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Other Airspace Areas (Part One)

by Flight Learnings

in Airspace

“Other airspace areas” is a general term referring to the majority of the remaining airspace. It includes:

  • Local airport advisory
  • Military training route (MTR)
  • Temporary flight restriction (TFR)
  • Parachute jump aircraft operations
  • Published VFR routes
  • Terminal radar service area (TRSA)
  • National security area (NSA)Local Airport Advisory (LAA)

A service provided by facilities, which are located on the landing airport, have a discrete ground-to-air communication frequency or the tower frequency when the tower is closed, automated weather reporting with voice broadcasting, and a continuous ASOS/AWOS data display, other continuous direct reading instruments, or manual observations available to the specialist.

Military Training Routes (MTRs)

MTRs are routes used by military aircraft to maintain proficiency in tactical flying. These routes are usually established below 10,000 feet MSL for operations at speeds in excess of 250 knots. Some route segments may be defined at higher altitudes for purposes of route continuity. Routes are identified as IFR (IR), and VFR (VR), followed by a number. [Figure 14-7] MTRs with no segment above 1,500 feet AGL are identified by four number characters (e.g., IR1206, VR1207). MTRs that include one or more segments above 1,500 feet AGL are identified by three number characters (e.g., IR206, VR207). IFR low altitude en route charts depict all IR routes and all VR routes that accommodate operations above 1,500 feet AGL. IR routes are conducted in accordance with IFR regardless of weather conditions. VFR sectional charts depict military training activities such as IR, VR, MOA, restricted area, warning area, and alert area information.

Figure 14-7. Military training route (MTR) chart symbols.

Figure 14-7. Military training route (MTR) chart symbols.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR)

A flight data center (FDC) Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) is issued to designate a TFR. The NOTAM begins with the phrase “FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS” followed by the location of the temporary restriction, effective time period, area defined in statute miles, and altitudes affected. The NOTAM also contains the FAA coordination facility and telephone number, the reason for the restriction, and any other information deemed appropriate. The pilot should check the NOTAMs as part of flight planning.

Some of the purposes for establishing a TFR are:

  • Protect persons and property in the air or on the surface from an existing or imminent hazard.
  • Provide a safe environment for the operation of disaster relief aircraft.
  • Prevent an unsafe congestion of sightseeing aircraft above an incident or event, which may generate a high degree of public interest.
  • Protect declared national disasters for humanitarian reasons in the State of Hawaii.
  • Protect the President, Vice President, or other public figures.
  • Provide a safe environment for space agency operations.

Since the events of September 11, 2001, the use of TFRs has become much more common. There have been a number of incidents of aircraft incursions into TFRs, which have resulted in pilots undergoing security investigations and certificate suspensions. It is a pilot’s responsibility to be aware of TFRs in their proposed area of flight. One way to check is to visit the FAA website, www.tfr.faa.gov, and verify that there is not a TFR in the area.

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