Sarah Nilsson JD, PhD, MAS
Sarah NilssonJD, PhD, MAS

UA.V.B.K1 - Types of airports, such as towered, uncontrolled towered, heliport, and seaplane bases 

Remote pilot sUAS study guide


The definition for airports refers to any area of land or water used or intended for landing or takeoff of aircraft. This includes, within the five categories of airports listed below, special types of facilities including seaplane bases, heliports, and facilities to accommodate tilt rotor aircraft. An airport includes an area used or intended for airport buildings, facilities, as well as rights of way together with the buildings and facilities. 

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

There are two types of airports—towered and nontowered.

These types can be further subdivided to:

- Civil Airports—airports that are open to the general public.

- Military/Federal Government airports—airports operated by the military, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), or other agencies of the Federal Government.

- Private airports—airports designated for private or restricted use only, not open to the general public.


Towered Airport

A towered airport has an operating control tower. Air traffic control (ATC) is responsible for providing the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic at airports where the type of operations and/or volume of traffic requires such a service. Pilots operating from a towered airport are required to maintain two-way radio communication with air traffic controllers, and to acknowledge and comply with their instructions. Pilots must advise ATC if they cannot comply with the instructions issued and request amended instructions. A pilot may deviate from an air traffic instruction in an emergency, but must advise ATC of the deviation as soon as possible.


Nontowered Airport

A nontowered airport does not have an operating control tower. Two-way radio communications are not required, although it is a good operating practice for pilots to transmit their intentions on the specified frequency for the benefit of other traffic in the area. The key to communicating at an airport without an operating control tower is selection of the correct common frequency. The acronym CTAF, which stands for Common Traffic Advisory Frequency, is synonymous with this program. A CTAF is a frequency designated for the purpose of carrying out airport advisory practices while operating to or from an airport without an operating control tower. The CTAF may be a Universal Integrated Community (UNICOM), MULTICOM, Flight Service Station (FSS), or tower frequency and is identified in appropriate aeronautical publications. UNICOM is a nongovernment air/ground radio communication station which may provide airport information at public use airports where there is no tower or FSS. On pilot request, UNICOM stations may provide pilots with weather information, wind direction, the recommended runway, or other necessary information. If the UNICOM frequency is designated as the CTAF, it will be identified in appropriate aeronautical publications. Figure 13-1 lists recommended communication procedures. More information on radio communications is discussed later in this chapter.

Remote pilot sUAS study guide

Non-towered airport traffic patterns are always entered at pattern altitude. How you enter the pattern depends upon the direction of arrival. The preferred method for entering from the downwind side of the pattern is to approach the pattern on a course 45 degrees to the downwind leg and join the pattern at midfield. 

UA.V.B.K2 - ATC towers, such as ensuring the remote pilot can monitor and interpret ATC communications to improve situational awareness

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

Radio Communications

Operating in and out of a towered airport, as well as in a good portion of the airspace system, requires that an aircraft have two-way radio communication capability. For this reason, a pilot should be knowledgeable of radio station license requirements and radio communications equipment and procedures.


Radio License

There is no license requirement for a pilot operating in the United States; however, a pilot who operates internationally is required to hold a restricted radiotelephone permit issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). There is also no station license requirement for most general aviation aircraft operating in the United States. A station license is required however for an aircraft which is operating internationally, which uses other than a VHF radio, and which meets other criteria.


Radar Traffic Advisories

Radar equipped ATC facilities provide radar assistance to aircraft on instrument flight plans and VFR aircraft provided the aircraft can communicate with the facility and are within radar coverage. This basic service includes safety alerts, traffic advisories, limited vectoring when requested, and sequencing at locations where this procedure has been established. ATC issues traffic advisories based on observed radar targets. The traffic is referenced by azimuth from the aircraft in terms of the 12-hour clock. Also, distance in nautical miles, direction in which the target is moving, and type and altitude of the aircraft, if known, are given. An example would be: “Traffic 10 o’clock 5 miles east bound, Cessna 152, 3,000 feet.” The pilot should note that traffic position is based on the aircraft track, and that wind correction can affect the clock position at which a pilot locates traffic. This service is not intended to relieve the pilot of the responsibility to see and avoid other aircraft. [Figure 13-19]

Collision Avoidance

14 CFR part 91 has established right-of-way rules, minimum safe altitudes, and VFR cruising altitudes to enhance flight safety. The pilot can contribute to collision avoidance by being alert and scanning for other aircraft. This is particularly important in the vicinity of an airport.

Effective scanning is accomplished with a series of short, regularly spaced eye movements that bring successive areas of the sky into the central visual field. Each movement should not exceed 10°, and each should be observed for at least 1 second to enable detection. Although back and forth eye movements seem preferred by most pilots, each pilot should develop a scanning pattern that is most comfortable and then adhere to it to assure optimum scanning. Even if entitled to the right-of-way, a pilot should yield if another aircraft seems too close.

UA.V.B.K3 - Runway markings and signage

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

Airport Markings and Signs

There are markings and signs used at airports, which provide directions and assist pilots in airport operations. Some of the most common markings and signs are discussed. Additional information may be found in Chapter 2, Aeronautical Lighting and Other Airport Visual Aids, in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM).


Runway Markings

Runway markings vary depending on the type of operations conducted at the airport. Figure 13-3 shows a runway that is approved as a precision instrument approach runway and some other common runway markings. A basic VFR runway may only have centerline markings and runway numbers.

Since aircraft are affected by the wind during takeoffs and landings, runways are laid out according to the local prevailing winds. Runway numbers are in reference to magnetic north. Certain airports have two or even three runways laid out in the same direction. These are referred to as parallel runways and are distinguished by a letter added to the runway number (e.g., runway 36L (left), 36C (center), and 36R (right)).

Another feature of some runways is a displaced threshold. A threshold may be displaced because of an obstruction near the end of the runway. Although this portion of the runway is not to be used for landing, it may be available for taxiing, takeoff, or landing rollout. Some airports may have a blast pad/stopway area. The blast pad is an area where a propeller or jet blast can dissipate without creating a hazard. The stopway area is paved in order to provide space for an aircraft to decelerate and stop in the event of an aborted takeoff. These areas cannot be used for takeoff or landing.


Taxiway Markings

Aircraft use taxiways to transition from parking areas to the runway. Taxiways are identified by a continuous yellow centerline stripe and may include edge markings to define the edge of the taxiway. This is usually done when the taxiway edge does not correspond with the edge of the pavement. If an edge marking is a continuous line, the paved shoulder is not

intended to be used by an aircraft. If it is a dashed marking, an aircraft may use that portion of the pavement. Where a taxiway approaches a runway, there may be a holding position marker. These consist of four yellow lines (two solid and two dashed). The solid lines are where the aircraft is to hold. At some towered airports, holding position markings may be found on a runway. They are used when there are intersecting runways, and ATC issues instructions such as “cleared to land—hold short of runway 30.”


Other Markings

Some other markings found on the airport include vehicle roadway markings, VOR receiver checkpoint markings, and non-movement area boundary markings.

Vehicle roadway markings are used when necessary to define a pathway for vehicle crossing areas that are also intended for aircraft. These markings usually consist of a solid white line to delineate each edge of the roadway and a dashed line to separate lanes within the edges of the roadway. In lieu of the solid lines, zipper markings may be used to delineate the edges of the vehicle roadway. [Figure 13-4]

A VOR receiver checkpoint marking consists of a painted circle with an arrow in the middle. The arrow is aligned in the direction of the checkpoint azimuth. This allows pilots to check aircraft instruments with navigational aid signals.

A non-movement area boundary marking delineates a movement area under ATC. These markings are yellow and located on the boundary between the movement and non-movement area. They normally consist of two yellow lines (one solid and one dashed).


Airport Signs

There are six types of signs that may be found at airports. The more complex the layout of an airport, the more important the signs become to pilots. Figure 13-5 shows examples of signs, their purpose, and appropriate pilot action. The six types of signs are:

- Mandatory instruction signs—red background with white inscription. These signs denote an entrance to a runway, critical area, or prohibited area.

- Location signs—black with yellow inscription and a yellow border, no arrows. They are used to identify a taxiway or runway location, to identify the boundary of the runway, or identify an instrument landing system (ILS) critical area.

- Direction signs—yellow background with black inscription. The inscription identifies the designation of the intersecting taxiway(s) leading out of an intersection.

- Destination signs—yellow background with black inscription and also contain arrows. These signs provide information on locating things, such as runways, terminals, cargo areas, and civil aviation areas.

- Information signs—yellow background with black inscription. These signs are used to provide the pilot with information on such things as areas that cannot be seen from the control tower, applicable radio frequencies, and noise abatement procedures. The airport operator determines the need, size, and location of these signs.

- Runway distance remaining signs—black background with white numbers. The numbers indicate the distance of the remaining runway in thousands of feet.

UA.V.B.K4 - Traffic patterns used by crewed aircraft pilots

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

Traffic Patterns

At those airports without an operating control tower, a segmented circle visual indicator system [Figure 13-13], if installed, is designed to provide traffic pattern information. Usually located in a position affording maximum visibility to pilots in the air and on the ground and providing a centralized location for other elements of the system, the segmented circle consists of the following components: wind direction indicators, landing direction indicators, landing strip indicators, and traffic pattern indicators.

A tetrahedron is installed to indicate the direction of landings and takeoffs when conditions at the airport warrant its use. It may be located at the center of a segmented circle and may be lighted for night operations. The small end of the tetrahedron points in the direction of landing. Pilots are cautioned against using a tetrahedron for any purpose other than as an indicator of landing direction. At airports with control towers, the tetrahedron should only be referenced when the control tower is not in operation. Tower instructions supersede tetrahedron indications.

Landing strip indicators are installed in pairs as shown in Figure 13-13 and are used to show the alignment of landing strips. Traffic pattern indicators are arranged in pairs in conjunction with landing strip indicators and used to indicate the direction of turns when there is a variation from the normal left traffic pattern. (If there is no segmented circle installed at the airport, traffic pattern indicators may be installed on or near the end of the runway.)

At most airports and military air bases, traffic pattern altitudes for propeller-driven aircraft generally extend from 600 feet to as high as 1,500 feet above ground level (AGL). Pilots can obtain the traffic pattern altitude for an airport from the A/FD. Also, traffic pattern altitudes for military turbojet aircraft sometimes extend up to 2,500 feet AGL. Therefore, pilots of en route aircraft should be constantly on the alert for other aircraft in traffic patterns and avoid these areas whenever possible. When operating at an airport, traffic pattern altitudes should be maintained unless otherwise required by the applicable distance from cloud criteria in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) section 91.155. Additional information on airport traffic pattern operations can be found in Chapter 4, Air Traffic Control, of the AIM. Pilots can find traffic pattern information and restrictions such as noise abatement in the A/FD.


Example: Key to Traffic Pattern Operations—Single Runway

1. Enter pattern in level flight, abeam the midpoint of the runway, at pattern altitude. (1,000' AGL) is recommended pattern altitude unless established otherwise.)

2. Maintain pattern altitude until abeam approach end of the landing runway on downwind leg.

3. Complete turn to final at least ¼ mile from the runway.

4. Continue straight ahead until beyond departure end of runway.

5. If remaining in the traffic pattern, commence turn to crosswind leg beyond the departure end of the runway within 300 feet of pattern altitude.

6. If departing the traffic pattern, continue straight out, or exit with a 45° turn (to the left when in a left-hand traffic pattern; to the right when in a right-hand traffic pattern) beyond the departure end of the runway, after reaching pattern altitude. [Figure 13-14]

Example: Key to Traffic Pattern Operations—Parallel Runways

1. Enter pattern in level flight, abeam the midpoint of the runway, at pattern altitude. (1,000' AGL is recommended pattern altitude unless established otherwise.)

2. Maintain pattern altitude until abeam approach end of the landing runway on downwind leg.

3. Complete turn to final at least ¼ mile from the runway.

4. Continue straight ahead until beyond departure end of runway.

5. If remaining in the traffic pattern, commence turn to crosswind leg beyond the departure end of the runway within 300 feet of pattern altitude.

6. If departing the traffic pattern, continue straight out, or exit with a 45° turn (to the left when in a left-hand traffic pattern; to the right when in a right-hand traffic pattern) beyond the departure end of the runway, after reaching pattern altitude.

7. Do not overshoot final or continue on a track which penetrates the final approach of the parallel runway.

8. Do not continue on a track which penetrates the departure path of the parallel runway. [Figure 13-15]

UA.V.B.K5 - Security Identification Display Areas (SIDA) 

AIM 2−3−15

Security Identifications Display Area (Airport Ramp Area)

a. Security Identification Display Areas (SIDA) are limited access areas that require a badge issued in accordance with procedures in CFR 49 Part 1542. Movement through or into these areas is prohibited without proper identification being displayed. If you are unsure of the location of a SIDA, contact the airport authority for additional information. Airports that have a SIDA must have the following information available:

1. A description and map detailing boundaries and pertinent features;

2. Measures used to perform the access control functions required under CFR 49 Part


3. Procedures to control movement within the secured area, including identification media required under CFR 49 Part 1542.201(b)(3); and

4. A description of the notification signs required under CFR 49 Part 1542.201(b)(6).


b. Pilots or passengers without proper identification that are observed entering a SIDA (ramp area) may be reported to TSA or airport security. Pilots are advised to brief passengers accordingly.

UA.V.B.K6 - Sources for airport data 

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

When a pilot flies into a different airport, it is important to review the current data for that airport. This data provides the pilot with information, such as communication frequencies, services available, closed runways, or airport construction. Three common sources of information are:

- Aeronautical Charts

- Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD)

- Notices to Air Mission (NOTAMs)

UA.V.B.K6a - Aeronautical charts

Remote pilot sUAS study guide

Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Terms & Symbols

Remote pilots need to be familiar with the following information from the FAA Aeronautical Chart User’s Guide website:

- All information on the VFR Terms tab

- The following sections under “VFR Aeronautical Chart Symbols” on the VFR Symbols tab:

o Airports
o Airspace Information
o Navigational and Procedural Information o Chart Limits
o Culture 

o Hydrography 

o Relief 



SkyVector Aeronautical Charts - for online sectionals 


FAA Aeronautical Chart Users Guide - in case you see a symbol and have absolutely no clue as to its meaning


Aeronautical Charts

An aeronautical chart is the road map for a pilot. The chart provides information that allows remote pilots to obtain information about the areas where they intend to operate. The two aeronautical charts used by VFR pilots are:

VFR Terminal Area

A free catalog listing aeronautical charts and related publications including prices and instructions for ordering is available at the Aeronautical Navigation Products website:

Sectional Charts

Sectional charts are the most common charts used by pilots today. The charts have a scale of 1:500,000 (1 inch = 6.86 nautical miles (NM) or approximately 8 statute miles (SM)), which allows for more detailed information to be included on the chart.

The charts provide an abundance of information, including airport data, navigational aids, airspace, and topography. Figure 11-2 is an excerpt from the legend of a sectional chart. By referring to the chart legend, a pilot can interpret most of the information on the chart. A pilot should also check the chart for other legend information, which includes air traffic control (ATC) frequencies and information on airspace. These charts are revised semiannually except for some areas outside the conterminous United States where they are revised annually. 

Latitude and Longitude (Meridians and Parallels)

The equator is an imaginary circle equidistant from the poles of the Earth. Circles parallel to the equator (lines running east and west) are parallels of latitude. They are used to measure degrees of latitude north (N) or south (S) of the equator. The angular distance from the equator to the pole is one-fourth of a circle or 90°. The 48 conterminous states of the United States are located between 25° and 49° N latitude. The arrows in Figure 11-3 labeled “Latitude” point to lines of latitude. Meridians of longitude are drawn from the North Pole to the South Pole and are at right angles to the Equator. The “Prime Meridian,” which passes through Greenwich, England, is used as the zero line from which measurements are made in degrees east (E) and west (W) to 180°. The 48 conterminous states of the United States are between 67° and 125° W longitude. The arrows in Figure 11-3 labeled “Longitude” point to lines of longitude.

Any specific geographical point can be located by reference to its longitude and latitude. Washington, D.C., for example, is approximately 39° N latitude, 77° W longitude. Chicago is approximately 42° N latitude, 88° W longitude. 


Variation is the angle between true north (TN) and magnetic north (MN). It is expressed as east variation or west variation depending upon whether MN is to the east or west of TN.

The north magnetic pole is located close to 71° N latitude, 96° W longitude and is about 1,300 miles from the geographic or true north pole, as indicated in Figure11-4. If the Earth were uniformly magnetized, the compass needle would point toward the magnetic pole, in which case the variation between TN (as shown by the geographical meridians) and MN (as shown by the magnetic meridians) could be measured at any intersection of the meridians. 


Actually, the Earth is not uniformly magnetized. In the United States, the needle usually points in the general direction of the magnetic pole, but it may vary in certain geographical localities by many degrees. Consequently, the exact amount of variation at thousands of selected locations in the United States has been carefully determined. The amount and the direction of variation, which change slightly from time to time, are shown on most aeronautical charts as broken magenta lines called isogonic lines that connect points of equal magnetic variation. (The line connecting points at which there is no variation between TN and MN is the agonic line.) An isogonic chart is shown in Figure 11-5. Minor bends and turns in the isogonic and agonic lines are caused by unusual geological conditions affecting magnetic forces in these areas. 

Antenna Towers

Extreme caution should be exercised when flying less
than 2,000 feet AGL because of numerous skeletal
structures, such as radio and television antenna
towers, that exceed 1,000 feet AGL with some
extending higher than 2,000 feet AGL. Most skeletal structures are supported by guy wires which are very difficult to see in good weather and can be invisible at dusk or during periods of reduced visibility.

These wires can extend about 1,500 feet horizontally from a structure; therefore, all skeletal structures should be avoided horizontally by at least 2,000 feet.

Additionally, new towers may not be on your current chart because the information was not received prior to the printing of the chart. 


Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

Aeronautical Charts

Aeronautical charts provide specific information on airports. Chapter 15, Navigation, contains an excerpt from an aeronautical chart and an aeronautical chart legend, which provides guidance on interpreting the information on the chart.


(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-2H, Figure 21.)

What airport is located approximately 47 (degrees) 40 (minutes) N latitude and 101 (degrees) 26 (minutes) W longitude?

  1. Mercer County Regional Airport
  2. Semshenko Airport
  3. Garrison Airport


(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-2H, Figure 26.)

What does the line of latitude at area 4 measure?

  1. The degrees of latitude east and west of the Prime Meridian
  2. The degrees of latitude north and south of the equator
  3. The degrees of latitude east and west of the line that passes through Greenwich, England


(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-2H, Figure 22, area 2.)

At Coeur D’Alene which frequency should be used as a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) to monitor airport traffic?

  1. 122.05 MHz
  2. 135.075 MHz
  3. 122.8 MHz


(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-2H, Figure 26, area 4.)

You have been hired to inspect the tower under construction at 46.9N and 98.6W, near Jamestown Regional (JMS). What must you receive prior to flying your UA in this area?

  1. Authorization from the military
  2. Authorization from ATC
  3. Authorization from the National Park Service


(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-2H, Figure 20, area 3.)

With ATC authorization, you are operating your sUA approximately 4SM southeast of Elizabeth City Regional Airport (ECG). What hazard is indicated to be in that area?

  1. High intensity military operations in the vicinity
  2. Unmarked balloon on a cable up to 3,008 feet AGL
  3. Unmarked balloon on a cable up to 3,008 feet MSL


A very good chart reading tutorial may be found here


UA.V.B.K6b - Chart Supplements

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

Chart Supplement U.S. (formerly Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD))

The Chart Supplement U.S. (formerly A/FD) provides the most comprehensive information on a given airport. It contains information on airports, heliports, and seaplane bases that are open to the public. The A/FD is published in seven books, which are organized by regions and are revised every 56 days. The A/FD is also available digitally at Figure 13-2 contains an excerpt from a directory. For a complete listing of information provided in an A/FD and how the information may be decoded, refer to the “Directory Legend Sample” located in the front of each A/FD.

In addition to airport information, each A/FD contains information such as special notices, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Weather Service (NWS) telephone numbers, preferred instrument flight rules (IFR) routing, visual flight rules (VFR) waypoints, a listing of very high frequency (VHF) omnidirectional range (VOR) receiver checkpoints, aeronautical chart bulletins, land and hold short operations (LAHSO) for selected airports, airport diagrams for selected towered airports, en route flight advisory service (EFAS) outlets, parachute jumping areas, and facility telephone numbers. It would be helpful to review an A/FD to become familiar with the information it contains.


The most comprehensive information on a given airport is provided by

  1. The Chart Supplements U.S. (formerly the Airport Facility Directory)
  2. Notices to Air Mission (NOTAMS)
  3. Terminal Area chart (TAC)

UA.V.B.K7 - Avoiding bird and wildlife hazards and reporting collisions between aircraft and wildlife 

AIM 7−4−1

Migratory Bird Activity

a. Bird strike risk increases because of bird migration during the months of March through April, and August through November.


b. The altitudes of migrating birds vary with winds aloft, weather fronts, terrain elevations, cloud conditions, and other environmental variables. While over 90 percent of the reported bird strikes occur at or below 3,000 feet AGL, strikes at higher altitudes are common during migration. Ducks and geese are frequently observed up to 7,000 feet AGL and pilots are cautioned to minimize en route flying at lower altitudes during migration.


c. Considered the greatest potential hazard to aircraft because of their size, abundance, or habit of flying in dense flocks are gulls, waterfowl, vultures, hawks, owls, egrets, blackbirds, and starlings.

Four major migratory flyways exist in the U.S. The Atlantic flyway parallels the Atlantic Coast. The

Mississippi Flyway stretches from Canada through the Great Lakes and follows the Mississippi River.

The Central Flyway represents a broad area east of the Rockies, stretching from Canada through Central America. The Pacific Flyway follows the west coast and overflies major parts of Washington, Oregon, and California. There are also numerous smaller flyways which cross these major north-south migratory routes.


AIM 7−4−2

Reducing Bird Strike Risks

a. The most serious strikes are those involving ingestion into an engine (turboprops and turbine jet engines) or windshield strikes. These strikes can result in emergency situations requiring prompt action by the pilot.


b. Engine ingestions may result in sudden loss of power or engine failure. Review engine out procedures, especially when operating from airports with known bird hazards or when operating near high bird concentrations.


c. Windshield strikes have resulted in pilots experiencing confusion, disorientation, loss of communications, and aircraft control problems.

Pilots are encouraged to review their emergency procedures before flying in these areas.


d. When encountering birds en route, climb to avoid collision, because birds in flocks generally distribute themselves downward, with lead birds being at the highest altitude.


e. Avoid overflight of known areas of bird concentration and flying at low altitudes during bird migration. Charted wildlife refuges and other natural areas contain unusually high local concentration of birds which may create a hazard to aircraft.


AIM 7−4−3

Reporting Bird Strikes

Pilots are urged to report any bird or other wildlife strike using FAA Form 5200−7, Bird/Other WildlifeStrike Report (Appendix 1)

Additional forms are available at any FSS; at any FAA Regional Office or at http://wildlife− The data derived from these reports are used to develop standards to cope with this potential hazard to aircraft and for documentation of necessary habitat control on airports.


AIM 7−4−4

Reporting Bird and Other Wildlife Activities

If you observe birds or other animals on or near the runway, request airport management to disperse the wildlife before taking off. Also contact the nearest FAA ARTCC, FSS, or tower (including non−Federal towers) regarding large flocks of birds and report the:

a. Geographic location.

b. Bird type (geese, ducks, gulls, etc.).

c. Approximate numbers.

d. Altitude.

e. Direction of bird flight path.


AIM 7−4−5

Pilot Advisories on Bird and Other Wildlife Hazards

Many airports advise pilots of other wildlife hazards caused by large animals on the runway through the Chart Supplement U.S. and the NOTAM system. Collisions of landing and departing aircraft and animals on the runway are increasing and are not limited to rural airports. These accidents have also occurred at several major airports. Pilots should exercise extreme caution when warned of the presence of wildlife on and in the vicinity of airports. If you observe deer or other large animals in close proximity to movement areas, advise the FSS, tower, or airport management.


AIM 7−4−6

Flights Over Charted U.S. Wildlife Refuges, Parks, and Forest Service Areas

a. The landing of aircraft is prohibited on lands or waters administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or U.S. Forest Service without authorization from the respective agency.

Exceptions include:

1. When forced to land due to an emergency beyond the control of the operator;

2. At officially designated landing sites; or

3. An approved official business of the Federal Government.


b. Pilots are requested to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above the surface of the following: National Parks, Monuments, Seashores, Lakeshores, Recreation Areas and Scenic Riverways administered by the National Park Service, National Wildlife Refuges, Big Game Refuges, Game Ranges and Wildlife Ranges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Wilderness and Primitive areas administered by the U.S. Forest Service.

NOTE− FAA Advisory Circular AC 91−36, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Flight Near Noise-Sensitive Areas, defines the surface of a national park area (including parks, forests, primitive areas, wilderness areas, recreational areas, national seashores, national monuments, national lakeshores, and national wildlife refuge and range areas) as: the highest terrain within 2,000 feet laterally of the route of flight, or the upper-most rim of a canyon or valley.


c. Federal statutes prohibit certain types of flight activity and/or provide altitude restrictions over designated U.S. Wildlife Refuges, Parks, and Forest Service Areas. These designated areas, for example: Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Areas, Minnesota; Haleakala National Park, Hawaii; Yosemite National Park, California; and Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, are charted on

Sectional Charts.


d. Federal regulations also prohibit airdrops by parachute or other means of persons, cargo, or objects from aircraft on lands administered by the three agencies without authorization from the respective agency. Exceptions include:

1. Emergencies involving the safety of human life; or

2. Threat of serious property loss.


UA.V.B.K8 - Airport and seaplane base lighting 

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