Do Not Fly Zones: A Brief Guide to Restricted Airspace

There are an estimated 2 million drones registered in the United States and over 11,000 private jets.

Drones and planes are expensive. Whether you’ve got one or the other, or maybe you’re just curious, it’s important to know where you can and can’t fly, or you risk losing a pricy piece of equipment or your license.

Keep reading to learn about restricted airspaces!

Special Use Airspaces

Special use airspace is a term that encompasses a variety of different types of airspaces in which certain flights are prohibited or restricted. 

It’s important to know about these spaces for your own safety, your passengers’ safety, and your aircraft’s safety as well as for the safety of others who may be using the airspace.

Prohibited Areas 

You cannot fly in a prohibited area, plain and simple. But it’s good to know where these areas are! While most prohibited areas fall under the issue of national security (in places such as Washington D.C.), there are some strange ones like Disneyworld that you cannot fly in either. 

Restricted Areas 

Restricted areas are spaces in which there is aircraft travel, but it’s restricted to those with the right to be there. This is for the safety of everyone who is not regulated to be there. You will sometimes be granted access to fly there if the area is cold or closed but when it’s hot, active, or open you will be denied for your own safety. 

Warning Areas

A warning area is a space in which the United States government holds some, but not complete, authority. The purpose is to warn pilots that there could be danger if they fly there because of other aircraft using the space. 

Military Operation Areas (MOAs)

A military operations area is pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a space used by the military for air space purposes. You might be able to fly through here when the space is not active, but when it is, the area can be incredibly dangerous. 

Alert Areas

Alert areas are used to tell pilots that there is unusual aircraft activity happening in the space. This could be due to pilot training or unusual aerial activity. Alerts are more like messages to pilots, rather than a prohibited area of travel.

Controlled Firing Areas (CFAs)

A controlled firing area is a place that could be dangerous to a nonparticipating aircraft. The difference between the controlled firing areas and restricted areas is that all activity must be stopped if a nonparticipating aircraft is approaching so that the aircraft does not need to change its flight pattern. 

Start Flying Today

Now that you know all about restricted airspace and do not fly zones, it’s time to start flying! 

If you don’t yet have something to fly, keep reading to learn about the different types of drones and planes to get you started on your aviation adventure.