PRD and the new MOA is now located in AIP ENR 5

Navigating Australia’s Airspace: A Guide to Prohibited, Restricted, and Military Areas

Navigating the skies requires not just skill in piloting but also a deep understanding of the airspace through which one flies. Australia’s vast landscape is dotted with various types of airspace that carry specific rules and restrictions, critical for the safety of both military and civilian aircraft operations. This guide provides an overview of prohibited, restricted, danger, and military operating areas within Australia’s airspace as promulgated by the AIP Australia.

Understanding Airspace Restrictions

Airspace where aircraft operations may be hazardous or restricted is classified into four main categories:

Prohibited Areas (P)

Areas where flight is not allowed under any circumstances.

Restricted Areas (R)

Areas where flight is subject to conditions.

Danger Areas (D)

Areas where potential hazards exist.

Military Operating Areas (MOA)

Areas designated for intensive military activities.

These areas are detailed in the DAH ERSA and/or NOTAMs and are depicted on AIP aeronautical charts for easy reference.

Temporary Restrictions for Special Events

Occasionally, temporary restricted, danger, and military operating areas are established to accommodate military exercises, airshows, and special events. These are announced via AIP SUP or NOTAMs and carry unique identifiers, ensuring pilots can plan their flights with the latest information at hand.

Vertical Limits and Access Conditions

The vertical limits of these airspace categories are defined with precision, ensuring the safety buffer necessary for aircraft operating in nearby spaces. Access to restricted areas requires approval from the controlling authority or ATC, subject to the conditions published in relevant aviation documents.

Conditional Status of Restricted Areas

Restricted areas are assigned a conditional status, indicating the likelihood of obtaining clearance:

  • RA1: Clearance from ATC is normally expected.
  • RA2: Flight planning through the area is discouraged, and ATC clearance is not guaranteed.
  • RA3: Pilots should not plan flights through the area, and clearances will not be available.

Flying in Danger and Military Areas

While flying within active danger areas outside controlled airspace does not require approval, pilots must be aware of any hazardous activities and take necessary precautions. For military operating areas, non-participating aircraft are generally only approved under exceptional circumstances, with specific rules applying to Australian and foreign-registered aircraft.

Navigating With Caution

Pilots are advised to exercise caution and remain informed about the status of restricted and military operating areas, which may be activated or deactivated at short notice. In cases of uncertainty or emergency, contacting the administering authority or following emergency protocols is crucial.

Stay Informed

For pilots flying in or around Australia, staying updated on the status of prohibited, restricted, danger, and military operating areas is essential for safe and compliant flight operations. Always consult the latest AIP supplements, NOTAMs, and ERSA entries before planning your flight to navigate Australia’s airspace with confidence.




Source: AIP ENR 5