Introduction of military operating areas

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Royal Australian Air Force F-18F Super Hornet
Royal Australian Air Force F-18F Super Hornet

To enhance the safety of airspace users during military training or exercise activities, we are phasing in a new type of special use airspace called military operating areas (MOAs).

So what is a MOA?

According to the Aeronautical Information Package (AIP) – Airservices (airservicesaustralia.com), they are a type of special use airspace intended for military training and exercises conducted at specified times. They may straddle both international airspace and Australian territory and will include conditions on the flight of Australian aircraft and foreign-registered aircraft within Australian territory.

All military restricted areas outside Australian territory, and some areas within Australian territory, will transition to MOAs by 28 November 2024.

The first MOAs were introduced on 30 November 2023 at the following military bases and have been distinguished with an ‘M’ prefix:

  • Cerberus (VIC)
  • Edinburgh (SA)
  • East Sale (VIC)
  • Nowra (NSW)
  • Williamtown (NSW).

 These changes will bring us into line with international law and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements.

Plan your flight

It’s important for operators and pilots to review the Aeronautical Information Package (AIP) before planning a flight.

Relevant restricted areas, danger areas and MOAs, and any applicable entry conditions will be published in CASA’s biannual Prohibited, Restricted and Danger Areas Declaration and Determination instrument.

Drone operators must request an approval from the administering authority listed in the AIP to operate in a MOA and conditions of entry may be imposed. We recommend drone operators check the advisory message in a CASA-verified drone safety app.

More information is available on the CASA website.

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