Is a SUA overlay possible?


I’ve checked the forums but I can’t find this particular request so here goes…

Is it possible to overlay special use airspace (SUA) (Prohibited, MOAs, Class B, FRZ, ADIZ, etc.) on the radar screen?

I do a fair amount of flying in and around an ADIZ and FRZ and it would be great to be able to further use FlightAware as a training tool for pilots new to the region. A SUA overlay would be especially useful in pointing out just how vigilant crews have to be in the surrounding airspace.

Look forward to hearing from you and keep up the great work.



Yes, we have the data we need to be able to do that. I can see how it would be really valuable to show people how rigorous pilots are about avoiding prohibited areas, etc. We think it’s a great idea, and we’ll do it, although not until after the big map updates we’ve already announced have been rolled out. How it will work is you’ll have a checkbox to enable/disable the viewing of a special-use airspace layer.

Once this is available, please make sure everyone you train or tell about this knows that none of the FlightAware maps are currently part of any approved training curriculum, that our maps are not guaranteed to be accurate, and that they are NEVER to be used for navigation purposes.


Epecially showing how fun it is for even commercial pilots to go through the Edwards AFB/29 Palms corridor.


And maybe even showing, for the edification of us all, which aircraft ignore SUA. :open_mouth: :laughing:


I would guess that none of them ignore it, or at least you wouldn’t see it. On IFR the controllers automatically keep them clear and on VFR they won’t be on radar flight following anyway. Anyone who busts them (assuming they can be indentified) gets violated later by the FAA, so they don’t get another chance. Pretty strictly enforced!

You might know the difference, but for benefit of other readers: SUA includes but is not limited to Restricted and Prohibited airspace. Aircraft can go through those with approriate ATC authorization, which might not happen a lot, but does happen. Some of these areas (maybe even most) are not active all of the time and usually have altitude limitations. You wouldn’t know from watching FA whether they were authorized or not, active or not, or how high they extend. For example, even the notorious Washington ADIZ only goes to, but not including, FL180 (roughly 18,000 feet), but at that altitude you must be on an IFR flight plan and ATC can send you right over it.

SUA also includes alert areas and Military Operations Areas (MOAs) which anyone can go through VFR at any time but should simply be vigilant for the special operations. It may not always be wise, but it’s not illegal. IFR traffic are automatically vectored clear of active MOAs. Then there are Warning areas that would be Restricted, but are offshore and therefore outside the US jurisdiction. And probably a few more that I’m not mentioning.