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Prohibited, restricted and danger areas

Requirements AIP ENR 1.4

You must not fly an aircraft over a prohibited area in any circumstances.

You must not fly an aircraft over a restricted area if the flight is not in accordance with conditions published in AIP (ERSA and DAH) and NOTAM. To obtain access to a restricted area or airspace, you must request approval from the controlling authority (see ERSA PRD). When an ATC service is available within that airspace, approval may be requested from ATC directly, in the same manner as a clearance request to enter CTA.

Restricted areas have been allocated an RA conditional status, which should be checked during pre-flight planning. Conditional statuses are as follows:

  • RA1: pilots may flight plan through the restricted Area and under normal circumstances expect a clearance from ATC
  • RA2: pilots must not flight plan through the restricted area unless on a route specified in ERSA GEN FPR or under agreement with the Department of Defence. However, a clearance from ATC is not assured. Other tracking may be offered through the restricted area on a tactical basis
  • RA3: pilots must not flight plan through the restricted Area and clearances will not be available.

If the RA status is not known, treat it as RA3 and avoid the area.

Civil aircraft in restricted area or airspace will receive a service equivalent to that of Class C airspace unless specified otherwise in ERSA FAC or NOTAM.

In a declared emergency, every effort will be made to obtain approval to transit a restricted area, irrespective of its conditional status.

When compliance with ATC requires flight through an adjoining restricted area, you may assume that ATC has obtained approval for the flight (AIP ENR 1.4).

If you find that the aircraft is over a prohibited area or a restricted area in contravention of the requirements noted above, you shall:

  • immediately fly the aircraft out of the area
  • as soon as possible report the circumstances to the nearest ATC unit
  • land at such aerodrome as is designated by the ATC unit and, for that purpose, obey any instructions given by the ATC unit as to the movement of the aircraft.

A danger area (DA) is designated where an activity within or over the area is a potential danger to aircraft flying over the area. While no approval is required to fly through a DA, pilots are encouraged to be particularly vigilant if electing to do so. Examples include: flying training, gliding competitions, parachuting activities, mine blasting, high velocity plume rise and small arms firing.

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New rules come into effect from 2 December 2021 that cover the general operating and flight rules. We are currently updating this guide to reflect the new rules. A new version will be available to download from 2 December.
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