HomeAbout UsFlight OperationsUSAFA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Information

USAFA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Information

In accordance with FAA UAS NOTAM FDC 7/7282, all sUAS flight operations, including Public, Civil, and Model Aircraft, are prohibited within the airspace over select national security sensitive facilities, surface to 400’ above the ground, except as provided for below. This includes the physical boundaries of the United States Air Force Academy and Bullseye Auxiliary Field (~32 miles SE of Academy Airfield). The complete list of selected facilities, definitions of the associated airspace in which UAS operations are prohibited, designated facility contacts, and an interactive map of restrictions over USAFA are located at http://uas-faa.opendata.arcgis.com. UAS operations are authorized within the defined Special Security Instructions (SSI) airspace if in compliance with the following requirements:

1) The UAS flight operation has been pre-approved by the designated-facility contact based on criteria established by the sponsoring federal agency in coordination with the FAA; or

2) If the UAS operation is conducted in direct support of an active national defense, homeland security, law enforcement, firefighting, search and rescue, or disaster response mission, and prior notification has been provided to the designated facility contact; or

3) If the UAS flight operation is conducted in direct support of a significant and urgent governmental interest and is approved by the FAA's System Operations Support Center (SOSC) in advance of entering the defined SSI airspace; and

4) The UAS flight operation complies with all other applicable federal aviation regulations

 Operators who do not comply with FAA UAS NOTAM FDC 7/7282 may incur criminal charges under 49 USC 46307.

 Please direct questions regarding SSI UAS restrictions to usafa.drone.uas.request@us.af.mil

Recreational UAS use Outside of USAFA boundary - "Fly for fun"

Current guidelines require a recreational model aircraft/sUAS (Part 101) operator to contact the airport and the Air Traffic Control Tower, if there is one at that airport, before flight if they will be operating within 5 miles of the airport. This notification is critical to ensuring the safety of all flight traffic in the National Airspace System. For more information on recreational model aircraft/sUAS rules please visit https://www.faa.gov/uas.

Remember, you may be closer than you think! The intersections of N. Nevada Ave. and Austin Bluffs Parkway to the south and N. Powers Blvd and Research Parkway to the east are both within 5 miles of Academy Airfield. To contact USAFA about model aircraft/sUAS operations within 5 miles of Academy Airfield or if you are unsure about your proximity to Academy Airfield please contact us at usafa.drone.uas.request@us.af.mil.


Commercial UAS use Outside of USAFA boundary - "Fly for work"

All commercial sUAS users must get approval before flying in USAFA’s Class-D airspace. If you are a Part 107 operator interested in operating within USAFA’s Class-D airspace visit www.faa.gov/uas. If you have questions about the boundary of our Class-D airspace or when it is active contact us at usafa.drone.uas.request@us.af.mil.



5 Mile Radius of Academy Airfield               Academy Airfield Class D Airspace

Section 333 and Public (Commercial/Governmental UAS Ops)

Section 333 commercial operations and all public operations require a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) with the FAA. For Section 333 or Public UAS operations within USAFA’s Class-D Airspace, approval requests must be pre-coordinated using established FAA processes. If you wish to operate under section 333 or you are requesting an operation as a governmental entity (Public COA) please visit www.faa.gov/uas or for more insight regarding USAFA Class-D operating hours or for processes to gain approval to operate in the USAFA Special Security Instructions (SSI), aka; drone restricted airspace, contact us at  usafa.drone.uas.request@us.af.mil.

Rules for sUAS "drone" Use