Chapter 27. Controlled Firing
Section 1. General
A controlled firing area
(CFA) is airspace designated to contain
activities that if not conducted in a controlled
environment would be hazardous to
CFAs provide a means to
accommodate, without impact to aviation, certain
hazardous activities that can be immediately
suspended if a nonparticipating aircraft
approaches the area.
a. CFAs should be
considered only when necessary to accommodate
activities that are capable of being immediately
suspended, and it has been specifically
determined that designation of a restricted area
is not warranted.
b. The distinguishing
feature of a CFA, compared to other SUA, is that
CFA activities must be suspended immediately
when a nonparticipating aircraft approaches the
area. The responsibility lies totally with the
CFA user to terminate activities so that there
is no impact on aviation. There is no
requirement for nonparticipating aircraft to
avoid the airspace, nor are any communications
or ATC separation requirements imposed.
CFAs are not depicted on
aeronautical charts because the user terminates
the activities when required to prevent
endangering nonparticipating aircraft.
Although there are no set
limits to the dimensions of a CFA, the size of
the area must be reasonable considering the
types of activities conducted, and surveillance,
communications, and activity termination
a. Only those
activities that can be immediately suspended on
notice that a nonparticipating aircraft is
approaching are appropriate for a CFA. Examples
of such activities include:
1. Ordnance disposal.
3. Static testing of
large rocket motors.
b. CFAs are not
intended to contain aircraft ordnance delivery
activities. Operation of observer or
surveillance aircraft is permitted.
c. Other activities
(e.g., artillery, etc.) may be considered
provided they can meet the criteria and comply
with the safety precautions prescribed in this
d. CFAs may be
designated for either military or civil
The service area office is
the approval authority for CFAs. For other than
one-time events, CFAs should be approved for a
specific period as determined by the service
area office. An expiration date must be assigned
for each CFA.
27-1-8. SUSPENSION OR
The service area office may
suspend or revoke a CFA if a question arises
about the safety of the operation, compliance
with safety precautions or conditions of
approval, or if unforeseen impact on
aeronautical operations occurs.