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Luke Air Force Base Information about Drones/Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Airman with a drone

Airman with a drone

Flying a sUAS on or near Luke Air Force Base has both safety and legal responsibilities. If you intend on operating a drone in or around Luke AFB assigned airspace, this page will provide you guidance and resources to operate your sUAS within the legal parameters and in a safe manner.

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 (KGXF)/ neighboring Aux-6 (KGAX), by asking all drone/UAS operators to become knowledgeable and to practice good general operating rules required to fly a Drone/sUAS in the National Airspace System. Guidance for sUAS/Drone flight within Luke AFB airspace is outlined below.


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


• 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.

sUAS/Drone Authorization within Luke Airspace

In order to fly within any controlled airspace (including Class B, C, and D airspace) or above 400’ at any location, or if any non-standard flying operations will occur (over 100 mph, night flying, etc.), all sUAS/Drone operators need to submit a waiver through the FAA before executing any flying operations. FAA COA’s are explained on the FAA website (https://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver) and can also be found on the FAA’s DroneZone portal (https://faadronezone.faa.gov/#/). If you are unsure as to whether or not you require a waiver please reference the FAA’s guidance or contact the Luke AFB airfield operations flight staff. Once you have an approved waiver you may only fly within compliance of the parameters outlined in the COA. We will do our best to work with the FAA in order to quickly process waivers that fall within airspace assigned to Luke AFB, but FAA waiver requests may take up to 60 days to get approved.

Furthermore, if you are trying to fly a drone/sUAS directly over any of the National Defense Airspaces outlined in the previous section (i.e. within the physical perimeter of Luke AFB/Gila Bend AFAF, not just within the Class D airspace) you must also submit a DoD waiver that is separate from the FAA COA; please be advised that the DoD waiver process can take up to 6 months. For questions and guidance regarding DoD waivers please contact the Luke AFB airfield operations flight staff.

All sUAS operators must be aware of any stipulations outlined in their approved waivers as well as any other events/airspace restrictions that would impact their flying operations (TFRs, public events, night-time operations etc.). Failure to do so may result in criminal prosecution. sUAS/Drone operators are also strongly encouraged to register their aircraft with the FAA.



Notice about Military Training Routes (MTRs)

Luke aircraft fly along “low level” Military Training Routes on a regular basis. These routes cover a large portion of AZ and are flown as low as 100 feet above the ground. If you are operating a drone/sUAS under these routes, you many under no circumstances exceed 400 feet above the ground unless previously coordinated through the COA process. Additionally, sUAS operators are strongly encouraged to notify the Luke AFB airfield operations flight staff for usage beneath the low levels training routes so that Luke AFB pilots can be notified and proceed with caution in affected areas.

• Luke AFB Low Level Military Training Routes are identified by VR-### and a map of those routes can be found here.


Helpful FAA Links:

FAA DroneZone: https://faadronezone.faa.gov/#/

FAA UAS Guidance: https://www.faa.gov/uas/

B4UFLY Mobile App: https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/where_can_i_fly/b4ufly/

FAA UAS Interactive Map: http://uas-faa.opendata.arcgis.com

FAA Waiver Request Instructions: https://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver

14 CFR 107 (legal guidance on sUAS use): https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=e331c2fe611df1717386d29eee38b000&mc=true&node=pt14.2.107&rgn=div5#sp14.2.107.a

Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns about Drone/sUAS use near Luke AFB, at the Aux-1 airfield, or at Gila Bend Auxiliary Airfield please contact the airfield operations flight staff at 623-856-7341. For broader questions regarding FAA drone policies or waivers outside of Luke AFB assigned airspace please contact the FAA UAS/Drone office via email at UAShelp@faa.gov or call 844-FLY-MY-UA. Thank you for helping us keep the skies safe!


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