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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

Uncontrolled Airspace
Special Use Airspace

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge



Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making




Uncontrolled Airspace

Class G Airspace
Uncontrolled airspace or Class G airspace is the portion of
the airspace that has not been designated as Class A, B, C,
D, or E. It is therefore designated uncontrolled airspace.
Class G airspace extends from the surface to the base of the
overlying Class E airspace. Although ATC has no authority
or responsibility to control air traffic, pilots should remember
there are visual flight rules (VFR) minimums which apply
to Class G airspace.

Special Use Airspace

Special use airspace or special area of operation (SAO)
is the designation for airspace in which certain activities
must be confined, or where limitations may be imposed
on aircraft operations that are not part of those activities.
Certain special use airspace areas can create limitations on
the mixed use of airspace. The special use airspace depicted
on instrument charts includes the area name or number,
effective altitude, time and weather conditions of operation,
the controlling agency, and the chart panel location. On
National Aeronautical Charting Group (NACG) en route
charts, this information is available on one of the end panels.

Special use airspace usually consists of:
• Prohibited areas
• Restricted areas
• Warning areas
• Military operation areas (MOAs)
• Alert areas
• Controlled firing areas (CFAs)

Prohibited Areas
Prohibited areas contain airspace of defined dimensions
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. The area is
charted as a "P" followed by a number (e.g., P-49). Examples
of prohibited areas include Camp David and the National
Mall in Washington, D.C., where the White House and the
Congressional buildings are located. [Figure 14-2]

An example of a prohibited area is Crawford, Texas.
Figure 14-2. An example of a prohibited area is Crawford, Texas.

Restricted Areas
Restricted areas are areas where operations are hazardous to
nonparticipating aircraft and contain airspace within which
the flight of aircraft, while not wholly prohibited, is subject
to restrictions. Activities within these areas must be confined
because of their nature, or limitations may be imposed upon
aircraft operations that are not a part of those activities, or
both. Restricted areas denote the existence of unusual, often
invisible, hazards to aircraft (e.g., artillery firing, aerial
gunnery, or guided missiles). IFR flights may be authorized
to transit the airspace and are routed accordingly. Penetration
of restricted areas without authorization from the using
or controlling agency may be extremely hazardous to the
aircraft and its occupants. ATC facilities apply the following
procedures when aircraft are operating on an IFR clearance
(including those cleared by ATC to maintain VFR on top) via
a route which lies within joint-use restricted airspace:

1. If the restricted area is not active and has been released
to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the
ATC facility allows the aircraft to operate in the
restricted airspace without issuing specific clearance
for it to do so.

2. If the restricted area is active and has not been released
to the FAA, the ATC facility issues a clearance which
ensures the aircraft avoids the restricted airspace.