Special Use Airspace

Airspace of defined dimensions identified by an area on the surface of the earth wherein activities must be confined because of their nature and/or wherein limitations may be imposed upon aircraft operations that are not a part of those activities. Types of special use airspace are:
  1. Alert Area- Airspace which may contain a high volume of pilot training activities or an unusual type of aerial activity, neither of which is hazardous to aircraft. Alert Areas are depicted on aeronautical charts for the information of nonparticipating pilots. All activities within an Alert Area are conducted in accordance with Federal Aviation Regulations, and pilots of participating aircraft as well as pilots transiting the area are equally responsible for collision avoidance.
  2. Controlled Firing Area- Airspace wherein activities are conducted under conditions so controlled as to eliminate hazards to nonparticipating aircraft and to ensure the safety of persons and property on the ground.
  3. Military Operations Area (MOA)- Permanent and temporary MOAs are airspace established outside of Class A airspace area to separate or segregate certain nonhazardous military activities from IFR traffic and to identify for VFR traffic where these activities are conducted. Permanent MOAs are depicted on Sectional Aeronautical, VFR Terminal Area, and applicable En Route Low Altitude Charts.

    Note: Temporary MOAs are not charted. (Refer to AIM.)

  4. Prohibited Area- Airspace designated under 14 CFR Part 73 within which no person may operate an aircraft without the permission of the using agency. (Refer to AIM.) (Refer to En Route Charts.)
  5. Restricted Area- Permanent and temporary restricted areas are airspace designated under 14 CFR Part 73, within which the flight of aircraft, while not wholly prohibited, is subject to restriction. Most restricted areas are designated joint use and IFR/VFR operations in the area may be authorized by the controlling ATC facility when it is not being utilized by the using agency. Permanent restricted areas are depicted on Sectional Aeronautical, VFR Terminal Area, and applicable En Route charts. Where joint use is authorized, the name of the ATC controlling facility is also shown.

    Note: Temporary restricted areas are not charted. (Refer to 14 CFR Part 73.) (Refer to AIM.)

  6. Warning Area- A warning area is airspace of defined dimensions extending from 3 nautical miles outward from the coast of the United States, that contains activity that may be hazardous to nonparticipating aircraft. The purpose of such warning area is to warn nonparticipating pilots of the potential danger. A warning area may be located over domestic or international waters or both.

Source: Pilot Contoller Glossary (PCG)