Section 3. Safety Precautions


The CFA user must:

  1. Ensure that the activity is confined within the CFA.
  2. Maintain visual surveillance of the area in accordance with paragraph 27-3-3.
  3. Cease ground-based hazardous activity immediately upon observation or notification that a nonparticipating aircraft is approaching the area. Resume the activity only after the aircraft is clear of the CFA.
  4. Make provisions to ensure the safety of persons and property on the surface, if applicable.
  5. Retain full legal responsibility in event of any incident resulting from the activity conducted in the CFA.
  1. The Service Center OSG must be satisfied that adequate safety precautions are in place for each CFA. Specific precautionary measures established to protect nonparticipating aircraft and persons and property on the surface will depend on various factors such as the type of activity, terrain, CFA dimensions, etc. The following measures are considered the minimum required and are mandatory for all CFAs:
  1. The user must appoint a safety officer to ensure that operations are conducted according to the requirements of this chapter and the CFA approval letter.
  2. The base of the clouds must be at least 1,000 feet above the highest altitude affected by the hazardous activity.
  3. Visibility must be sufficient to allow visual surveillance of the entire CFA, plus a distance of 5 miles beyond the CFA boundary in all directions.
  4. The CFA must be clear of nonparticipating aircraft or personnel before starting, and while conducting hazardous activities.
  5. Projectiles must not enter any cloud formation.
  1. The Service Center OSG may establish increased ceiling and visibility requirements, or additional precautionary measures, as required by the specific case.


CFA activities are terminated to avoid conflict with nonparticipating aircraft, therefore, there is no requirement for the issuance of a NOTAM.

  1. Visual surveillance must be continuously maintained immediately prior to and during the time that hazardous activity is in progress.
  2. Visual surveillance may be accomplished by trained ground observers, observer aircraft, surface vessels, or a combination of them. Radar may be used to supplement visual surveillance of the area, not in lieu of visual surveillance.
  3. A sufficient number of trained observers must be used to ensure adequate coverage of the required area.
  4. Observers must be provided with continuous, effective communications with all firing points. If at any time communication is lost, hazardous activity must cease until reliable communication is reestablished.