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The Rules of the Air shall apply to all classes of aircraft, except aircraft of the armed forces of a State where appropriate military authority determines that noncompliance with these Rules is required. In addition, the Rules of the Air do not apply to situations where immediate action contrary to these Rules is required to avoid danger, in which case responsible persons shall exercise their best judgment.



(a) Acrobatic Flight. Maneuvers intentionally performed by aircraft involving an abrupt change in its attitude, an abnormal attitude, or an abnormal speed.

(b) Airport Control Sector. The area within which air traffic is subject to the supervision of an airport traffic control tower.

(c) Airport Traffic. Aircraft operating within an airport traffic zone and vehicular traffic operating on an airport.

(d) Airport Traffic Control Tower. A facility established to provide adequate supervision of air traffic within an airport control sector.

(e) Airport. An established landing area either on land or water which is used or intended to be used for the landing and take-off of aircraft.

(f) Airport Traffic Zone. The usable surface of an airport and the airspace over an area having a radius of at least five miles from the center of the airport.

(g) Air Traffic. Aircraft in motion anywhere in the airspace and aircraft on the usable surface of an airport.

(h) Air Traffic Control Center. A facility established to provide adequate supervision of air traffic within a specified control area.

(i) Air Traffic Clearance. Approval of a flight or portion thereof by an air traffic control center or airport traffic control tower.

(j) Air Traffic Control Officer. A person responsible for providing air traffic control service.

(k) Airway. A path through the airspace, identified by an area on the surface of the earth, designated by the appropriate authority for air navigation.

(1) Airway Traffic. Aircraft operating within an airway. ,

(m) Alternate Airport. An airport specified in the flight plan to which a flight may proceed when a landing at the intended destination becomes inadvisable.

(n) Approach Time. The time at which an aircraft commences an approach procedure preparatory to a landing. (o) Center. See Air Traffic Control Center.

(p) Control Area. A specified area within which an air traffic control center provides for adequate supervision of air traffic.

(9) Cruising Altitude. A constant altimeter indication maintained during a flight or portion thereof.

(r) Flight Plan. A plan containing specified information relative to a flight of an aircraft.

(s) Flight Watch. The continuous maintenance of the coordinated services performed by the air traffic control officer, the forecaster, and the operations officer for the protection of an aircraft during flight.

(t) General Flight Rules. Rules specified in Rules of the Air governing all flights made in airspace under the jurisdiction of the contracting States.

(u) General Flight Rule Flight. Flight made under conditions not requiring the observance of the Instrument Flight Rules.

(v) Instrument Flight Plan. A plan of flight containing the items specified in the Instrument Flight Rules of Rules of the Air, indicating that the person in command of an aircraft intends to conduct the flight in accordance with Instrument Flight Rules.

(w) Instrument Flight Rules. Rules, specified in Rules of the Air, which, in addition to the General Flight Rules, govern flight under certain conditions.

(x) Operations Officer. The ground representative designated by an agency operating an aircraft.

(y) Reporting Point. A geographical location above which the position of an aircraft is determined.

(z) Runway. A specially prepared or marked path on an airport to be used for take-offs or landings of aircraft under certain wind conditions.

(aa) Separation. A specified longitudinal, vertical, or lateral separation between two or more aircraft in flight.

(bb) Take-Off Clearance. Permission by an airport control tower for an aircraft to take off.

(cc) Tower. See Airport Traffic Control Tower.

(dd) Usable Surface of an Airport. That area which comprises landing, take-off, and maneuvering areas.


General Flight Rules 1. Preflight Action. Prior to commencing a flight, the person in command of the aircraft shall familiarize himself with information necessary for the proper operation of the aircraft on the airports to be used and en route.

2. Reckless Flying. An aircraft shall not be operated in a reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger life or property or in such proximity to other aircraft as to create a traffic hazard.

3. Landing and Take-Off Rules. Aircraft shall be operated in airport traffic zones in accordance with the following rules:

(a) Prior to and during taxiing, landing, and take-off, the person in command of the aircraft shall,

(1) observe other airport traffic for the purpose of avoiding collisions; and

(2) if a tower is in operation maintain, if possible, a continuous watch on the tower's radio channel for instructions, or if this is not possible, keep a watch for such instructions as may be issued by visual


(b) If a tower is in operation, the person in command of an aircraft shall obtain prior permission for take-off from the tower, either by radio or visual signal.

(c) Unless otherwise advised by a tower or by ground signals displayed at an airport,

(1) aircraft approaching for a landing and aircraft after taking off shall make all turns to the left; and

(2) aircraft not intending to land shall conduct flight so as to avoid the pattern of traffic formed by aircraft within the airport traffic zone.

4. Air Traffic Control Instructions. An aircraft shall be operated in control areas, airport control sectors, and airport traffic zones in accordance with traffic control instructions received from a center or a tower.

5. Right-of-Way Rules

(a) Order. Aircraft in flight, except in emergencies, shall have right-of-way in the following order: (1) balloons, fixed or free (an airship not under control is classed as a free balloon), (2) gliders, (3) airships, (4) airplanes towing gliders, and (5) airplanes, including rotor planes.

(b) Converging. When two aircraft are on converging courses at approximately the same altitude, the aircraft which has the other on its left shall have right-of-way, and the other aircraft shall give way.

(c) Approaching Head-on. When two aircraft are approaching head-on or approximately so, and there is danger of collision, each shall alter its course to the right so that they will pass each other at a safe distance.

(d) Overtaking. An overtaken aircraft has the right-of-way and the overtaking aircraft, whether climbing, descending, or in level flight, shall alter its course to the right so as to keep clear of the other aircraft.

(e) Landing. Aircraft while landing or maneuvering in preparation to land have the right-of-way over other aircraft in flight, or on the ground or water.

(f) Emergency Landing. An aircraft in an emergency has the right-of-way in attempting to land.

6. Minimum Safe Altitudes. Exclusive of taking off from or landing upon landing areas, aircraft shall not be flown below the following minimum safe altitudes of flight:

(a) Over the congested parts of cities, towns, populous areas, or over an open-air assembly of persons, an altitude sufficient to permit at all times an emergency landing outside of such areas, but in no event shall such altitude be less than 1,000 feet above the surface.

(b) Elsewhere than as specified in the preceding paragraph, an altitude sufficient to avoid unnecessary nuisance or damage to persons or property on the surface,

7. Acrobatic Flight. An aircraft shall not be acrobatically flowd so as to endanger air traffic.

8. Light Rules

(a) Aircraft on the Surface. Between sunset and sunrise, all aircraft parked or moved within, or in dangerous proximity to, the usable surface of all airports used for, or available to, night flight operations shall be clearly illuminated or lighted, or the area marked with obstruction lights.

(b) Aircraft in Operation. Between sunset and sunrise, all aircraft being operated shall display lights specified in Annex G, "Airworthiness Requirements for Civil Aircraft Engaging in International Air Navigation”, or, if not specifically provided for in that Annex, shall display lights which are clearly visible from all directions.

9. Authority of Person in Command of an Aircraft. The person in command of an aircraft shall be directly responsible for its safe operation and shall have final authority as to disposition of the aircraft while he is in command.


Instrument Flight Rules

10. Application. In addition to complying with the General Flight Rules, flights within control areas, airport control sectors, or airport traffic zones shall be conducted in accordance with the Instrument Flight Rules as prescribed herein, unless otherwise authorized by a center or tower:

(a) Whenever an aircraft is flown closer than 500 feet vertically or closer than 2,000 feet horizontally to a cloud formation; or

(b) Whenever forward visibility from the aircraft is less than three miles,

(1) if aircraft is flown in an airport traffic zone; or

(2) if aircraft is flown above 1,000 feet above the surface; or (c) Whenever forward visibility from the aircraft is less than one mile, if aircraft is being flown outside of an airport traffic zone at or below 1,000 feet above the surface; or

(d) Whenever an aircraft is flown between sunset and sunrise, if so prescribed by a contracting State.

11. Preflight Action. Prior to filing a flight plan, the person in command of an aircraft shall make a careful study of available current weather reports and forecasts, and shall determine that the flight can be made with safety, taking into consideration fuel requirements and alternate course of action in the event that flight cannot be completed as planned.

12. Flight Plan. Prior to take-off from any point within or prior to entering a control area or airport control sector, a flight plan shall be filed with the center for such area or the tower for such sector. Such flight plan shall contain the following minimum information:

(a) The aircraft identification and radio call sign.

(b) The type of aircraft involved and the number of aircraft making the flight, if the aircraft are in formation and on only one flight plan.

(c) The name of the person in command of the aircraft, or, if in formation, the name of the flight commander.

(d) The point of departure.

(e) The cruising altitude, or altitudes, and the route to be followed, including indication of great circle, rhumb line, or composite rhumb line if applicable.

(f) The point of first intended landing. (g) The proposed true airspeed.

(h) Transmitting and receiving frequency or frequencies to be used.

(i) The time of departure.

() The estimated elapsed time until arrival over the point of first intended landing.

(k) The alternate airport or airports.

(1) Amount of fuel on board expressed in hours and, when required, the point of no return.

(m) Any other pertinent information which the person in command of the aircraft deems useful for control purposes or which may be requested by a center or tower.

13. Aircraft Lights Under Instrument Flight Rules. Aircraft lights, or suitable warning lights, shall be displayed at all times when the aircraft is being operated under Instrument Flight Rules.

14. Air Traffic Clearance. Prior to operating an aircraft in a control area or airport control sector, a traffic clearance shall be obtained from the center for such area or the tower for such sector. No deviation shall be made from the requirements of a traffic clearance unless an emergency situation arises which requires immediate decision and action, in which case, as soon as possible after such emergency authority is exercised, the person in command of the aircraft shall inform the proper center or tower of the deviation.

15. Communication Contacts. The person in command of an aircraft shall be responsible for insuring that a continuous listening watch is maintained on the appropriate radio frequency and that the time and altitude of passing each designated reporting point is reported by radio as soon as possible to the appropriate ground station.

16. Communication Failure. In the event of inability to maintain two-way radio communication as required by Paragraph 15 above, the person in command of an aircraft shall observe one of the following procedures in the order listed:

(a) Proceed according to current traffic clearance, or, if not received, according to flight plan, and commence descent at destination at approach time last authorized, or, if not received, at the estimated time of arrival specified in flight plan; or

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