Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 5


14 CFR 91.119 - Minimum safe altitudes: General.
 eCFR
 Authorities (U.S. Code)
 Rulemaking
 What Cites Me
prev | next
§ 91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.
Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate
an aircraft below the following altitudes:
(a)Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency
landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.
(b)Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or
settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000
feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of
the aircraft.
(c)Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the
surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases,
the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel,
vehicle, or structure.
(d)Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control
aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property
on the surface -
(1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in
paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating
the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed
for helicopters by the FAA; and
(2) A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated
at less than the minimums prescribed inparagraph (c) of this section.

3.1.11 Minimum safe heights— Except when necessary for taking-off or landing or except by permission from the
appropriate Air Traffic Control Unit, aircraft shall into be flown—

(a) over the congested areas of cities, towns, or settlements or over an open-air assembly of
persons unless at such a height as will permit in the event of an emergency arising, a landing to be
made without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface; this height shall into be less than
300 metres (1,000 feet) above the highest obstacle within a radius of 600 metres (2,000 feet) from
the aircraft;
(b) elsewhere than as specified in clause (a) above, at a height less than 150 metres (500 feet)
above the ground or water. Notwithstanding anything contained in 3.1.1., the Director-General may, by order in writing, permit, subject
to such conditions and restrictions as he may deem fit to impose, any aircraft engaged in aerial spraying or crop

OPERATIONS CIRCULAR 5 OF 2008 Subject: Low Level Flying by Helicopters

Helicopters are called upon to undertake role specific work such as aerial photography, aerial
surveys etc where they are required to fly low over areas which may be densely populated. It has
been reported that many helicopters while undertaking these missions descend below prescribed
altitude and fly at these ultra low altitudes for prolonged durations. Not only does this
compromise flight safety and endanger the lives of people in that area, but also, inadvertently
invades the privacy of private properties, causing them anguish and unnecessary disturbances.
Aircraft Rules categorically states that a helicopter is to maintain minimum 1000 feet AOL if
flying over populated areas and 500 feet AOL if flying over water or unpopulated areas. While it
is appreciated that the accuracy of maintaining such a vertical separation may get affected due to
undulating terrain at some places, it is the responsibility of the pilot to maintain prescribed
separation nevertheless. A pilot must make adequate use of Radio Altimeter. Alternately a pilot
must cater for such errors while calculating the minimum height to fly and ensure that helicopter
remains above the minimum prescribed altitude at all times. Helicopter Operators are to ensure
that their pilots are properly and adequately briefed on this aspect while undertaking Low level
flying. The operators must ensure that the helicopters engage in Low Level Flying are equipped
with Radio Altimeter, which is a reliable aid for vertical separation. Sd/- (Capt. Irshad Ahmed)
Flight Operations Inspector (Helicopter)


The minimum flight altitude for each ATS route segment both international and domestic have been
determined by Airports Authority of India and published in the AIP, India (RAC 3-2.1 to RAC 3-2.70). The
published routes in AIP India also contain the minimum flight altitude, which provides minimum 1000
feet clearance from the highest obstacle within the route width of 20 nautical miles.
CAA finally agrees to adopt ICAO international standard on minimum flying height over population

After years of requiring a minimum flying height over conurbations that

exceeded the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirement,
the UK Civil Aviation Authority has adopted the 1,000ft (300m) international

The CAA points out, however, that the requirement to be able to glide to alight
without harming persons or property remains in place.

Pressure from ICAO audit, as well as from industry, provided the motivation
for the CAA to adopt the height reduction from the previous requirement,
which was for aircraft flying over conurbations to be at least 1,500ft "above the
highest fixed object within a horizontal radius of 600m of the aircraft".

When not over built-up areas the existing rule states that aircraft shall not
approach closer to a person, vessel, vehicle or structure than 500ft.
Exceptions are standard for aircraft engaged in take-off or approach to land
and under other circumstances specified in the revised rule. The CAA
observes: "The requirements to glide clear and to alight without danger to
persons or property on the surface remain in place. Therefore, for the majority
of flights in light aircraft and helicopters, there will be no significant change to
the way these have to be planned and conducted in relation to congested