies) within a range of at least 37 km (20 NM) of the aircraft being intercepted. This prevents the ACAS in the intercepted aircraft from using RAs in respect of the interceptor, while the ACAS traffic advisory information will remain available.
- Manoeuvres for visual identification
The following method is recommended for the manoeuvring of intercepting aircraft for the purpose of visually identifying a civil aircraft:
- Phase I
The intercepting aircraft should approach the intercepted aircraft from astern. The element leader, or the single intercepting aircraft, should normally take up a position on the left (port) side, slightly above and ahead of the intercepted aircraft, within the field of view of the pilot of the intercepted aircraft, and initially not closer to the aircraft than 300 m. Any other participating aircraft should stay well clear of the intercepted aircraft, preferably above and behind. After speed and position have been established, the aircraft should, if necessary, proceed with Phase II of the procedure.
- Phase II
The element leader, or the single intercepting aircraft, should begin closing in gently on the intercepted aircraft, at the same level, until no closer than absolutely necessary to obtain the information needed. The element leader, or the single intercepting aircraft, should use caution to avoid startling the flight crew or the passengers of the intercepted aircraft, keeping constantly in mind the fact that manoeuvres considered normal to an intercepting aircraft may be considered hazardous to passengers and crews of civil aircraft. Any other participating aircraft should continue to stay well clear of the intercepted aircraft. Upon completion of identification, the intercepting aircraft should withdraw from the vicinity of the intercepted aircraft as outlined in Phase III.
- Phase III
The element leader, or the single intercepting aircraft, should break gently away from the intercepted aircraft in a shallow dive. Any other participating aircraft should stay well clear of the intercepted aircraft and re-join their leader.
- Manoeuvres for navigational guidance
- If, following the identification manoeuvres in Phase I and Phase II above, it is considered necessary to intervene in the navigation of the intercepted aircraft, the element leader, or the single intercepting aircraft, should normally take up a position on the left (port) side, slightly above and ahead of the intercepted aircraft, to enable the pilot-in-command of the latter aircraft to see the visual signals given.
- It is indispensable that the pilot-in-command of the intercepting aircraft be satisfied that the pilot-in-command of the intercepted aircraft is aware of the interception and acknowledges the signals given. If repeated attempts to attract the attention of the pilot-in-command of the intercepted aircraft by use of the Series 1 signal in Table S11-1, are unsuccessful, other methods of signalling may be used for this purpose, including as a last resort the visual effect of the reheat/afterburner, provided that no hazard is created for the intercepted aircraft.
- It is recognised that meteorological conditions or terrain may occasionally make it necessary for the element leader, or the single intercepting aircraft, to take up a position on the right (starboard) side, slightly above and ahead of the intercepted aircraft. In such case, the pilot-in-command of the intercepting aircraft must take particular care that the intercepting aircraft is clearly visible at all times to the pilot-in-command of the intercepted aircraft.
- Guidance of an intercepted aircraft
- Navigational guidance and related information should be given to an intercepted aircraft by radiotelephony, whenever radio contact can be established.
- When navigational guidance is given to an intercepted aircraft, care must be taken that the aircraft is not led into conditions where the visibility may be reduced below that required to maintain flight in visual meteorological conditions and that the manoeuvres demanded of the intercepted aircraft do not add to already existing hazards in the event that the operating efficiency of the aircraft is impaired.
- In the exceptional case where an intercepted civil aircraft is required to land in the territory overflown, care must also be taken that:
- the designated aerodrome is suitable for the safe landing of the aircraft type concerned, especially if the aerodrome is not normally used for civil air transport operations;
- the surrounding terrain is suitable for circling, approach and missed approach manoeuvres;
- the intercepted aircraft has sufficient fuel remaining to reach the aerodrome;
- if the intercepted aircraft is a civil transport aircraft, the designated aerodrome has a runway with a length equivalent to at least 2 500 m at MSL and a bearing strength sufficient to support the aircraft; and
- whenever possible, the designated aerodrome is one that is described in detail in the relevant AIP.
- When requiring a civil aircraft to land at an unfamiliar aerodrome, it is essential that sufficient time be allowed for it to prepare for a landing, bearing in mind that only the pilot-in-command of the civil aircraft can judge the safety of the landing operation in relation to runway length and aircraft mass at the time.
- It is particularly important that all information necessary to facilitate a safe approach and landing be given to the intercepted aircraft by radiotelephony.
- Air-to-air visual signals
The visual signals to be used by intercepting and intercepted aircraft are those set forth in Tables S11-1 and S11-2. It is essential that intercepting and intercepted aircraft adhere strictly to those signals and interpret correctly the signals given by the other aircraft, and that the intercepting aircraft pay particular attention to any signals given by the intercepted aircraft to indicate that it is in a state of distress or urgency.
- Radio communication between the intercept control unit or the intercepting aircraft and the intercepted aircraft
- When an interception is being made, the intercept control unit and the intercepting aircraft should:
- first attempt to establish two-way communication with the intercepted aircraft in a common language on the emergency frequency 121,5 MHz, using the call signs ‘INTERCEPT CONTROL’, ‘INTERCEPTOR (call sign)’ and ‘INTERCEPTED AIRCRAFT’ respectively, and
- failing this, attempt to establish two-way communication with the intercepted aircraft on such other frequency or frequencies as may have been prescribed by the competent authority, or to establish contact through the appropriate ATS unit(s).
- If radio contact is established during interception, but communication in a common language is not possible, attempts must be made to convey instructions, acknowledgement of instructions and essential information by using the phrases and pronunciations in Table S11-3 and transmitting each phrase twice.
- Refraining from the use of weapons
The use of tracer bullets to attract attention is hazardous, and it is expected that measures will be taken to avoid their use so that the lives of persons on board and the safety of aircraft will not be endangered.
- Coordination between intercept control units and ATS units
It is essential that close coordination be maintained between an intercept control unit and the appropriate ATS unit during all phases of an interception of an aircraft which is, or might be, a civil aircraft, in order for the ATS unit to be kept fully informed of the developments and of the action required of the intercepted aircraft.
AMC1 SERA.11015(a) Interception - ED Decision 2013/013/R
REGULATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTIVES ISSUED BY MEMBER STATES GOVERNING INTERCEPTION OF CIVIL AIRCRAFT
- In accordance with the provisions on interception of civil aircraft in Annex 2 to the Convention on the International Civil Aviation, the national provisions put in place under SERA.11015(a) should ensure that:
- interception of civil aircraft is undertaken only as a last resort;
- an interception is limited to determining the identity of the aircraft, unless it is necessary to return the aircraft to its planned track, direct it beyond the boundaries of national airspace, guide it away from a prohibited, restricted or danger area or congested areas, or instruct it to effect a landing at a designated aerodrome;
- practice interception of civil aircraft is not undertaken, unless it has been previously agreed with the pilot-in-command of the aircraft to be intercepted and ATC has been informed accordingly that the interception is to take place;
- navigational guidance and related information is given to an intercepted aircraft by radiotelephony, whenever radio contact can be established; and
- in the case where an intercepted civil aircraft is required to land in the territory overflown, the aerodrome designated for the landing is suitable for the safe landing of the aircraft type concerned.
- Member States should publish a standard method that has been established for the manoeuvring of aircraft intercepting a civil aircraft. Such method should be designed to avoid any hazard for the intercepted aircraft.
- Member States should ensure that provision is made for the use of secondary surveillance radar or ADS-B, where available, to identify civil aircraft in areas where they may be subject to interception.
GM1 SERA.11015 (a) Interception - ED Decision 2013/013/R
REGULATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTIVES ISSUED BY MEMBER STATES GOVERNING INTERCEPTION OF CIVIL AIRCRAFT
Member States that comply with an alternative means of compliance different from AMC1 SERA.11015(a) Interception over the territory and territorial waters of the State are required to notify ICAO of a difference to ICAO Annex 2. Over the high seas ICAO Annex 2 is to be applied without exception in accordance with the Chicago Convention and SERA.1001(a).