AIM 3-5-3

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3-5-3. Temporary Flight Restrictions

a. General. This paragraph describes the types of conditions under which the FAA may impose temporary flight restrictions. It also explains which FAA elements have been delegated authority to issue a temporary flight restrictions NOTAM and lists the types of responsible agencies/offices from which the FAA will accept requests to establish temporary flight restrictions. The 14 CFR is explicit as to what operations are prohibited, restricted, or allowed in a temporary flight restrictions area. Pilots are responsible to comply with 14 CFR Sections 91.137, 91.138, 91.141 and 91.143 when conducting flight in an area where a temporary flight restrictions area is in effect, and should check appropriate NOTAMs during flight planning.

b. The purpose for establishing a temporary flight restrictions area is to:

1. Protect persons and property in the air or on the surface from an existing or imminent hazard associated with an incident on the surface when the presence of low flying aircraft would magnify, alter, spread, or compound that hazard (14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(1));

2. Provide a safe environment for the operation of disaster relief aircraft (14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(2)); or

3. Prevent an unsafe congestion of sightseeing aircraft above an incident or event which may generate a high degree of public interest (14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(3)).

4. Protect declared national disasters for humanitarian reasons in the State of Hawaii (14 CFR Section 91.138).

5. Protect the President, Vice President, or other public figures (14 CFR Section 91.141).

6. Provide a safe environment for space agency operations (14 CFR Section 91.143).

c. Except for hijacking situations, when the provisions of 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(1) or (a)(2) are necessary, a temporary flight restrictions area will only be established by or through the area manager at the Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) having jurisdiction over the area concerned. A temporary flight restrictions NOTAM involving the conditions of 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(3) will be issued at the direction of the service area office director having oversight of the airspace concerned. When hijacking situations are involved, a temporary flight restrictions area will be implemented through the TSA Aviation Command Center. The appropriate FAA air traffic element, upon receipt of such a request, will establish a temporary flight restrictions area under 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(1).

d. The FAA accepts recommendations for the establishment of a temporary flight restrictions area under 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(1) from military major command headquarters, regional directors of the Office of Emergency Planning, Civil Defense State Directors, State Governors, or other similar authority. For the situations involving 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(2), the FAA accepts recommendations from military commanders serving as regional, subregional, or Search and Rescue (SAR) coordinators; by military commanders directing or coordinating air operations associated with disaster relief; or by civil authorities directing or coordinating organized relief air operations (includes representatives of the Office of Emergency Planning, U.S. Forest Service, and State aeronautical agencies). Appropriate authorities for a temporary flight restrictions establishment under 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(3) are any of those listed above or by State, county, or city government entities.

e. The type of restrictions issued will be kept to a minimum by the FAA consistent with achievement of the necessary objective. Situations which warrant the extreme restrictions of 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(1) include, but are not limited to: toxic gas leaks or spills, flammable agents, or fumes which if fanned by rotor or propeller wash could endanger persons or property on the surface, or if entered by an aircraft could endanger persons or property in the air; imminent volcano eruptions which could endanger airborne aircraft and occupants; nuclear accident or incident; and hijackings. Situations which warrant the restrictions associated with 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(2) include: forest fires which are being fought by releasing fire retardants from aircraft; and aircraft relief activities following a disaster (earthquake, tidal wave, flood, etc.). 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(3) restrictions are established for events and incidents that would attract an unsafe congestion of sightseeing aircraft.

f. The amount of airspace needed to protect persons and property or provide a safe environment for rescue/relief aircraft operations is normally limited to within 2,000 feet above the surface and within a 3-nautical-mile radius. Incidents occurring within Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace will normally be handled through existing procedures and should not require the issuance of a temporary flight restrictions NOTAM. Temporary flight restrictions affecting airspace outside of the U.S. and its territories and possessions are issued with verbiage excluding that airspace outside of the 12-mile coastal limits.

g. The FSS nearest the incident site is normally the "coordination facility." When FAA communications assistance is required, the designated FSS will function as the primary communications facility for coordination between emergency control authorities and affected aircraft. The ARTCC may act as liaison for the emergency control authorities if adequate communications cannot be established between the designated FSS and the relief organization. For example, the coordination facility may relay authorizations from the on-scene emergency response official in cases where news media aircraft operations are approved at the altitudes used by relief aircraft.

h. ATC may authorize operations in a temporary flight restrictions area under its own authority only when flight restrictions are established under 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(2) and (a)(3). The appropriate ARTCC/airport traffic control tower manager will, however, ensure that such authorized flights do not hamper activities or interfere with the event for which restrictions were implemented. However, ATC will not authorize local IFR flights into the temporary flight restrictions area.

i. To preclude misunderstanding, the implementing NOTAM will contain specific and formatted information. The facility establishing a temporary flight restrictions area will format a NOTAM beginning with the phrase "FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS" followed by: the location of the temporary flight restrictions area; the effective period; the area defined in statute miles; the altitudes affected; the FAA coordination facility and commercial telephone number; the reason for the temporary flight restrictions; the agency directing any relief activities and its commercial telephone number; and other information considered appropriate by the issuing authority.


1. 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(1):

The following NOTAM prohibits all aircraft operations except those specified in the NOTAM. Flight restrictions Matthews, Virginia, effective immediately until 9610211200. Pursuant to 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(1) temporary flight restrictions are in effect. Rescue operations in progress. Only relief aircraft operations under the direction of the Department of Defense are authorized in the airspace at and below 5,000 feet MSL within a 2-nautical-mile radius of Laser AFB, Matthews, Virginia. Commander, Laser AFB, in charge (897) 946-5543 (122.4). Steenson FSS (792) 555-6141 (123.1) is the FAA coordination facility.

2. 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(2):

The following NOTAM permits flight operations in accordance with 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(2). The on-site emergency response official to authorize media aircraft operations below the altitudes used by the relief aircraft. Flight restrictions 25 miles east of Bransome, Idaho, effective immediately until 9601202359 UTC. Pursuant to 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(2) temporary flight restrictions are in effect within a 4-nautical-mile radius of the intersection of county roads 564 and 315 at and below 3,500 feet MSL to provide a safe environment for fire fighting aircraft operations. Davis County sheriff's department (792) 555-8122 (122.9) is in charge of on-scene emergency response activities. Glivings FSS (792) 555-1618 (122.2) is the FAA coordination facility.

3. 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(3):

The following NOTAM prohibits sightseeing aircraft operations. Flight restrictions Brown, Tennessee, due to olympic activity. Effective 9606181100 UTC until 9607190200 UTC. Pursuant to 14 CFR Section 91.137(a)(3) temporary flight restrictions are in effect within a 3-nautical-mile radius of N355783/W835242 and Volunteer VORTAC 019 degree radial 3.7 DME fix at and below 2,500 feet MSL. Norton FSS (423) 555-6742 (126.6) is the FAA coordination facility.

4. 14 CFR Section 91.138:

The following NOTAM prohibits all aircraft except those operating under the authorization of the official in charge of associated emergency or disaster relief response activities, aircraft carrying law enforcement officials, aircraft carrying personnel involved in an emergency or legitimate scientific purposes, carrying properly accredited news media, and aircraft operating in accordance with an ATC clearance or instruction. Flight restrictions Kapalua, Hawaii, effective 9605101200 UTC until 9605151500 UTC. Pursuant to 14 CFR Section 91.138 temporary flight restrictions are in effect within a 3-nautical-mile radius of N205778/W1564038 and Maui/OGG/VORTAC 275 degree radial at 14.1 nautical miles. John Doe 808-757-4469 or 122.4 is in charge of the operation. Honolulu/HNL 808-757-4470 (123.6) AFSS is the FAA coordination facility.

5. 14 CFR Section 91.141:

The following NOTAM prohibits all aircraft. Flight restrictions Stillwater, Oklahoma, June 21, 1996. Pursuant to 14 CFR Section 91.141 aircraft flight operations are prohibited within a 3-nautical-mile radius, below 2000 feet AGL of N360962/W970515 and the Stillwater/SWO/VOR/DME 176 degree radial 3.8-nautical-mile fix from 1400 local time to 1700 local time June 21, 1996, unless otherwise authorized by ATC.

6. 14 CFR Section 91.143:

The following NOTAM prohibits any aircraft of U.S. registry, or pilot any aircraft under the authority of an airman certificate issued by the FAA. Kennedy space center space operations area effective immediately until 9610152100 UTC. Pursuant to 14 CFR Section 91.143, flight operations conducted by FAA certificated pilots or conducted in aircraft of U.S. registry are prohibited at any altitude from surface to unlimited, within the following area 30-nautical-mile radius of the Melbourne/MLB/VORTAC 010 degree radial 21-nautical-mile fix. St. Petersburg, Florida/PIE/AFSS 813-545-1645 (122.2) is the FAA coordination facility and should be contacted for the current status of any airspace associated with the space shuttle operations. This airspace encompasses R2933, R2932, R2931, R2934, R2935, W497A and W158A. Additional warning and restricted areas will be active in conjunction with the operations. Pilots shall consult all NOTAMs regarding this operation.

Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) — Chapter 3 — Airspace
3-1-1 General • 3-1-2 Airspace Dimensions • 3-1-3 Airspace Hierarchy • 3-1-4 Basic VFR Weather Minimums • 3-1-5 VFR Cruising Altitudes

3-2-1 General • 3-2-2 Class A • 3-2-3 Class B • 3-2-4 Class C • 3-2-5 Class D • 3-2-6 Class E
3-3-1 General • 3-3-2 VFR Requirements • 3-3-3 IFR Requirements
3-4-1 General • 3-4-2 Prohibited Areas • 3-4-3 Restricted Areas • 3-4-4 Warning Areas • 3-4-5 MOAs • 3-4-6 Alert Areas • 3-4-7 Controlled Firing Areas
3-5-1 Airport Advisory Services • 3-5-2 MTRs • 3-5-3 TFRs • 3-5-4 Parachute Ops • 3-5-5 VFR Routes • 3-5-6 TRSAs • 3-5-7 National Security Areas