Operating Restrictions

The FAA may restrict access to certain volumes of airspace where drones or other aircraft are not permitted to fly without special permission. Drone pilots should be familiar with:

Prohibited areas

Prohibited area. A prohibited area is airspace within which no person may operate an aircraft without the permission of the using agency.

Restricted Areas

A restricted area is airspace 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.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs)

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) are defined areas of airspace where the FAA limits aircraft operations because of:

  • Temporary hazardous conditions, such as a wildfire, hurricane, or chemical spill.
  • A security-related event, such as the United Nations General Assembly.
  • Other special situations, like VIP movement.

The text of the actual TFR contains the details about the restriction, including the size, altitude, and time period of the TFR, and what types of operations are restricted and permitted.

The "Map Airports" tab on the TFR website can help narrow down the relevant active TFRs in a specific area. For help in searching the site, review the TFR website help section.

Last updated: Wednesday, July 12, 2023