The FAA maintains the safety and efficiency of our National Airspace System. As with cars on the road, there are rules that cover aircraft in the sky to ensure safety. In special circumstances, the FAA may temporarily restrict access to certain designated areas of our airspace, much in the same way a city or state may block off access to a street when necessary.
These airspace restrictions are called Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) and are communicated to pilots through Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs). They restrict aircraft (including drones) from operating without permission in a certain area for a limited time. You must always check NOTAMs prior to your flight.
When are TFRs issued?
TFRs are issued for safety or security purposes.
Reasons for issuing a TFR include:
- Natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes
- Certain major sporting events
- Emergency or national security situations
How can I check if there is a TFR in the area where I want to fly?
Active TFRs are published on the FAA's website. The TFR list is updated in real-time. The easiest way to see if one exists in your area is to filter by state. You can view details of the TFR in the column titled ‘NOTAM’.
TFRs are also displayed in FAA resources for drone pilots:
- Low Altitude Authorization And Notification Capability (LAANC) – applications provided by FAA-approved companies to deliver airspace authorizations on behalf of the FAA
- The B4UFLY App – an app designed for recreational drone flyers
How can I get permission to fly during a TFR?
TFRs include details about who may get approval to fly in them. Typically, only public safety agencies, first responders and other organizations such as media may be eligible for approval. To fly in a TFR, drone pilots must apply through the FAA's expedited approval process known as the Special Governmental Interest (SGI) process.
To apply for an authorization through the SGI process you must: