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ATC

Que SERA, SERA: Spain U-turns on new ATC language rules

10 October 2017

Tower controllers in Spain are being allowed to communicate with pilots in their native language, despite the imminent introduction of new Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA) that make English obligatory for communications at the busiest European airports.

On 4 October the Spanish Ministry of Development reversed an earlier ruling by announcing that air and ground crews will be allowed to continue speaking in Spanish “when the operational scenario makes it advisable”.

SERA comes into force across the European Union (EU) on 12 October, in line with Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1185. The regulation makes English mandatory for air traffic control (ATC)-pilot communications at all EU airports handling more than 50,000 international flights a year.

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