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Airspace Waivers

General Aviation

Overview

The Airspace Authorizations Office manages the process and assists with the review of aircraft operators who request to enter areas of restricted airspace. Pilots should read all applicable Notice to Airmen (NOTAMS) and/or contact their local Flight Standards Station (FSS) prior to flight operations. It is the pilot’s responsibility to ensure that he or she has obtained the proper authorization from TSA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prior to starting flight operations. For each airspace authorization/waiver applicant, to support the vetting requirements, the last name, first name, social security number, date of birth, place of birth, passport number and passport country are collected. For applications for aircraft operating into, out of, within or overflying the United States, the waiver review process includes an evaluation of the aircraft, crew, passengers, and purpose of flight. Our office then adjudicates the application and provides a recommendation of approval or denial to the FAA Office of System Operations Security.

If you are determined to be eligible for an authorization/waiver, you will be notified and provided with a unique waiver authorization.  Although the vetting process take some time to complete, we anticipate returning results as soon as they are received, provided no adverse information is discovered.  To allow adequate time for vetting and administrative  processing, applications should normally be submitted five business days prior to the desired flight.

The responsibility for managing the waiver process is shared by the FAA and TSA. The FAA asserts the safety provisions of the process while TSA manages the security portion of the process. Pilots must possess a copy of the waiver when filing a flight plan and during flight operations.

Airspace Authorization Office Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 0830 – 1700 EST, excluding Federal Holidays
Main Number:
571-227-2071
Fax Numbers: 571-227-2948 or 571-227-1945

Obtaining a Waiver

  • Waiver request forms can be obtained through the FAA/TSA Airspace Access Program https://waivers.faa.gov/.
  • It is recommended that the USER GUIDE, for the FAA/TSA Airspace Access Program be printed and used as a reference.

Submitting an Airspace Waiver Application

  • Applicants must submit a completed TSA waiver request form online via: https://waivers.faa.gov
  • Waiver applications should be submitted no later than five (5) business days in advance of the flight.
  • The start and end dates of flight must be indicated on the electronic waiver form.
  • A flight itinerary must be provided for all Fleet, Single Trip and No Transponder waivers.

Types of Waivers

Special Events
Special Event Waivers permit authorized flight operations within the Temporary Flight Restricted (TFR), airspace established for special events. Examples of special events might include Political Party Conventions, Presidential Inaugurations, the State of the Union Address, Super Bowl, and others. 

Washington, D.C., Special Flight Rules Area and Flight Restricted Zone
The Washington DC Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) and Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) are described in 14 CFR Part 93 Subpart V and supplemented by FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) as required.  As of January 2013, the effective SFRA/FRZ NOTAM is FDC 0/8326, effective on December 1, 2010.  Additional airspace restrictions and revised procedures may be imposed on short notice, so always check current NOTAMs when filing your flight plan.

Disney Theme Parks
Disney Theme Park waivers permit flight operations within the TFRs areas established for Disneyland and Disney World Theme Parks.  

Major Sporting Events
Sporting Event Waivers permit flight operations within the TFRs established for National Football League, Major League Baseball, NCAA Division I Football, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series main events, Champ Series Races and INDY Racing League main events occurring in stadiums with a seating capacity of 30,000 or more.

International Waivers
International Waivers authorize aircraft operators to operate to/from, within and over the airspace of the United States and its territorial possessions. No Transponder Waivers authorize Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations to/from and within the airspace of the United States without an operating encoding transponder.

Application
Apply for any type of airspace waiver online through the FAA/TSA Airspace Access Program. First-time users will need to register as a new user. Include, Airspace Access Program (AAP), web link: https://waivers.faa.gov

Washington, DC Special Flight Rules Area and Flight Restricted Zone

Applicable Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs)

General Information
The Washington DC Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) and Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) are described in 14 CFR Part 93 Subpart V and supplemented by FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) as required. As of January 2013, the effective SFRA/FRZ NOTAM is FDC 0/8326, effective on December 1, 2010. Additional airspace restrictions and revised procedures may be imposed on short notice, so always check current NOTAMs when filing your flight plan.

GA pilots requesting permission to fly aircraft into the FRZ, including operations to or from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA), Joint Base Andrews (KADW), and Davison Army Air Field (KDAA), must submit an online Waiver Request Application. In some instances, the application must be accompanied by a letter or contract specifying the purpose and scope of the work to be completed. The letter must be attached to the electronic application.

Disney Theme Parks

Applicable Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs)

Disney Theme Park waivers permit flight operations within the Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) areas established for Disneyland and Disney World Theme Parks.

The types of operations authorized are currently restricted by law, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004 (Section 521 of Public Law 108-199) to (a) operational purposes of an event, stadium, or other venue, including the transport of equipment or parts, team members, officials of the governing body, the immediate family members and guests of such teams and officials to and from the event, stadium, or other venue; (b) broadcast coverage for the broadcast rights holder; and (c) safety and security purposes of the event, stadium, or other venue. These waivers grant access only to the specific event TFR and to no other areas of restricted airspace.

Processing the Waiver Request Form

Disney Theme Park applicants must provide to the Airspace Authorizations Office a letter of verification from the relevant Disney Theme Park verifying that the operation is for an operational function of the venue. The letter must identify the pilot’s business name as stated on the application, the pilot name and aircraft registration number along with the venue location, and event name and date. The letter must be attached to the electronic application. Additional Information

  • Breaux Amendment - Section 352 of Public Law 108-7, 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Spending Bill.
  • FAA Reauthorization Act - Section 521 of Public Law 108-199, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004.
  • Event Sponsor – Disneyland Theme Park or Disney World Theme Park.

Major Sporting Events

Applicable Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs)

Sporting Event Waivers permit flight operations within the Temporary Flight Restricted (TFR) areas established for National Football League, Major League Baseball, NCAA Division I Football, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series main events, Champ Series and INDY Racing League main events occurring in stadiums with a seating capacity of 30,000 or more.

The types of operations authorized are currently restricted by law, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004 (Section 521 of Public Law 108-199) to (a) operational purposes of an event, stadium, or other venue, including the transport of equipment or parts, team members, officials of the governing body, the immediate family members and guests of such teams and officials to and from the event, stadium, or other venue; (b) broadcast coverage for the broadcast rights holder; and (c) safety and security purposes of the event, stadium, or other venue. These waivers grant access only to the specific event TFR and to no other areas of restricted airspace.

Processing the Waiver Request Form

Applicants must provide to the Airspace Waivers Branch a letter of verification with a point of contact from the event sponsor (team), venue (stadium or raceway) or national broadcast rights holder (CBS, FOX etc), verifying the contractual obligation of the aircraft operator as required as an operational function of the event or venue. The letter must identify the pilot’s business name as stated on the application, the pilot name and aircraft registration number along with the venue location, and event name and date. The letter must be attached to the electronic application to verify the contractual obligation in compliance with the Section 521 Public Law 108-199. All pilots and crewmembers must be listed as part of the manifest on the application.

Sporting Events Waivers are event-specific. Each approved waiver will specify the name, dates and location of the specific sporting event(s) over which the pilot will be authorized to fly.

Additional Information

  • Breaux Amendment - Section 352 of Public Law 108-7, 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Spending Bill
  • FAA Reauthorization Act - Section 521 of Public Law 108-199, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004
  • Event Sponsor – National Football League team (e.g., Dallas Cowboys), Major League Baseball team (e.g., New York Yankees) major motor speedway team (e.g., NASCAR Sprint Cup– Indy Racing League), NCAA Division I Football team (e.g., University of Florida), or Special Event Sponsor.

International Waivers

Applicable Notices to Airmen


Aircraft operators requesting a waiver to the current published NOTAM must submit the TSA waiver application to TSA Office of Law Enforcement/Federal Air Marshal Service, Airspace Authorizations Office via the FAA/TSA Airspace Access Program. Operators include the following:

  • Business Aviation
  • U.S. Privately Owned and/or Chartered
  • Foreign Civilian Aircraft (non-U.S. registered)
  • Cargo Operations not covered by existing TSA-approved security programs

Types of International Waivers

Single Trip Waivers - International Single Trip Waivers authorize aircraft operators to operate over and within the airspace of the United States and its territorial possessions. This waiver may be granted to individual pilots, companies and/or organizations applying for single day or multiple day flights involving one or more aircraft. Ownership information of aircraft is required. All persons who may be onboard during waiver period MUST be included in the original request. These waivers can be issued for a maximum ninety (90) days.

Fleet Waivers - An international fleet waiver authorizes aircraft operators to operate over and within the airspace of the United States and its territorial possessions. Waivers may be granted to individual pilots, companies and/or organizations applying for a single day trip or multiple day trip flights that involve two or more aircraft. Ownership information of aircraft is required. All persons who may be onboard during waiver period MUST be included on original request. A Fleet Waiver will be issued for a maximum ninety (90) days.

No Transponder Waivers - "No Transponder" waivers authorize Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations within the airspace of the United States without an operating encoding transponder. Ownership information of aircraft is required. All persons who may be onboard during waiver period MUST be included on original request. "No Transponder" waivers are issued for up to ninety (90) days under the following conditions:

Latest revision: 09 December 2014