Section 1. General


A restricted area is airspace designated under 14 CFR part 73 provisions, within which the flight of aircraft, while not wholly prohibited, is subject to restriction.


Restricted areas are designated when determined necessary to confine or segregate activities considered hazardous to nonparticipating aircraft.


Restricted areas are not designated for non-hazardous activities or the benefit of an individual or commercial operator over the public's right of transit through the navigable airspace.


Identify restricted areas with the letter “R" prefix followed by a dash, a four-digit number, a location, and the two-letter state abbreviation (e.g., R-2309, Yuma, AZ). Restricted Area subdivisions may be identified by a suffix consisting of a letter, a cardinal point, the terms “high” or “low,” or a combination (e.g., R-2309A, R-2501W). The Airspace Rules and Regulations Team, AJV-P21, assigns identification numbers.

  1. The restricted area floor may be established to the surface only when the using agency owns, leases, or by agreement, controls the underlying surface.


Existing restricted areas established from the surface before December 1, 1967, are exempt from the “own, lease, or control" requirement. This remains valid until amendment action is taken which would expand the boundaries, altitudes, or times of use, or changes 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. Provisions must be made for aerial access to private and public use land beneath the restricted area, and to accommodate instrument arrivals/departures at affected airports with minimum delay.
  2. The restricted area must exclude the airspace 1,500 feet AGL and below within a 3 NM radius of airports available for public use. This exclusion may be increased if necessary based on unique circumstances.
  1. Restricted areas are established for joint-use by assigning an ATC facility as the controlling agency (see 21-1-10), and by executing a joint-use letter of agreement/letter of procedure between the controlling and using agencies. The letter of procedure/letter of agreement provides for the operation of nonparticipating IFR and/or VFR aircraft within the area. Flight within an active restricted area is controlled by the using agency except when the area has been returned to the controlling agency. During such periods, the controlling agency may permit nonparticipating aircraft operations in the restricted area.
  2. Prepare letters of agreement/procedure in accordance with FAA Order JO 7210.3, Facility Operation and Administration. The format of the letter may be modified as needed based on local requirements. The joint-use letter must include procedures for the timely activation, return, or recall of the airspace. The letter may also specify conditions and procedures whereby the controlling agency may route traffic through the area while in use provided approved separation can be maintained between nonparticipating aircraft and the using agencies' activities.
  3. The Service Center OSG is the approval authority for joint-use letters of agreement/procedure. This authority may be delegated to a FAA ATC facility designated as the controlling agency.
  4. Requirements for coordination and communications between the controlling and using agencies concerning the activation, return, or recall of joint-use restricted areas must be outlined in the letters of agreement/procedure.
  1. Temporary restricted areas may be designated when necessary to accommodate a proponent's need for additional restricted area airspace to periodically conduct hazardous activities associated with short-term military exercises, test programs, etc. When existing restricted area airspace is inadequate to accommodate these short-term military exercises, test programs, etc., temporary restricted areas may be established for a period not to exceed 30 consecutive days. On a case-by-case basis, the Rules and Regulations Group, AJV-P2, may approve a longer period if the proponent provides justification for the increase.
  2. Proponents are encouraged to seek permission from using agencies to conduct their activities within existing permanent restricted areas before submitting a request for designation of a temporary restricted area.
  3. The duration of a temporary restricted area must be specified in the NPRM/final rule.
  4. Once a temporary restricted area is approved, the military must be responsible for publicizing the exercise, test program, etc. within 50 miles of the affected airspace. The publicity may be accomplished through the public media, pilot forums, distribution of information bulletins to known aviation interests, etc.
  5. Pointer NOTAMs should be issued in accordance with FAA Order 7930.2.