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Airport weather minimums

Since the weather has been so bad for the month of October in the Calgary area, we have been seeing a lot of IFR weather – weather that I, as a private pilot can’t go flying in.  What defines IFR conditions?  I thought it would be useful to post the IFR outlook chart as published by The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM).

This table shows the airport weather minimums required for operation – takeoff and landing.

There is also SVFR – special VFR that the VFR pilot can request when minimums are not met. SVFR requires that the pilot has at least 1 mile visibility, stays clear of cloud and the aerodrome has 1 mile horizontal visibility.

Category Ceiling Visibility
IFR Less than 1000 feet AGL and/or less than 3 SM
MVFR between 1000 feet and 3000 feet AGL and/or between 3 and 5 SM
VFR more than 3000 feet AGL and more than 5 SM