Chapter 27. Controlled Firing Areas
Section 1. General
A controlled firing area (CFA) is airspace designated
to contain activities that if not conducted in a
controlled environment would be hazardous to
CFAs provide a means to accommodate, without
impact to aviation, certain hazardous activities that
can be immediately suspended if a nonparticipating
aircraft approaches the area.
a. CFAs should be considered only when
necessary to accommodate activities that are capable
of being immediately suspended, and it has been
specifically determined that designation of a
restricted area is not warranted.
b. The distinguishing feature of a CFA, compared
to other SUA, is that CFA activities shall be
suspended immediately when a nonparticipating
aircraft approaches the area. The responsibility lies
totally with the CFA user to terminate activities so
that there is no impact on aviation. There is no
requirement for nonparticipating aircraft to avoid the
airspace, nor are any communications or ATC
separation requirements imposed.
CFAs are not depicted on aeronautical charts because
the user terminates the activities when required to
prevent endangering nonparticipating aircraft.
Although there are no set limits to the dimensions
of a CFA, the size of the area must be reasonable considering the types of activities conducted,
and surveillance, communications, and activity termination capabilities.
a. Only those activities that can be immediately
suspended on notice that a nonparticipating aircraft is
approaching are appropriate for a CFA. Examples of
such activities include:
1. Ordnance disposal.
3. Static testing of large rocket motors.
b. CFAs are not intended to contain aircraft
ordnance delivery activities. Operation of observer or
surveillance aircraft is permitted.
c. Other activities (e.g., artillery, etc.) may be
considered provided they can meet the criteria and
comply with the safety precautions prescribed in this
d. CFAs may be designated for either military or
The service area office is the approval authority for
CFAs. For other than one-time events, CFAs should
be approved for a specific period as determined by the
service area office. An expiration date shall be assigned for each CFA.
27-1-8. SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION
The service area office may suspend or revoke a
CFA if a question arises about the safety of the operation, compliance with safety precautions or
conditions of approval, or if unforeseen impact on
aeronautical operations occurs.