Flying a sUAS on or near Luke Air Force Base has both safety and legal responsibilities. If you intend on operating a drone as a hobbyist (AC 91-57A) or a commercial operator (Part 107), this information will assist you.
Luke Air Force Base wants to ensure flying safety remains paramount in the airspace around Luke AFB, Aux-1 (Morristown), and Gila Bend Auxiliary Field / neighboring Aux-6 (KGAX) by asking all drone/UAS operators to become knowledgeable and practice good general operating rules required to fly a Drone/sUAS in the National Airspace System.
If you have never flown a Drone/sUAS, or it has been a while since you have flown, we encourage you to visit the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS Website “Getting Started” at https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started for the latest rules and insights governing Drone/UAS operations.
Prohibited Flight over Military Installations
All sUAS flight operations, including Public, Civil, and Model Aircraft, are prohibited within the airspace over select national security sensitive facilities (including Luke AFB, Luke’s Wastewater Treatment Facility, Falcon Dunes Golf Course, Aux-1, and Gila Bend Auxiliary Field), surface to 400 feet above the ground in accordance with UAS NOTAM FDC 7/7282. These areas are designated ‘National Defense Airspace.’ Operators who do not comply with this NOTAM may incur criminal charges under 49 USC 46307. Visit http://uas-faa.opendata.arcgis.com for more information and to see an interactive map of all locations specified in the NOTAM.
National Defense Airspace Maps Affecting Luke AFB and Flight Operations
(PROHIBITED sUAS FLIGHT)
• National Defense Airspace Luke AFB (includes Falcon Dunes Golf Course and Waste Water Treatment Facility), click here.
• National Defense Airspace Aux-1, click here.
• National Defense Airspace Gila Bend Auxiliary Field / neighboring Aux-6 (KGAX), click here.
Recreational Users – “Fly for Fun”
Ref: FAA Advisory Circular 91-57A, Model Aircraft Operating Standards
The FAA requires all recreational sUAS operators to provide advance notification to the airport operator and Air Traffic Control Tower prior to operating their sUAS weighing more than 0.55 pounds within five statute miles of an airport. Names for UASs may include, but are not limited to, model aircraft, “drones,” and quadcopters, etc.
Hobbyists must submit a notification request to operate in Luke and Gila Bend Class D airspace by completing a Small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) Notification Request for Flying in Controlled Airspace (AC 91-57A). Forms must be completed in full and emailed to luke.drone.UAS.firstname.lastname@example.org. Luke will review requests daily (Mon-Fri) and respond accordingly.
• Luke AFB sUAS Notification Request, click here.
If you are still unsure if you are within 5 miles of an airport, you may download a free FAA mobile application called “B4UFLY” that will show your current location and a circle around each airport that helps you determine if you should notify those airports.
In accordance with AC 91-57A, hobbyists are also restricted from flying sUASs within the Luke AFB Special Flight Rules Area, known as the Luke Special Air Traffic Rules (SATR) area near Luke AFB and Aux-1. Maps identifying these areas can be found here. To request flight within this area, please complete the Luke AFB sUAS Notification request.
Commercial Users – “Fly for work”
CFR Part 107
Commercial operators wishing to fly in Luke’s/Gila Bend’s Class D airspace must request a Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the FAA. That request will be evaluated by the FAA and Luke AFB. To request a waiver, visit https://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver
Notice about Military Training Routes (MTRs)
Luke aircraft fly along “low level” Military Training Routes almost every day. These routes cover a large portion of AZ and are flown as low as 100 feet above the ground and higher. If you are operating a drone/UAS under these routes, please use extreme caution not to exceed 400 feet above the ground unless previously coordinated through the COA process. Additionally, sUAS operators are strongly encouraged to file Luke AFB sUAS Notification Request for operations beneath the low levels training routes in order for our aircrews to be extra cautious in the area where you may also be operating.
• Luke AFB Low Level Military Training Routes are identified by VR-### and a map of those routes can be found here.
If you have questions or concerns about Drone/sUAS activity near Luke AFB, at the Aux-1 airfield, at Gila Bend, or around Luke, or if you would like to let us know about your own operations, please contact us at Luke.Drone.UAS.Request@us.af.mil. Thank you for helping us keep the skies safe!