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AIM 

6/17/21 

NOTE

 

Temporary restricted areas are not charted. 

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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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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 
MOAs. 

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 
advisories. 

d. 

Permanent MOAs are charted on Sectional 

Aeronautical, VFR Terminal Area, and the appropri-
ate En Route Low Altitude charts. 

NOTE

 

Temporary MOAs are not charted. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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 
Security. 

REFERENCE

 

AIM, Para 5

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1, National Security 

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9.  Obtaining Special Use Airspace 

Status 

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. 

b. 

An airspace NOTAM will be issued for SUA 

when the SUA airspace (permanent and/or tempo-
rary) requires a NOTAM for activation. Pilots should 
check ARTCC NOTAMs for airspace activation. 

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Special Use Airspace