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Special Use Airspace

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.

3−4−5. Military Operations Areas

a. MOAs consist of airspace of defined vertical

and lateral limits established for the purpose of

separating certain military training activities from

IFR traffic. Whenever a MOA is being used,

nonparticipating IFR traffic may be cleared through

a MOA if IFR separation can be provided by ATC.

Otherwise, ATC will reroute or restrict nonparticipat-

ing IFR traffic.

b. Examples of activities conducted in MOAs

include, but are not limited to: air combat tactics, air

intercepts, aerobatics, formation training, and

low−altitude tactics. Military pilots flying in an active

MOA are exempted from the provisions of 14 CFR

Section 91.303(c) and (d) which prohibits aerobatic

flight within Class D and Class E surface areas, and

within Federal airways. Additionally, the Department

of Defense has been issued an authorization to

operate aircraft at indicated airspeeds in excess of

250 knots below 10,000 feet MSL within active


c. Pilots operating under VFR should exercise

extreme caution while flying within a MOA when

military activity is being conducted. The activity

status (active/inactive) of MOAs may change

frequently. Therefore, pilots should contact any FSS

within 100 miles of the area to obtain accurate

real-time information concerning the MOA hours of

operation. Prior to entering an active MOA, pilots

should contact the controlling agency for traffic


d. Permanent MOAs are charted on Sectional

Aeronautical, VFR Terminal Area, and the appropri-

ate En Route Low Altitude charts.


Temporary MOAs are not charted.

3−4−6. Alert Areas
Alert areas are depicted on aeronautical charts to

inform nonparticipating pilots of areas that may

contain a high volume of pilot training or an unusual

type of aerial activity. Pilots should be particularly

alert when flying in these areas. All activity within an

alert area must be conducted in accordance with

CFRs, without waiver, and pilots of participating

aircraft as well as pilots transiting the area must be

equally responsible for collision avoidance.

3−4−7. Controlled Firing Areas

CFAs contain activities which, if not conducted in a

controlled environment, could be hazardous to

nonparticipating aircraft. The distinguishing feature

of the CFA, as compared to other special use airspace,

is that its activities are suspended immediately when

spotter aircraft, radar, or ground lookout positions

indicate an aircraft might be approaching the area.

There is no need to chart CFAs since they do not cause

a nonparticipating aircraft to change its flight path.

3−4−8. National Security Areas

NSAs consist of airspace of defined vertical and

lateral dimensions established at locations where

there is a requirement for increased security and

safety of ground facilities. Pilots are requested to

voluntarily avoid flying through the depicted NSA.

When it is necessary to provide a greater level of

security and safety, flight in NSAs may be

temporarily prohibited by regulation under the

provisions of 14 CFR Section 99.7. Regulatory

prohibitions will be issued by System Operations

Security and disseminated via NOTAM. Inquiries

about NSAs should be directed to System Operations



AIM, Para 5−6−1, National Security

3−4−9. Obtaining Special Use Airspace


a. Pilots can request the status of SUA by

contacting the using or controlling agency. The

frequency for the controlling agency is tabulated in

the margins of the applicable IFR and VFR charts.


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