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Bird Hazards and Flight Over National Refuges, Parks, and Forests

7−4−5. Pilot Advisories on Bird and Other

Wildlife Hazards
Many airports advise pilots of other wildlife hazards

caused by large animals on the runway through the

Chart Supplement U.S. and the NOTAM system.

Collisions of landing and departing aircraft and

animals on the runway are increasing and are not

limited to rural airports. These accidents have also

occurred at several major airports. Pilots should

exercise extreme caution when warned of the

presence of wildlife on and in the vicinity of airports.

If you observe deer or other large animals in close

proximity to movement areas, advise the FSS, tower,

or airport management.

7−4−6. Flights Over Charted U.S. Wildlife

Refuges, Parks, and Forest Service Areas

a. The landing of aircraft is prohibited on lands or

waters administered by the National Park Service,

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or U.S. Forest Service

without authorization from the respective agency.

Exceptions include:

1. When forced to land due to an emergency

beyond the control of the operator;

2. At officially designated landing sites; or
3. An approved official business of the Federal


b. Pilots are requested to maintain a minimum

altitude of 2,000 feet above the surface of the

following: National Parks, Monuments, Seashores,

Lakeshores, Recreation Areas and Scenic Riverways

administered by the National Park Service, National

Wildlife Refuges, Big Game Refuges, Game Ranges

and Wildlife Ranges administered by the U.S. Fish

and Wildlife Service, and Wilderness and Primitive

areas administered by the U.S. Forest Service.


FAA Advisory Circular AC 91−36, Visual Flight

Rules (VFR) Flight Near Noise-Sensitive Areas, defines

the surface of a national park area (including parks,

forests, primitive areas, wilderness areas, recreational

areas, national seashores, national monuments, national

lakeshores, and national wildlife refuge and range areas)

as: the highest terrain within 2,000 feet laterally of the

route of flight, or the upper-most rim of a canyon or valley.

c. Federal statutes prohibit certain types of flight

activity and/or provide altitude restrictions over

designated U.S. Wildlife Refuges, Parks, and Forest

Service Areas. These designated areas, for example:

Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Areas,

Minnesota; Haleakala National Park, Hawaii;

Yosemite National Park, California; and Grand

Canyon National Park, Arizona, are charted on

Sectional Charts.

d. Federal regulations also prohibit airdrops by

parachute or other means of persons, cargo, or objects

from aircraft on lands administered by the three

agencies without authorization from the respective

agency. Exceptions include:

1. Emergencies involving the safety of human

life; or

2. Threat of serious property loss.