Special Operations Rules

The Special Operations (SO) within the France division take place according to the IVAO Rules and Regulations (R&R, section "Special Operations Department"). However, some rules specific to France division are also applicable in addition to R&R.

You will find below all information and specific regulations regarding how to perform flights and ATC service under Special Operations within France Division. 

These regulations rigorously apply without distinction to any pilot and ATC performing Special Operations, regardless their division. They have been established and adjusted from IVAO SO-HQ rules. We remind you that IVAO R&R apply at any time. 

1 - General rules

1.1 - France division specific rules and procedures regarding Special Operations are listed into an operation order (SO Order) that defines airspaces dedicated to SO activities, military ATC positions, SO approved member list and more useful information.

1.2 - Beside SO Order,  other activities organized by France division (tours, events, training...)  are object to a Mission Statement, listing conditions and specific details regarding said activity. This Mission Statement will be published by NOTAM on every communication channels use by the division (forum, etc.)

1.3 - FR-SO department manages all flights activities beside regular civilian operations:

  • Military flights
  • Police or Gendarmerie flights
  • Test flights (DGA/CEV)
  • Medical and Search and Rescue flights (S&R), EVASAN, MEDEVAC
  • Ambulance flights
  • Any flight not following GAT rules.

1.4 - FR-SO department manages all ATC activities beside regular civilian operations:

  • ATC activities on military bases (BA, BAN, ALAT)
  • ATC activities of Control and Detection Center (OAT enroute monitoring, MIL)
  • ATC activities of military Coordination and Control Centers (equivalent of civilian FIR airspaces where ATC services are provided to OAT traffic) 
  • ATC activties from AWACS
  • Any ATC activity not performed under civilian regular operations.

1.5 - Most of SO flights are performed under OAT (Ooperational Air Trafic). However, some SO flights can be flown under GAT, which will be conducted according to civilian air traffic regulations.

France OAT regulations and procedures are listed in "Guide de la CAM" by the DIRCAM (Document edited in french only). 

1.6 - SO flights and ATC operations, wether they are performed in France Division or anywhere on the network, are restricted to members' name and VID listed into the SO Order (R&R SO-HQ, 2.2.2). Any member willing to perform SO operation (pilot or ATC) needs to ask for approval by email stating SO activities they wish to perform to FR-SO department in order to be added to the authorized member list. FR-SO department reserves the right to revoke member's or SOG's authorization if they don't comply with SO-HQ or France SO regulations.

2 - "Freelancers" 

2.1 - Any member registered on the authorization list is free to perform SO flights beside any SOG (Special Operation Group). Member will be then considered as "Freelance".

2.2 - It is absolutely forbidden to perform any attack simulation on IVAO regardless its type or its political reason (local or international) and war status of the country. 

2.3 - It is forbidden to intercept, escort or chase other aircrafts, civilian or military, on the IVAO Network beside SO events or activities organized by France division and outside airspaces listed inside the SO Order.

2.4 - It is forbidden to perform the following activities outside airspaces listed inside the SO Order

  • High speed manoeuvers
  • Supersonic flights in OAT 
  • Air combat simulation
  • Mass manoeuvers inside restricted airspace
  • Any interception operation
  • Air meeting
  • Formation flights
  • Airdrop flights
  • Any activity threatening or disturbing IVAO Network.

2.5 - Any pilot flying under SO, OAT, or GAT regulation must contact active ATC units during his flight, wether they are civilian or military, according to airspaces penetrated.

2.6 - Any pilot flying under OAT with a fighter must comply with the 250 kt speed restriction under FL100 and M0.95 at or above FL100. Derogation can be issued with a dedicated mission order, or can be applied within events or tours organized by FR-SO department. 

2.7 - Fighters are not allowed to fly on civilian airports while flying under OAT regulations but on military bases listed into the SO Order only. However fighters flying under GAT can land on civilian facilities.

2.8 - Any pilot flying under OAT must fill a proper OAT flight plan.

Information regarding how to fill an OAT flightplan is available in France MILAIP of DIRCAM (ENR 1.10) and in a more simple manner into this "OAT Flightplan Guide" (French only).

3 - SOG's Pilot

3.1 - Any pilot can belong to a SOG. (Special Operations Group

3.2 - In order for its pilots to be authorized to perform SO flights, a SOG must be certified by FR-SO department and SO-HQ department. Once a SOG is approved, its pilots are listed as authorized members into the SO Order.

3.3 - A SOG is not considered as a VA, therefore it will not appear in VA public list. However a specific SO section of the website contains a page dedicated to certified SOGs in France division.

3.4 - SOG certification is completed after following conditions are fulfilled: 

  • The SOG must have a valid and operational website (without advertising)
  • The SOG must have a logo in GIF format and having a minium size of 450 x 150 pixels
  • The SOG must have a valid and reachable email address
  • The SOG must have a minimum of 5 active pilots (as stated in R&R) at all times on IVAO Network
  • The director of the SOG must have an IVAO account for at least 6 months, be a member of the France division, be at least 18 years old, not have been suspended during the 6 months preceding the certification request of the SOG, have the minimum PP rating, and belong to only one SOG and no VA
  • Comply with conditions defined in the R&R SO-HQ (7).

3.5 - Pilots belonging to a SOG must respect the same rules as “freelance” pilots. 

3.6 -  Pilots belonging to a SOG are automatically entered in the authorization list published in the SO Order without prior notification from the FR-SO department.

3.7 - The director of the SOG is responsible for the training and behavior of the members of his SOG evolving in SO on the IVAO network. 

3.8 - SOGs can be assigned exercise or evolution zones (TSA) upon request. The timeslot, as well as the lateral and horizontal limits of the TSA, are decided, after consultation with the concerned SOG, by the FR-SO department. The selected airspaces are listed in the SO Order and, if applicable, can be activated by NOTAM.

3.9 - During all their flights or activities, SOGs pilots undertake to respect and not to interfere in civil airspace, as well as any indication or restriction established in the SO Order. In particular, they scrupulously take care that their pilots contact active ATC units, whether civilian or military, during their flights.

4 - Military ATC

4.1 - ATC activities in military units can be carried out on IVAO within the limits of the technical constraints of the network (servers, software, etc.).

4.2 - A member providing ATC services in a military unit must comply to the rules of conduct specific to controllers in the France division.

4.3 - A member providing ATC services in a military unit must ensure that he owns basic knowledge of phraseology, OAT control procedures, etc., and takes note of the specifics of the controlled terrain before opening it, as well as the FRA and LoA applicable to military lands (SO Order, item 3).

4.4 - During the control of military ATC positions, the filling of the ATIS must include the QFE as well as the weather color according to the current METAR.

4.5 - An exclusively military control position only supports and provides ATC services to OAT traffic and within the limits of its airspace.

4. 6 - A position of mixed control (open to the OAT and the GAT) must ensure both civilian and military control.

4.7 - The opening of ATC units of CDC and CMCC type (CTR unit on IVAO) is prohibited beside any SO activity organized by the France division. However, it can be granted on reasoned request to the FR-SO department and, if necessary, a NOTAM indicating the working position, opening timeslot and areas of responsibility, is published.