In Did this aircraft illegally exceed 250kts below 10,000ft? it was mentioned that unlike here in the US, EASA does not have a 250 kt. speed limit below 10,000 ft.

So does this mean that are we allowed to go as fast as we want?

enter image description here

Mach 8? ;-)

What is the maximum indicated airspeed specified by EASA when operating in the European Union?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The answer in the linked question says it's up to the member states. I know for a fact that there's a 250 kts restriction below FL100 in Germany unless the aircraft needs to go faster due to its design. I assume they're referring to fighter jets and spacecraft... Also, love the picture :) $\endgroup$
    – falstro
    Jan 24 '14 at 8:23
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    $\begingroup$ This is handled by the member nation's AIP, not the EASA. In Germany you have restrictions to maintain 250kts IAS below FL100 in all airspace except class C and supersonic over land is not allowed apart for military traffic in certain areas. $\endgroup$ Jan 24 '14 at 8:58
  • $\begingroup$ @SentryRaven Does EASA specify any speed limits (other than no supersonic over land)? $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Jan 24 '14 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ Doubtful, as EASA has no say in that. This is all national jurisdiction --> AIPs. Check @DeltaLima answer to your question. $\endgroup$ Jan 24 '14 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ It does have a say in that. All EASA directives automatically become legislation. It just chose to put speed limitations into SERA Annex 6, see SERA.6001 'a' through 'f' $\endgroup$
    – Radu094
    Feb 7 '14 at 23:32

Airspace regulations do not fall under the authority of EASA. Each country has their own set of rules published under supervision of their own National Aviation Authority in the AIP.

The origin of the 250 knots IAS limitation below 10000ft can be found in the ICAO airspace classes definitions. The ICAO airspace definitions include a 250 knots IAS limitation below 10000ft / FL100 in:

  • Class C: VFR
  • Class D, E, F and G: both VFR and IFR

That means that in class A and B there is no speed limitation below 10000ft / FL100. In class C, IFR has no speed limitation, but VFR has. In Europe you will find a lot of class A, B and C airspace below 10000ft. In the US, there is no class A airspace below 18000' feet. There is class B and C airspace below 10000ft, but the FAA basically put a blanket speed limitation of 250knots below 10000ft, even inside class B and C airspace.

Also note that ICAO airspace classes are recommendations, countries have the authority to deviate from the ICAO recommendations as long as they publish these deviations.

Section ENR (En-route) 1.4 of the AIP contains the ATS Airspace Classifications and states includes the deviations from the ICAO airspace definition.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Seems complicated if you have a flight across Europe.... EASA was supposed to solve some of this confusion wasn't it?? (+1 though) $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Jan 24 '14 at 13:06
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    $\begingroup$ The airspace structure in Europe is indeed quite complex. For VFR it is quite difficult, for IFR not so. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Jan 24 '14 at 13:17

As some other people already mentioned in the comments, EASA DOES have a say in it. And indeed it's all written in "SERA.6001 Classification of airspaces" Link here for the Easy Access Rules doc https://www.easa.europa.eu/document-library/easy-access-rules/easy-access-rules-standardised-european-rules-air-sera


For IFR flights

  • Class A, B and C airspace don't have any speed limit
  • Speed is limited to 250 kts IAS below 10000ft in all other classes of airspace

For VFR flights:

  • Class B doesn't have any speed limit
  • Speed is limited to 250 kts IAS below 10000ft in all other classes of airspace

Every member country can have more restrictive rules but usually they all stick to it to make it more simple (unless stated in their AIP).

By the way, all students are now trained using EASA material so it's relatively uncommon to have significant deviations from it.


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