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What is regulatory means

Old 12th Nov 2021, 00:49
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What is regulatory means

In an FAA document (8083-16B) in Special Use Airspace section it says:
Prohibited and restricted areas are regulatory special use airspace and
are established in 14 CFR Part 73 through the rulemaking
process. Warning areas, MOAs, alert areas, and CFAs are
non-regulatory special use airspace.
What does regulatory and non-regulatory means in this context and what are the implications for daily operations?
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Old 12th Nov 2021, 03:53
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Short (non-technical) answer:

Regulated - you can fly through, only with permission (eg IFR flight plan, weather avoidance etc)
Non-regulated - you can fly through, at your own risk, permission not required (but you might get shot down...)

Good luck!

Last edited by awair; 12th Nov 2021 at 18:42.
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Old 12th Nov 2021, 04:29
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From a bureaucratic point of view, the regulatory special use airspaces (Restricted and Prohibited) are the only two designated with defined rules/regs specifically by wording in Part 73 (Subparts B and C)


From a practical point of view, the regulatory SUAs are the only ones that must not be entered without prior authorization or advance permission from the Controlling Agency (FAA) or Using Agency (other Government agency - armed forces, security agencies, NASA, etc.).

Restricted SUAs have slightly looser rules: permission to enter can be granted by the FAA, in addition to the non-FAA user agency; and may only be in effect during certain published times.

Note that Authorization or Permission are not the same as getting, for example, a Clearance into Class B airspace, which may be given on the spur of the moment, if one pops up on radar.

One needs to have made arrangements to fly in Restricted/Prohibited airspace well ahead of time. Examples of Prohibited/Restricted airspace include the airspace over central Washington D.C. and especially the President's/Vice-President's Residences. Or the President's location at other times. Neither an IFR flight plan nor "weather avoidance" in any way permits entry into those airspaces.

The non-regulatory SUAs may, in general, be entered without prior permission or authorization. They are simply areas with special hazards to be aware of (military aircraft operating at high speeds; in-flight missiles or bombs (CFAs), extra-high traffic (fly-ins or heavy-use training areas or glider activity), and so on.

Last edited by pattern_is_full; 12th Nov 2021 at 04:40.
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Old 12th Nov 2021, 04:40
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Regulatory vs. non-regulatory simply describes the different legal footing behind their establishment. For pilot use, both variants of the word are superfluous.

The strongly protected ones need a formal ruling, which is provided through means in the Code of Federal Regulations = regulatory airspace. I.e. you cannot have a Restricted SUA which is non-regulatory.

Regulatory ones are "established by law, lawfully established, enforcable and punishable according to the law". Layman's terms (pilot, not a legal professional).

Last edited by FlightDetent; 12th Nov 2021 at 04:55.
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