Chapter 25. Military Operations Areas
Section 1. General
A military operations area (MOA) is airspace
designated outside of Class A airspace, to separate or
segregate certain nonhazardous military activities
from IFR traffic and to identify for VFR traffic
where these activities are conducted.
MOAs are designated to contain nonhazardous,
military flight activities including, but not limited
to, air combat maneuvers, air intercepts, low altitude
Identify a MOA by a name followed by the acronym
MOA and the two-letter state abbreviation (e.g.,
Dome MOA, AZ). MOA subdivisions may be
identified by a suffix consisting of a number, letter,
cardinal point, or the terms “High" or “Low," (e.g.,
Moody 1; Gamecock B; Tiger North; Smoky High).
Either the proponent or the service area office selects
Select an easily understood word. Lengthy or composite
names are cumbersome and tend to be confusing when
communicating and in charting.
25-1-4. MOA FLOOR
MOAs may extend below 1,200 feet AGL if a
mission requirement exists and there is minimal
adverse aeronautical effect. Provisions must be
made to enable aerial access to private and public
use land beneath the area, and for terminal VFR and
IFR flight operations. Provisions must also be made
to accommodate instrument arrivals/departures at
affected airports with minimum delay. The MOA
shall exclude the airspace 1,500 feet AGL and below
within a 3 NM radius of airports available for public
use. This exclusion may be increased if necessary
based on unique circumstances. If the MOA floor
extends below 1,200 feet AGL over a charted private
airport, coordination should be effected with the
airport operator to determine whether there would
be any conflict between the MOA activity and
MOAs should be located to create minimum adverse
impact on nonparticipating aircraft operations.
MOAs shall not be established offshore beyond the
United States 12 NM territorial limit. To the extent
possible, locate MOAs:
a. Within 100 miles of the user's base of flight
b. Outside terminal area airspace, Federal airways, charted terminal VFR routes, and known high
volume VFR flyways.
c. Within radar and communications coverage
of an ATC facility or MRU.
Do not designate MOAs to overlap existing, charted
Terminal Area VFR Routes, or charted VFR Flyways (See
FAAO JO 7210.3, chapter 11, National Programs ).
25-1-6. JOINT USE
a. In effect, MOAs are always joint use in that
VFR aircraft are not denied access, and IFR aircraft
may be routed through the airspace, by agreement
between controlling and using agencies, when
approved separation can be provided from the MOA
b. Procedures for access to the airspace by
nonparticipating IFR traffic shall be specified in a
letter of agreement between the controlling and
25-1-7. TEMPORARY MOAs
a. Temporary MOAs are designated to accommodate the military's need for additional airspace to
periodically conduct exercises that supplement
routine training. When existing airspace is inadequate to accommodate these short-term military
exercises, temporary MOAs may be established for a
period not to exceed 45 days. On a case-by-case
basis, Airspace Regulations and ATC Procedures
Group may approve a longer period if the proponent
provides justification for the increase.
b. When it is determined that the need for a
temporary MOA will occur on a regular and
continuing basis, the airspace should be considered
for establishment as a permanent MOA with
provisions for activation by NOTAM/Special Notice
disseminated well in advance of scheduled exercises.
c. Once a temporary MOA is approved, the
military shall be responsible for publicizing the
exercise within 100 miles of the affected airspace.
The publicity may be accomplished through the
public media, pilot forums, distribution of information bulletins to known aviation interests, etc.
25-1-8. MOAs IN CLASS G AIRSPACE
MOAs may be designated in Class G airspace. Using
agencies and pilots operating in such MOAs should
be aware that nonparticipating aircraft may legally
operate IFR or VFR without an ATC clearance in
these MOAs. Pilots of nonparticipating aircraft may
operate VFR in Class G airspace in conditions as low
as 1 statute mile flight visibility and clear of clouds
(see Section 91.155 for complete Class G airspace
VFR minima). Any special procedures regarding
operations within MOAs that encompass Class G
airspace should be included in a letter of agreement
between the controlling and using agencies.