Prohibited Areas A prohibited area is just what it sounds like, prohibited. You can not fly there. An example of a prohibited area is the airspace over the White House in Washington, D.C.

Restricted Areas

Restricted areas are another appropriately named type of special use airspace. It is not prohibited to fly there, but who may fly inside this airspace, and when they may fly there, is restricted. Restricted areas are often associated with military activity. A restricted area will be controlled. Permission must be obtained from that controlling authority before an airplane may enter a restricted area. As a private pilot flying under visual flight rules, you will avoid restricted areas just as you would a prohibited area.

Warning Areas

Warning areas exist more than three nautical miles offshore to warn pilots of the existence of an area of potentially hazardous activities. Military operations commonly take place inside warning areas, but many different types of activities may warrant the creation of a warning area.

Military Operation Areas (MOA)

MOA's are established to separate military training activities from flights operating under instrument flight rules and to make VFR pilots aware of these military operations. As a pilot operating under visual flight rules, you are not restricted from entering these areas. You should be aware that military aircraft may be maneuvering in the area and will be very difficult to see. Military aircraft are made to be difficult to see and move at very high speeds. If they are maneuvering, it is even easier to miss them as you scan for traffic. Extreme vigilance must be maintained in these areas. If possible, MOA's should be avoided.

Alert Areas

An alert area denotes the existence of an unusual aerial activity or a high volume of pilot training. This type of airspace is advisory, informing pilots of these activities. Extreme caution should be used if flying through an alert area. As with the other types of special use airspace, it is best to avoid alert areas.

Controlled Firing Areas

A controlled firing area contains activities hazardous to nonparticipating aircraft. The controlling authority of a controlled firing area will use spotter aircraft, radar, and/or ground lookouts to scan for any aircraft approaching the area. Anytime an aircraft comes too close or flies through a controlled firing area, all of the activities within that controlled firing area are stopped until the aircraft has flown to a safe distance. Since the pilot has no responsibilities to avoid controlled firing areas, they are not depicted on aeronautical charts. You just need to be aware that controlled firing areas exist, but do not need to be concerned with where they are located or try to avoid them.

ยง 91.133 Restricted and prohibited areas.