Section 3. SUA Proposals


This section describes the requirements for SUA proposals submitted to the FAA. SUA proposals must be based on a specific airspace requirement. The need for the proposed airspace must be definitive and sufficient grounds must be provided to justify any resultant imposition on nonparticipating aircraft and/or to afford priority to the SUA user. Before proposing the establishment of new SUA, proponents must consider the use of existing SUA, or the modification of an existing SUA, to conduct their mission.


Do not include classified information in the proposal package. If any information required by this section is classified, the Service Center OSG military representative should contact the Service Center OSG to discuss the handling of that information.


SUA proposal packages must contain the following information, as applicable:

  1. Proponent's Transmittal Letter. Summarize the proposal and provide a point of contact for further information. Military proposals must include a military representative indorsement.
  2. Area Description. Using the guidelines in Section 1 and Section 2 of this chapter, describe the proposed area as follows:
  1. Title. State type of area (restricted area, warning area, etc.). For MOA proposals, include proposed name of the MOA.
  2. Boundaries. A description of the proposed SUA boundary and any subdivisions (see paragraph 21-2-2).


All geographic coordinates must be based on North American Datum 83 (NAD 83) (see paragraph 21-1-16).

  1. Altitudes. State the floor and ceiling of the proposed SUA (see paragraph 21-2-3).
  2. Time of designation/Times of use. State the time of designation/times of use to be published for the area(s) as determined in paragraph 21-2-4. Include an estimate of the expected SUA usage in number of hours per day and days per year. In cases where the unit plans to use the airspace during different blocks of time each day, but actual clock times may vary within the charted “time of designation/times of use," describe those planned operations to provide as accurate a picture as possible of the projected daily use of the airspace.


Time of designation/times of use of SUA must be the minimum required for containing the proposed activities (see paragraph 21-1-6).

  1. Controlling agency. State the FAA or military ATC facility to be designated as the controlling agency for the proposed SUA.


A controlling agency is not designated for prohibited areas, alert areas, controlled firing areas, or national security areas .

  1. Using agency. State the organization to be designated as the using agency for the proposed SUA. Specify the military service, unit or organization, and location. For non-military using agencies, specify the organization name and location.
  1. Airspace Statement of Need and Justification.
  1. Describe the purpose and need for the proposed SUA. Sufficient justification must be provided to support approval of the proposal. Additionally, any known or anticipated aeronautical impact(s) on other airspace users must be considered and addressed in the proposal, including proposed mitigations, if any, to lessen the impact(s).
  1. For new SUA areas, explain why the requirement cannot be met by using existing SUA or by modifying an existing area. List SUA areas that were considered and explain why each area is not acceptable.
  2. For proposals to increase the dimensions or time of designation/times of use of an existing area, explain the need for the increase.
  3. Coordinate with the Service Center Environmental Specialist to ensure the Airspace Statement of Need and Justification is consistent with the Statement of Purpose and Need and alternatives in the applicable NEPA document.
  1. State whether the SUA will be available for joint-use in accordance with paragraph 21-1-8. Provide justification for non-joint-use SUA.
  1. Air Traffic Control Assigned Airspace (ATCAA). State whether an ATCAA will be requested to support the proposed SUA, including the ATCAA dimensions and times of use.


ATCAA information is requested in the proposal solely to assist the FAA in evaluating the overall aeronautical impact of the SUA proposal. Requests to establish an ATCAA are coordinated directly with the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the airspace and are handled separately from the SUA proposal process.


ATCAAs below FL 180, and ALTRVs) must not be used as a substitute for SUA when conducting activities for which a SUA is designed to contain. Since ATCAAs and ALTRVs are not depicted on aeronautical charts, they do not inform the flying public of the location of the activity as is provided by charted SUA. 
Additionally, ATCAAs and ALTRVs are not to be used as an interim solution while a SUA proposal is pending.

  1. Activities. List all activities to be conducted in the proposed SUA. Include the following information:
  1. For areas that will contain aircraft operations:
  1. The number and types of aircraft that will normally use the area.
  2. A listing of the specific activities and the maximum altitudes required for each type of activity planned.
  3. State whether supersonic flight will be conducted.
  4. A chart depicting the location and the representative pattern of firing and/or ordnance delivery runs and weapons impact areas (if applicable).
  1. For areas to contain surface-to-surface or surface-to-air weapons firing:
  1. Type weapon(s) to be fired.
  2. Maximum altitude required for each weapon listed.
  3. A chart depicting firing points, impact areas, firing fans and safety buffers for each type weapon used.
  1. Environmental and land use information.
  1. In coordination with the Service Center OSG Environmental Specialist, furnish the name, organization, and mailing address of the person to whom comments on environmental and land use aspects of the proposal may be sent.
  2. Proposals to establish SUA with a floor below 1200 feet AGL, where there is underlying private or public use land, must include a statement that the proponent agrees to provide reasonable and timely aerial access to such land. Where applicable, describe provisions to be used to accommodate such access.
  3. Proposals to designate the surface as the floor of a prohibited or restricted area must include a statement explaining how the proponent will exercise control of the underlying surface (i.e., by ownership, lease, or agreement with the property owner). Do not submit a copy of the deed, lease, or control agreement.


Restricted areas that were designated with the surface as the floor prior to December 1, 1967, are exempt from the “own, lease, or control" requirement. The exemption status remains valid until amendment actions are taken which would expand the dimensions or times of use, or change the designated purpose of the area. Nevertheless, using agencies of such restricted areas are encouraged to acquire sufficient control of the property to prevent possible disruption of that agency's activities.

  1. Communications and Radar.
  1. If known, state whether radar and/or radio communications will be used to monitor the airspace. Identify the facility or agency that will provide radio and/or radar monitoring, e.g., range control, military radar unit (MRU), airborne radar unit (ARU), Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility (FACSFAC).
  2. If a military ATC facility will be designated as the controlling agency for the airspace, indicate whether area status information and traffic advisories will be provided to nonparticipating pilots. If applicable, provide a VHF frequency to be depicted on aeronautical charts.
  1. Safety Considerations. Include an explanation of the following items, if applicable:
  1. Measures taken to ensure containment of the activity within the proposed area.
  2. Procedures for handling malfunctions.
  3. Ordnance trajectory envelopes.
  4. When an aircraft activity could measurably affect the safety of persons or property on the surface, the proponent must demonstrate that provisions have been made for their protection.
  1. Proposal Pre-Coordination. List ATC facilities, military units, and/or other organizations contacted in developing the proposal. (See 21-4-2.)
  2. Area Chart. Submit a sectional aeronautical chart depicting the boundaries of the proposed area and any subdivisions.
  3. Environmental Documents. Submit applicable environmental documents. If the environmental analysis is incomplete, indicate the status and estimated completion date.
  4. Graphic Notice Information. For temporary MOA or temporary restricted area proposals, include the graphic notice information required by paragraph 21-1-15, above.
  5. Other. Include any additional information that should be considered by the FAA in making its determination on the proposal.
  1. For certain SUA proposals, it is not necessary to include in the proposal package all of the items specified in paragraph 21-3-3 above. Proponents should consult with the Service Center OSG to determine if an abbreviated proposal may be submitted. Abbreviated proposals may be considered for:
  1. Amendments of existing SUA to:
  1. Change the controlling or using agency.
  2. Reduce the dimensions or times of use.
  3. Subdivide or revoke the airspace.
  4. Make minor editorial corrections to the legal description.
  1. Recurring proposals for temporary airspace supporting annual exercises provided the location is the same and activities are similar to previous exercises.
  2. Renewal of an existing CFA.
  1. Abbreviated proposals should include the following, as applicable:
  1. The type, purpose, and reason(s) for the action.
  2. The specific changes to be made in the area's legal description.
  3. For recurring temporary MOAs or CFAs, written confirmation that the activities, times, altitudes, safety precautions, etc., are to be the same as for a previously approved area.
  4. The proposed effective date.
  5. A summary of proposal coordination accomplished.
  6. Environmental documentation, or written re-evaluation/updates of environmental documents used to support a previous temporary MOA.
  7. Additional items as determined by the Service Center.