JO 7400.2H
Effective Date:
March 10, 2011

Subject:  Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters

Includes: Change 1, effective August 25, 2011


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.

25-1-2. PURPOSE

MOAs are designated to contain nonhazardous, military flight activities including, but not limited to, air combat maneuvers, air intercepts, low altitude tactics, etc.


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 MOA names.

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 airport operations.

25-1-5. LOCATION

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 origin.

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 activity.

b. Procedures for access to the airspace by nonparticipating IFR traffic shall be specified in a letter of agreement between the controlling and using agencies.


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.


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.

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