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Prohibited airspace

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Title: Prohibited airspace  
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Subject: Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Global Positioning System, Special use airspace, Military operations area, Korean Air Lines Flight 007 alternative theories
Collection: Air Traffic Control
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Prohibited airspace

Prohibited airspace refers to an area (volume) of airspace within which flight of aircraft is not allowed, usually due to security concerns. It is one of many types of special use airspace designations and is depicted on aeronautical charts with the letter "P" followed by a serial number. It differs from restricted airspace in that entry is typically forbidden at all times from all aircraft and is not subject to clearance from ATC or the airspace's controlling body.

According to the USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): "Prohibited areas contain airspace of defined dimensions identified by an area on the surface of the earth within which the flight of aircraft is prohibited. Such areas are established for security or other reasons associated with the national welfare. These areas are published in the Federal Register and are depicted on aeronautical charts."

Part of a Terminal Area Chart, showing the prohibited/restricted airspace surrounding Camp David

Some prohibited airspace may be supplemented via NOTAMs. For example, Prohibited Area 40 (P-40) and Restricted Area 4009 (R4009) often will have additional restricted airspace added via a NOTAM when the President of the United States visits Camp David in Maryland, while normally the airspace outside of P-40 and R4009 is not prohibited/restricted.

Violating prohibited airspace established for national security purposes may result in military interception and/or the possibility of an attack upon the violating aircraft. Aircraft violating or about to violate prohibited airspace will often be warned beforehand on 121.5 MHz, the emergency frequency for aircraft.


  • No-fly zones As of March 2015[update] 1
    • Australia 1.1
    • Cuba 1.2
    • Finland 1.3
    • France 1.4
    • Greece 1.5
    • Hungary 1.6
    • India 1.7
    • Indonesia 1.8
    • Israel 1.9
    • Pakistan 1.10
    • Peru 1.11
    • Russian Federation 1.12
    • Sri Lanka 1.13
    • Republic of China (Taiwan) 1.14
    • Ukraine 1.15
    • United Kingdom 1.16
    • United States 1.17
      • Prohibited Areas 1.17.1
      • Temporary Flight Restrictions 1.17.2
      • Other restrictions 1.17.3
  • See also 2
  • References 3

No-fly zones As of March 2015



  • Unscheduled foreign aircraft are prohibited from entering or encroaching Cuban airspace including disputed international water zones except when permission has been explicitly given by the Cuban Government. The Cuban military has been known to shoot down and destroy unauthorised aircraft without warning including a 1996 incident in which two U.S.-registered aircraft were shot down and destroyed by Cuban Air Force MiGs.[2]


  • All traffic is prohibited above Finland's two nuclear power plant sites in Loviisa and Olkiluoto. Both zones have a radius of 4 kilometers (2.16 NM) and an upper limit of 6,500 ft above mean sea level. A third no-fly zone will be introduced above the oil refinery site in Kilpilahti on November 13, 2014.


  • All traffic is prohibited above the City of Paris. Exceptions include military aircraft and civil airplanes flying no lower than 2,000 meters. Authorisations are either given by the Ministère de la Défense, for military aircraft, or by the Préfecture de Police de Paris and the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile for civil ones. Moreover, the flying of helicopters within the limits of Paris. (materialised by the Boulevard périphérique) is also forbidden. Special authorization can be granted by the Préfecture de Police for helicopters undertaking precise missions such as police air-surveillance, air ambulances but also transport of high profile personalities.
  • Though not within Paris boundaries, the business district of La Défense has been placed under prohibited airspace in response of 9/11.[3]





°All Refinaries





Russian Federation

  • City of Moscow[8] — technically, it is just a "P" (i.e. Prohibited) airspace (according to international classification and aeronavigational maps). Many flights are being regularly routed through the outer regions of this airspace.

Since October 25, 2015, Ukrainian aircraft are prohibited from entering Russian airspace.

Sri Lanka

According to Air Navigation (Air Defence) Regulations (No: 1 of 2007) by which skies over territory and the territorial waters of Sri Lanka (except Ruhuna Open Skies Area) has been declared an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) with Prohibited Areas and Restricted Areas within it. No aircraft may operate in prohibited areas and in restricted areas flight or aircraft will be allowed to operate without valid Air Defence Clearance (ADC) from the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).

Prohibited Areas
  • Colombo City 1 Nautical mile centering the Parliament-Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
Restricted Areas

Republic of China (Taiwan)


Since October 25, 2015, all traffic is prohibited for Russian aircraft.

United Kingdom

United States

Prohibited Areas

In the United States, the phrase "no-fly zone" has no legal meaning. What most people would consider a "no-fly zone" is termed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) a "Prohibited Area". Prohibited Areas are permanent until canceled and are published in the Federal Register and at and are depicted by blue hashed boundaries on aeronautical charts.

Active Prohibited Areas as of June 2015 include:

Temporary Flight Restrictions

The FAA may also issue Temporary Flight Restrictions, or TFRs, which are similar to Prohibited Areas but which are typically effective for a few days or weeks, versus the essentially permanent nature of a Prohibited Area. For example, a TFR is typically issued to prohibit flights near the President's destination when he travels outside Washington, D.C. TFRs are also issued to ensure a safe environment for firefighting operations in the case of wildfires and for other reasons as necessary. A TFR was quickly issued around the crash site of Cory Lidle's airplane in New York City. Later, a broader TFR was issued to require pilots traveling over the East River to obtain air traffic control clearance.

TFRs are issued by Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), and are available at or by calling a Flight Service Station.

There are active TFRs that have been effective since 2003 over Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and an indirect TFR that prohibits flight below 3000' above ground level, and within a 3 nautical mile (5.5 km) radius of a stadium having a seating capacity of 30,000 or more, in which a MLB, NFL, NCAA division one football, or a major motor speedway event is taking place, from one hour before to one hour after the event, with exceptions for essentially anyone connected with the event sponsor.

Aviation groups have questioned whether these last TFRs really serve a public need, or the needs of politically connected venue operators. [5] [6] [7] [8]

Other restrictions

In addition to areas completely off limits to civil aviation, a variety of other airspace restrictions exist in the United States. Some notable ones include the Flight Restriction Zone (FRZ) encompassing all airspace up to 18,000 feet (5,500 m) within approximately 15 nautical miles (28 km) of Ronald Reagan National Airport around Washington, D.C. Flights within this airspace, while not entirely prohibited, are highly restricted. All pilots flying within the FRZ are required to undergo a background check and fingerprinting. An additional "Special Flight Rules Area" area encompassing most of the Baltimore-Washington D.C. metropolitan area requires the filing of a flight plan and communication with air traffic control.

See also


  • FAA Aeronautical Information Manual
  1. ^ "EnRoute Suplement Australia". Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  2. ^ Staff writer (February 24, 1996). "Civilian U.S. Planes Shot Down Near Cuba". CNN. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  3. ^ "Espace aérien". Retrieved June 9, 2013 on Mairie de Paris website (French).
  4. ^ Airspace of Hungary (detailed map)
  5. ^ Airspace of the Budapest metropolitan area (detailed map)
  6. ^ Official order by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (India) dated 16 December 2008 ( . Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  7. ^ Kumar, Vinay (17 December 2008). "No-fly zone over Kalpakkam plant". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  8. ^ May9thParade. Moscow Blog.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "R-4808N Fixes and Janet Routes". Dreamland Resort. 
  11. ^ "9/4985 NOTAM Details". FAA. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  12. ^ (subscription required) Curtis, Henry Pierson (June 5, 2003). "Group Sues To Fly Anti-Gay Banner over Disney Parks – Today a Judge Will Be Asked To Lift the Ban on Such Flyovers, Which Is Meant To Fight Terrorism" ( 
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