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Special Use Airspace

Section 4. Special Use Airspace



1. General


Special use airspace consists of that airspace

wherein activities must be confined because of their

nature, or wherein limitations are imposed upon

aircraft operations that are not a part of those

activities, or both. Except for controlled firing areas,

special use airspace areas are depicted on aeronauti-

cal charts.


Prohibited and restricted areas are regulatory

special use airspace and are established in 14 CFR

Part 73 through the rulemaking process.


Warning areas, military operations areas

(MOAs), alert areas, and controlled firing areas

(CFAs) are nonregulatory special use airspace.


Special use airspace descriptions (except CFAs)

are contained in FAA Order JO 7400.8, Special Use



Special use airspace (except CFAs) are charted

on IFR or visual charts and include the hours of

operation, altitudes, and the controlling agency.



2. Prohibited Areas

Prohibited areas contain airspace of defined

dimensions identified by an area on the surface of the

earth within which the flight of aircraft is prohibited.

Such areas are established for security or other

reasons associated with the national welfare. These

areas are published in the Federal Register and are

depicted on aeronautical charts.



3. Restricted Areas


Restricted areas contain airspace identified by

an area on the surface of the earth within which the

flight of aircraft, while not wholly prohibited, is

subject to restrictions. Activities within these areas

must be confined because of their nature or

limitations imposed upon aircraft operations that are

not a part of those activities or both. Restricted areas

denote the existence of unusual, often invisible,

hazards to aircraft such as artillery firing, aerial

gunnery, or guided missiles. Penetration of restricted

areas without authorization from the using or

controlling agency may be extremely hazardous to

the aircraft and its occupants. Restricted areas are

published in the Federal Register and constitute

14 CFR Part 73.


ATC facilities apply the following procedures

when aircraft are operating on an IFR clearance

(including those cleared by ATC to maintain

VFR-on-top) via a route which lies within joint-use

restricted airspace.


If the restricted area is not active and has been

released to the controlling agency (FAA), the ATC

facility will allow the aircraft to operate in the

restricted airspace without issuing specific clearance

for it to do so.


If the restricted area is active and has not been

released to the controlling agency (FAA), the ATC

facility will issue a clearance which will ensure the

aircraft avoids the restricted airspace unless it is on an

approved altitude reservation mission or has obtained

its own permission to operate in the airspace and so

informs the controlling facility.


The above apply only to joint-use restricted airspace and
not to prohibited and nonjoint-use airspace. For the latter
categories, the ATC facility will issue a clearance so the
aircraft will avoid the restricted airspace unless it is on an
approved altitude reservation mission or has obtained its
own permission to operate in the airspace and so informs
the controlling facility.


Restricted airspace is depicted on the en route

chart appropriate for use at the altitude or flight level

being flown. For joint-use restricted areas, the name

of the controlling agency is shown on these charts.

For all prohibited areas and nonjoint-use restricted

areas, unless otherwise requested by the using

agency, the phrase “NO A/G” is shown.



4. Warning Areas

A warning area is airspace of defined dimensions,

extending from three nautical miles outward from the

coast of the U.S., that contains activity that may be

hazardous to nonparticipating aircraft. The purpose

of such warning areas is to warn nonparticipating

pilots of the potential danger. A warning area may be

located over domestic or international waters or both.

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