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Military Operational Areas (MOA)
2010-03-18

Military Operational Areas (MOA)

ATC may fly IFR flights through if radar separation possible. Because of military aerobatics VFR flight requires caution. No clearance required but contact controlling agency to see if area is "hot". "Hot" area requires extreme caution and is best avoided. There are no prohibitions against flying in or through an MOA. The military is not very current with planned activity or notification. The military is normally required to give the FAA a two-hour notice before use. The lower limits of most MOAs allow you to underfly even when active. MOAs are depicted on sectionals and planning charts. Make it a standard flight procedure to ask nearby FSSs if MOAs are active. Flight around MOAs is the safest solution.

MOAs are not shown on WAC charts. On the sectional the MOA boundaries can be accurately determined by using VOR radials. The MOA is designed to separate some military activities from other aircraft. IFR traffic will be allowed by ATC into an MOA only if separation can be provided. VFR pilots enter active MOA airspace at their own risk. Always check with a nearby FSS regarding the status of any MOA in your flight path.

The sectional only shows airspace up to 18000’. Many MOA by agreement between the FAA and the military extend the space to FL 24 and beyond. The letters are called ATCAAs. The hatched lines of MOAs are spaced wider than are the hatched lines of Restricted Areas.

A C-150 will be invisible to an F-16, which can climb and dive 20,000 feet in seconds. Keep your eyes outside the aircraft at all times in the MOA. Look high and low. Turn toward any aircraft to keep that aircraft in sight. Climb or dive to avoid since pitch rate is much faster than roll rate. ATC may fly IFR flights through if radar separation possible. Because of military aerobatics VFR flight requires caution. No clearance required but contact controlling agency to see if area is "hot". "Hot" area requires extreme caution and is best avoided.

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