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Restricted Airspace

Introduction:

  • Restricted airspace are areas within which the flight of aircraft is not wholly prohibited but subject to restrictions
    • Basically a step up from prohibited airspace as the nature or limitations imposed upon aircraft operations
  • Contains unusual, often invisible hazards to aircraft, such as artillery firing, aerial gunnery, or flight of guided missiles, where flight operations are restricted
Sectional Chart Restricted Airspace
Figure 1: Restricted Airspace

Characteristics:

  • Regulatory in nature and published in 14 CFR Part 73, established through the rule making process and published in the Federal Register
  • Areas are charted as an "R" followed by a designation number [Figure 1/3]
  • Restricted airspace is depicted on aeronautical charts, to include: VFR sectionals and IFR en-route low altitude charts
  • Details are available on the side of the sectional chart [Figure 2]
Restricted Airspace Information
Figure 2: Restricted Airspace Information

Airspace Depiction:

  • Depicted on sectionals, VFR Terminal Areas, and Low Altitude Charts
  • SUA areas are shown in their entirety (within the limits of the chart), even when they overlap, adjoin, or when an area is designated within another area
  • The areas are identified by type and identifying name/number, and are positioned either within or immediately adjacent to the area
  • Special Use Airspace (SUA): Prohibited, Restricted and Warning Areas are presented in blue and listed numerically for U.S. and other countries. Restricted, Danger and Advisory Areas outside the U.S. are tabulated separately in blue
  • A tabulation of Alert Areas (listed numerically) and Military Operations Areas (MOA) (listed alphabetically) appear on the chart in magenta
  • All are supplemented with altitude, time of use and the controlling agency/contact facility, and its frequency when available
  • The controlling agency will be shown when the contact facility and frequency data is unavailable
  • For joint use restricted areas, the controlling agency name is shown on these charts
  • For all prohibited areas and non-joint use restricted areas, unless otherwise requested by the using agency, the phrase "NO A/G" is shown

Restrictions:

  • No person may operate an aircraft within restricted airspace unless abiding by the restrictions imposed
  • Deviations from Part 91 subpart B (flight rules) are authorized if using restricted airspace for its intended use
  • Air Traffic Control (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
    1. 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
    2. 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
  • For non-joint use, 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

Conclusion:

  • 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
  • No person may operate an aircraft within the restricted area during the time of designation without the advance permission of:
    • The using agency
    • Restricted Airspace (IFR Enroute Chart)
      Figure 3: Restricted Airspace (IFR Enroute Chart)
    • The controlling agency
  • 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

References: