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  1. #1
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    Restricted Area/MOA Question

    1. Does an IFR aircraft filed from (ABC) airport to a (XYZ) restricted area/MOA and back to (ABC) airport have to cancel IFR before entering a restricted area/MOA?

    2. If so, do you put them into holding if they are unwilling to cancel IFR and enter the restricted area/MOA?

    3. If not, do you tell them "(acid) radar service terminated. Frequency change approved?" Would that be all you are required to do?

    4. If not, and you have multiple aircraft wanting to enter a restricted area/MOA IFR do you permit them to all enter IFR or only allow one to enter IFR at a time?

    This is currently under debate at my facility and I am curious to what other people think about it. Half the facility solicits IFR aircraft to cancel IFR prior to entering the restricted area/MOA and the other half believes they were cleared in and you just go with the phraseology in question 3. Also, the LOA between us, center, and the controlling agency responsible for aircraft in the restricted area/MOA is extremely vague so that document doesn't help at all in this debate.

    For reference, Chapter 9 Section 3 is the place to find Special Use Airspace in the 7110.65...

    Thanks for your replies...

  2. #2
    Roddy_Piper's Avatar
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    Re: Restricted Area/MOA Question

    here's the real question...are they a participant or non-participant??

    participant...let em go.
    non-participant...keep em out.

    i'm guessing if they filed round-robin to a R-area they filed that on purpose and is a participant.

  3. #3
    WatchThis's Avatar
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    Re: Restricted Area/MOA Question

    You'll get some different answers on this but I think most facilities will treat aircraft as auto cancelled as they cross the boundary with no requirement to cancel explicitly. Saying the phrase "radar service terminated" might make some feel warm and fuzzy but the aircraft will still be IFR until the boundary if it was IFR before saying the phrase. It does flow nicely with the frequency change and I think many say both together. As food for thought, how would one cancel a guy at or above FL180? Of course, you can't but he still needs to go in.

    Regarding metering aircraft in... Standard sep must be applied until they are in the area.

    Scheduling conflicts? A lot of differences possible due to SOP and LOAs. I think the center types will generally not get overly involved and will expect the aircraft to sort that out. An aircraft on a clearance will be assumed to have all permissions needed and will be aimed into the area unless the pilot says otherwise. A military facility, however, may do more active conflict work between users of the area.

    If a pilot can't go in, then yes, they will need to be held or delayed somehow.
    Last edited by WatchThis; 01-27-2011 at 07:08 AM.

  4. #4
    mbalunda's Avatar
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    Re: Restricted Area/MOA Question

    I assume you're talking about aircraft participating.

    "Badger11 cleared to the Volk east/west moa maintain block altitude 8,000 through FL 280. Radar service is terminated, change to tactical frequency is approved." That is how we've been taught to say it.
    CPC @ ZAU

  5. #5
    DairyCreamer's Avatar
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    Re: Restricted Area/MOA Question

    1. Does an IFR aircraft filed from (ABC) airport to a (XYZ) restricted area/MOA and back to (ABC) airport have to cancel IFR before entering a restricted area/MOA?
    No

    2. If so, do you put them into holding if they are unwilling to cancel IFR and enter the restricted area/MOA?
    N/A

    3. If not, do you tell them "(acid) radar service terminated. Frequency change approved?" Would that be all you are required to do?
    Sometimes you don't have to advise of radar service termination if it's included in an LOA/MOU with the using agency. Nothing wrong with stating it anyway though, and it is the norm. Affirm on the freq change... though sometimes if they're going in to restricted airspace, the MRU or range control may have a particular freq they want the aircraft on... but that's just coordination.

    4. If not, and you have multiple aircraft wanting to enter a restricted area/MOA IFR do you permit them to all enter IFR or only allow one to enter IFR at a time?
    This is a bit tougher. Some LOAs/MOUs discuss specifically that the airspace is MARSA by scheduling... i.e., the military is responsible to schedule aircraft, make them aware of eachother, and that everyone is safe to play together. Other times, some aircraft want the same airspace but in different blocks. Other times, yah, pilots were flying, but scheduling got botched or something, and they had no idea there was someone else in the area.

    Because of the possibility of the last case, pretty much any time aircraft were approaching active SUA (particularly MOAs where we were the controlling agency), and there were already guys playing in there in altitudes they wanted to play with, we would advise the aircraft of the current situation. Something like:

    "BOMER11, be advised FITER31 is working in XYZ airspace block (altitude)" and kind of fish out what they had to say. If the pilot stated they were going to work with them or words to that effect, then business as usual, clear them for the airspace and I would try to let them off my freq as early as practical to allow them to get in contact with the other flight to coordinate their entry. Personally, I liked to specifically ask "BOMER11, verify MARSA with FITER31" and getting an affirmative reply prior to clearing them in. Can't really police it much more than that though, if a guy says they can be in there and says they're MARSA, you really have no reason to deny them clearance.

    On the other hand, if they came back like "uhh, what?" then it was time to start getting more information. They would be held outside the airspace, or perhaps offered a different altitude to work with (if possible). Certainly not cleared in to the airspace though until the situation/conflict was resolved.

    This is currently under debate at my facility and I am curious to what other people think about it. Half the facility solicits IFR aircraft to cancel IFR prior to entering the restricted area/MOA and the other half believes they were cleared in and you just go with the phraseology in question 3. Also, the LOA between us, center, and the controlling agency responsible for aircraft in the restricted area/MOA is extremely vague so that document doesn't help at all in this debate.
    First, that's a major violation to solicit the cancellation of IFR, I won't say anything more than that. Second, if they DO cancel IFR, then you have absolutely no control over whether the aircraft enters a MOA/restricted area anyway outside of advising them of the airspace status.

    Aircraft need a specific clearance to be afforded the protection of MOA/ATCAA airspace, much like mbal's quote above. You are activating a block of airspace and ensuring there are no IFR operations within that airspace in your (or any other sectors it affects) prior to clearing aircraft in to said airspace. My phraseology was always like:

    "BOMER11, maintain (current altitude) until entering (SUA) airspace, cleared (SUA) block (altitudes), XYZ altimeter" or if it was a low AGL-type base thing, my altitude would be "as published, up to (alt)."

    They are IFR unless and until they specifically cancel or it's otherwise specified in a document that you would be aware of. The clearance limit of the aircraft effectively becomes the boundaries of the SUA, and until they are cleared OUT of that airspace (or cancel IFR), they need to stay inside that airspace to ensure they are properly separated from IFR aircraft that could be over, under, or as close as 3 miles from the lateral boundary.

    ~Nate

    PS - A lot of what I wrote there is for airspace you control... MOAs/ATCAAs primarily. If it's restricted airspace, someone else is typically the controlling agency. I never said "cleared restricted area 12345" and didn't worry whether there was someone else in the airspace... I just made sure they were separated from my traffic until they entered and had them contact range control prior to entry with a an altitude to maintain until entry and a radar service terminated when I could.

  6. #6
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    Re: Restricted Area/MOA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Roddy_Piper View Post
    here's the real question...are they a participant or non-participant??

    participant...let em go.
    non-participant...keep em out.

    i'm guessing if they filed round-robin to a R-area they filed that on purpose and is a participant.
    I would consider them a participant if their clearance takes them to the restricted area/MOA and back out. Also, I believe it is the pilot's responsibilty to have prior permission before filing and accepting a clearance into a restricted area/MOA. It isn't my job to verify they are allowed to operate in a restricted area/MOA.

  7. #7
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    Re: Restricted Area/MOA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by WatchThis View Post
    As food for thought, how would one cancel a guy at or above FL180? Of course, you can't but he still needs to go in.
    I was working radar and was informed by my supervisor that I must have (military tactical callsign) cancel his IFR before entering restricted airspace that he had in his flight plan and was "hot" for him to do his operation in. I replied with, "What are you talking about?" My supervisor said he had to cancel before entering or it was an OE. I informed the aircraft that my supervisor advised me that he must cancel IFR before entering the restricted airspace. The pilot said he would rather stay IFR. I then restated that my supervisor informed me that he couldn't enter the restricted area IFR and asked him to state his intentions. The pilot complained about it and then decided to cancel IFR and proceed VFR rather than be put into holding or "prevented" from entering the restricted area. I figured I would do what my supervisor told me to do and we could figure it out later...

    The restricted area was hot from surface to FL230. I thought of exactly what you said about an aircraft being at a flight level and wanting to enter. There is no way that could occur until he entered the restricted area/MOA.

    My understanding is that he could enter IFR and would call in order to exit the SUA and return IFR.

  8. #8
    UNDgrad06's Avatar
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    Re: Restricted Area/MOA Question

    Yeah and just the other day I have someone on RDOF and my STUPE says "Do you know all your phraseolody for radio failure?"

  9. #9
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    Re: Restricted Area/MOA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertB View Post
    I was working radar and was informed by my supervisor that I must have (military tactical callsign) cancel his IFR before entering restricted airspace that he had in his flight plan and was "hot" for him to do his operation in. I replied with, "What are you talking about?" My supervisor said he had to cancel before entering or it was an OE.
    Holy HELL... wow...

    You should print out 7110.65 section 9-3 and point him to 9-3-1.a and/or b.

    ATC is not the permission police. Just... wow.

    ~Nate

  10. #10
    WatchThis's Avatar
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    Re: Restricted Area/MOA Question

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertB View Post
    My understanding is that he could enter IFR and would call in order to exit the SUA and return IFR.
    Yes, absolutely. If that pilot exits the area at a flight level without a clearance, that's an instant pilot bust. Unfortunately, it does happen and it can get ugly fast. It can be a good idea to remind the pilot on entry to check back in with you prior to exiting the area. They can also pop out below FL180. It really depends on the norm for the area.

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