Warning Area


  • Airspace extending from 3 Nautical Miles (NM) and outward from the coast of the United States that contains activities that may be hazardous to non-participating aircraft [Figure 1/2/3] is classified as a Warning Area
  • The purpose of such warning areas is to warn nonparticipating pilots of the potential danger
  • Warning areas may be located over domestic or international waters or both
Warning Area Depicted
Figure 1: Warning Area Depicted
Warning Areas on Sectional
Figure 2: Warning Area Depicted

Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility (FACSFAC):

  • A command that provides scheduling and control of all air, surface, and subsurface activities within offshore operations areas, and all other assigned airspace where FACSFAC has jurisdiction
  • Services support the coexistence of military, government, and non-government agencies consistent with national priorities
  • FACSFAC has 5 locations:
  • Warning Area Depicted
    Figure 3: Warning Area Depicted
    1. VACAPES (Virginia/capes)
    2. San Diego (west coast)
    3. Pensacola (south east)
    4. Pearl Harbor (Hawaii)
    5. Jacksonville (east)
  • Non-regulatory in nature

Airspace Depiction:

  • Depicted on sectionals, VFR Terminal Areas, and Low Altitude Charts
  • Warning 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
  • Areas are identified by type and identifying number, and are positioned either within or immediately adjacent to the area
    • Warning areas are charted with a "W" followed by a number
  • A tabulation of Alert Areas (listed numerically) appear on the chart in blue
  • 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


  • Warning areas are similar to Military Operating Areas and may be used for the same reasons
  • The U.S. Government does not have sole jurisdiction over the airspace and is shared with the U.S. Navy
  • Each warning area is unique and may have notes printed on the chart explaining the type of activity that may take place in that location

Warning Area Warning
Figure 3: Warning Area Warning