Browse the Glossary

Military Operations Area (MOA)


Military Operations Area - MOA Chart

Military Operations Area (MOA)

Airspace established outside positive control area to separate/segregate certain nonhazardous military activities from IFR traffic and to identify for VFR traffic where these activities are conducted.

MOA’s are established to contain certain military activities such as air combat maneuvers, air intercepts, acrobatics, etc

From the FAA AIM:
  • MOAs consist of airspace of defined vertical and lateral limits established for the purpose of separating certain military training activities from IFR traffic. Whenever a MOA is being used, nonparticipating IFR traffic may be cleared through a MOA if IFR separation can be provided by ATC. Otherwise, ATC will reroute or restrict nonparticipating IFR traffic.
  • Examples of activities conducted in MOAs include, but are not limited to: air combat tactics, air intercepts, aerobatics, formation training, and low-altitude tactics. Military pilots flying in an active MOA are exempted from the provisions of 14 CFR Section 91.303(c) and (d) which prohibits aerobatic flight within Class D and Class E surface areas, and within Federal airways. Additionally, the Department of Defense has been issued an authorization to operate aircraft at indicated airspeeds in excess of 250knots below 10,000 feet MSL within active MOAs.
  • Pilots operating under VFR should exercise extreme caution while flying within a MOA when military activity is being conducted. The activity status (active/inactive) of MOAs may change frequently. Therefore, pilots should contact any FSS within 100 miles of the area to obtain accurate real time information concerning the MOA hours of  operation. Prior to entering an active MOA, pilots should contact the controlling agency for traffic advisories.
  • MOAs are depicted on sectional, VFR Terminal Area, and Enroute Low Altitude charts
About Scott