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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 U.S. 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."
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.
- 1 No-fly zones As of March 2015[update]
- 1.1 Australia
- 1.2 Cuba
- 1.3 Finland
- 1.4 France
- 1.5 Greece
- 1.6 Hungary
- 1.7 India
- 1.8 Indonesia
- 1.9 Israel
- 1.10 Pakistan
- 1.11 Peru
- 1.12 Russian Federation
- 1.13 Sri Lanka
- 1.14 Republic of China (Taiwan)
- 1.15 Ukraine
- 1.16 United Kingdom
- 1.17 United States
- 2 See also
- 3 References
- The Pine Gap Joint Defence Facility near Alice Springs is a permanent No-Fly Zone from surface to FL180 and only authorised aircraft may enter this area.
- 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.
- 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 was 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 aeroplanes flying no lower than 2,000 metres / 6000 ft. 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 authorisation 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.
- All traffic is prohibited above the Parthenon below 5000 ft. Aircraft departing from Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport must not fly over if they are below 5000 ft
- Budapest (Inner city and Buda Hills)
- Hungarian Parliament Building, including the heavily protected Holy Crown of Hungary
- Buda Castle, including Sándor Palace (home to the president and his family)
- Hungarian National Bank HQ
- Hungarian National Museum
- Saint Stephen's Basilica, including the heavily protected Holy Right, the right hand of Saint Stephen (the founder of Hungary)
- Atomic bunker F4
- Research reactor of the MTA Central Physical Research Institute in Buda Hills
- Paks (area around Paks Nuclear Power Plant)
- Bases of the Hungarian Homeland Defence Forces through the country (including Kecskemét Air Base, Pápa Air Base, Szolnok Air Base)
- National parks and holiday resorts (including Lake Balaton and Hortobágy National Park)
- The Taj Mahal, Agra, State of Uttar Pradesh, India
- Parliament Building, Prime Minister's residence, and other important centers in New Delhi.
- The airspace around many Defence and Indian Air Force bases are restricted, although new proposals are suggesting opening them up for civilian aircraft.
- The Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.
- The Tower of Silence, Mumbai.
- Mathura Refinery
- Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram district state of Kerala
- Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
- Sriharikota Space Station in Andhra Pradesh
- A 10-km radius no-fly zone over Kalpakkam nuclear installation, Tamil Nadu. All flying activity up to a height of 10,000 feet over the Kalpakkam area is prohibited.
- All Refineries
- Islamabad – The no-fly zone is specifically along Constitution Avenue in North-east Islamabad, where many important government buildings are located:
- City of Moscow — 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.
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
- Sri Lanka Air Force bases SLAF Anuradhapura, SLAF Minneriya, SLAF Vavuniya, SLAF Palaly and SLAF Sigiriya (5 nautical miles)
- Jaffna town (5 nautical miles)
- Trincomalee harbour (5 nautical miles)
- SLAF China Bay (10 nautical miles)
- The garrison town of Diyatalawa (2 nautical miles)
- Temple of the Tooth, Kandy (2 nautical miles)-Earlier 6 nautical miles
- Home of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Tangalle (5 nautical miles)
Republic of China (Taiwan)
- The area around the Presidential Hall (總統府) and Taipei 101, both located in Taipei.
- Parts of the Taiwan Strait
- The area around the nuclear power plants in Taiwan.
Since October 25, 2015, all traffic is prohibited for Russian aircraft.
- Winfrith nuclear research site
- Atomic Energy Research Establishment Harwell
- BAE Systems
- RNAD Coulport / HMNB Clyde Faslane
- Dounreay Nuclear Power Development Establishment
- Buckingham Palace
- Windsor Castle
- Houses of Parliament
- Downing Street
The FAA issues Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) in the form of a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which are effective for the duration of an event, typically a few days or weeks. TFRs are issued for VIP movement such as the President's travels outside Washington, D.C., surface-based hazards to flight such as toxic gas spills or volcanic eruptions, air-shows, military security, and special events including political ones like national party conventions. TFRs have also been 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.
Permanent Prohibited Areas
- Thurmont, Maryland, site of Presidential retreat Camp David (Prohibited Area 40 or P-40)
- Amarillo, Texas, Pantex nuclear assembly plant (P-47)
- Bush Ranch near Crawford, Texas (P-49)
- Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia (P-50)
- Naval Base Kitsap, Washington (P-51)
- Washington, D.C., U.S. Capitol and White House (P-56); see other restrictions for information about all Active Prohibited Areas in the Washington D.C./Baltimore Flight Restricted Zone.
- Bush compound near Kennebunkport, Maine (P-67)
- Mount Vernon, Virginia, home of George Washington (P-73)
- Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota (P-204, 205, and 206)
- Merritt Island, Florida. All civilian flight operations in and around the island are prohibited due to NASA and U.S. military operations at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
- Groom Lake. Also known as "Area 51," The area is part of the Nellis Military Operations Area, and the restricted airspace around the field is referred to as (R-4808N), known by the military pilots in the area as "The Box" or "the Container".
- Disneyland Resort, in Anaheim, California
- Walt Disney World Resort, in Central Florida (near Orlando). The zone extends to 3,000 feet (910 metres) in a 3-nautical-mile (5.6-kilometre) radius centered from the Main Spire of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom Theme Park.
Temporary restrictions over Disney parks were made permanent with language added to a 2003 federal spending bill. Additionally 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.
TFAs over public and corporate venues have been controversial. Aviation and religious groups have questioned whether these last TFRs really serve a public need, or the needs of politically connected venue operators. In 2003, a conservative Christian group filed a lawsuit claiming that the ruling infringed on its First Amendment right to fly banners to display to visitors during the unofficial Gay Days at Walt Disney World.
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.
- "EnRoute Suplement Australia". Retrieved June 13, 2013.
- Staff writer (February 24, 1996). "Civilian U.S. Planes Shot Down Near Cuba". CNN. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
- "Espace aérien". Retrieved June 9, 2013 on Mairie de Paris website (French).
- Airspace of Hungary (detailed map)
- Airspace of the Budapest metropolitan area (detailed map)
- Official order by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (India) dated 16 December 2008 (http://dgca.nic.in/aic/aic14_2008.pdf). Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- Kumar, Vinay (17 December 2008). "No-fly zone over Kalpakkam plant". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- [dead link] May9thParade. Moscow Blog.
- "FLIGHT ADVISORY National Special Security Event Republican National Convention Tampa, Florida August 26-30, 2012" (PDF). FAA.
- "R-4808N Fixes and Janet Routes". Dreamland Resort.
- "No-fly zones over Disney parks face new scrutiny" (Los Angeles Times).
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- (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" (Abstract; full text available for fee). Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- "9/4985 NOTAM Details". FAA. Retrieved May 10, 2010.