Prohibited airspace

A prohibited airspace is an area (volume) of airspace within which flight of aircraft is not allowed, usually due to security concerns. It is one of many types of special use airspace designations and is depicted on aeronautical charts with the letter "P" followed by a serial number. It differs from restricted airspace in that entry is typically forbidden at all times from all aircraft and is not subject to clearance from ATC or the airspace's controlling body.

According to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): "Prohibited areas contain airspace of defined dimensions identified by an area on the surface of the earth within which the flight of aircraft is prohibited. Such areas are established for security or other reasons associated with the national welfare. These areas are published in the Federal Register and are depicted on aeronautical charts."

Part of a terminal area chart, showing the prohibited/restricted airspace surrounding Camp David

Some prohibited airspace may be supplemented via NOTAMs. For example, Prohibited Area 40 (P-40) and Restricted Area 4009 (R4009) often have additional restricted airspace added via a NOTAM when the President of the United States visits Camp David in Maryland, while normally the airspace outside of P-40 and R4009 is not prohibited/restricted.

Violating prohibited airspace established for national security purposes may result in military interception and/or the possibility of an attack upon the violating aircraft, or if this is avoided then large fines and jail time are often incurred. Aircraft violating or about to violate prohibited airspace are often warned beforehand on 121.5 MHz, the emergency frequency for aircraft.

List of prohibited airspacesEdit

As of September 2022:




  • Unscheduled foreign aircraft are prohibited from entering or encroaching Cuban airspace including disputed international water zones except when permission has been explicitly given by the Cuban Government. The Cuban military has been known to shoot down and destroy unauthorised aircraft without warning including a 1996 incident in which two U.S.-registered aircraft were shot down and destroyed by Cuban Air Force MiGs.[3]



  • All traffic is prohibited above Paris. Exceptions include military aircraft and civil aeroplanes flying no lower than 6,500 feet (2,000 m).[5] Authorisations are either given by the Ministry of Defence, for military aircraft, or by the Paris Police Prefecture and the Directorate General for Civil Aviation for civil ones. Moreover, the flying of helicopters within the limits of Paris (designated the Boulevard Périphérique) is also forbidden. Special authorisation can be granted by the Prefecture of Police for helicopters undertaking precise missions such as police air-surveillance, air ambulances but also transport of high-profile personalities.
  • Although not within Paris boundaries, the business district of La Défense has been placed under prohibited airspace in response to 9/11.[6]







Due to Arab–Israeli conflict, Israeli aircraft are not allowed to fly over numerous countries. These include:

  • Iran
  • Lebanon
  • Syria
  • Iraq
  • Pakistan
  • Libya
  • Tunisia
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Yemen
  • Algeria
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Mauritania
  • Bangladesh




  • City of Moscow.[12] Many flights are being regularly routed through the outer regions of this airspace.

Since October 25, 2015, Ukrainian aircraft have been prohibited from entering Russian airspace.

After the Western countries banned Russian planes from its skies following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, aircraft registered in or operated by the Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and the European Union member states[13] are banned from using Russian airspace.[14]

On October 30, 2022, Cathay Pacific announced that it would resume using Russian airspace on some flights such as the "polar route" from New York to Hong Kong, which had stopped following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[15]

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian aircraft are not allowed to fly over numerous countries. These include:

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • European Union
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Croatia
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Hungary
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Malta
    • Netherlands
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Sweden
  • Greenland
  • Iceland
  • Japan
  • Liechtenstein
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • San Marino
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Saudi ArabiaEdit

Sri LankaEdit

According to Air Navigation (Air Defence) Regulation 1 (2007), airspace over the territory and territorial waters of Sri Lanka (except Ruhuna Open Skies Area) are declared an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) with prohibited areas and restricted areas within it. No aircraft may operate in prohibited or restricted areas without valid air defence clearance (ADC) from the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).

Prohibited areas are,[17]

Restricted areas are,[17]




Since October 25, 2015 all traffic by Russian aircraft has been prohibited. As the result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the civilian flights flying over Ukraine and flights to the Ukrainian cities are suspended for the time being.[19]

United KingdomEdit

United StatesEdit

The FAA issues Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) in the form of a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which are effective for the duration of an event, typically a few days or weeks. TFRs are issued for VIP movement such as the president's travels outside Washington, D.C., surface-based hazards to flight such as toxic gas spills or volcanic eruptions, air-shows, military security, and special events including political ones like national party conventions.[22] TFRs have also been issued to ensure a safe environment for firefighting operations in the case of wildfires and for other reasons as necessary. A TFR was quickly issued around the crash site of Cory Lidle's airplane in New York City. Later, a broader TFR was issued to require pilots traveling over the East River to obtain air traffic control clearance.

Permanent prohibited areasEdit

Temporary restrictions over Disney theme parks were made permanent with language added to a 2003 federal spending bill.[23] Additionally, an indirect TFR prohibits flight below 3,000 feet (910 m) above ground level and within a 3 nautical miles (5.6 km) radius of stadiums with seating capacity of 30,000 or more, in which an World Series, MLS Cup Final, Super Bowl, College Football Playoff National Championship, NASCAR grand slam races, or a WrestleMania is taking place, from one hour before to one hour after the event except those sports teams residing and stadiums in Canada.

TFAs over public and corporate venues have been controversial. Groups have questioned whether these last TFRs served a public need, or the needs of politically connected venue operators.[24][25]

Other restrictionsEdit

In addition to areas off limits to civil aviation, a variety of other airspace restrictions exists in the United States. Notable ones include the Flight Restriction Zone (FRZ) encompassing all airspace up to 18,000 feet (5,500 m) within approximately 15 nautical miles (28 km) of Ronald Reagan National Airport around Washington, D.C. Flights within this airspace, while not entirely prohibited, are highly restricted. All pilots flying within the FRZ are required to undergo a background check and fingerprinting. An additional "Special Flight Rules Area" encompassing most of the Baltimore-Washington D.C. metropolitan area requires the filing of a flight plan and communication with air traffic control.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ [Designated Airspace Handbook]. Airservices Australia. Retrieved April 29, 2019
  2. ^ "Taiwan's Eva Air applies for China overflight rights"ch-aviation. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  3. ^ Staff writer (February 24, 1996). "Civilian U.S. Planes Shot Down Near Cuba". CNN. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Valtioneuvoston asetus ilmailulta rajoitetuista alueista". Finlex. December 4, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  5. ^ "AIRAC 2019-05-23". Archived from the original on 2019-05-25. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  6. ^ "Espace aérien". Mairie de Paris (in French). Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  7. ^ "Hungary all zones below 9500ft / 2900m including green zones – Airspace route planner".
  8. ^ "Airspace of the Budapest metropolitan area (detailed map)" (PDF).
  9. ^ Official order by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (India) dated 16 December 2008 ( Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  10. ^ Kumar, Vinay (17 December 2008). "No-fly zone over Kalpakkam plant". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  11. ^ "Direction" (PDF). 2004. Retrieved 2020-01-11.
  12. ^ May9thParade[permanent dead link]. Moscow Blog.
  13. ^ Aircraft registered in and operated by the Eurozone countries, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and Denmark only.
  14. ^ "Russia to bar people from a growing list of "unfriendly" nations as sanctions over Putin's Ukraine war bite". CBS News. New York: Paramount. AFP. 28 March 2022.
  15. ^ Shekhawat, Jaiveersingh; Dey, Mrinmay (2022-10-30). "Cathay Pacific to resume some flights in Russian airspace". Reuters. Hong Kong. Retrieved 2022-10-30.
  16. ^ "Why Commercial Airplanes Never Fly Over Some Places ?".
  17. ^ a b[bare URL PDF]
  18. ^ "İmralı'nın üzerindeki uçuş yasağının sınırlarını daraltıldı". Habertürk (in Turkish). 11 February 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  19. ^ Timmins, Beth (24 February 2022). "Ukraine airspace closed to civilian flights". BBC News. Kyiv.
  20. ^ "Windsor Castle no-fly zone application after security breach". BBC News. 9 January 2022.
  21. ^ The Air Navigation (Restriction of Flying) (Windsor Castle) (No. 2) Regulations 2018
  22. ^ "FLIGHT ADVISORY National Special Security Event Republican National Convention Tampa, Florida August 26-30, 2012" (PDF). FAA.
  23. ^ Pearce, Matt. "No-fly zones over Disney parks face new scrutiny". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles.
  24. ^ [1] [2] Archived 2012-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "Aircraft Building | EAA".

External linksEdit