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I'm interested in any military or civil airspace regulations about where aircraft carriers are allowed to launch and retrieve aircraft.

For example, are fixed wing aircraft allowed to take off from an aircraft carrier while it is docked in port?

I would imagine (though could be wrong) land-based ATC and airspace conflicts have to be managed, amongst other issues.

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  • $\begingroup$ You generally want to be underway when launching fixed-wing aircraft so that you get the most airspeed possible for take-off. $\endgroup$ – SMS von der Tann Sep 26 '16 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ @SMSvonderTann that makes sense. I was wondering if there's any regulations that effect where it can they can take off though. $\endgroup$ – Notts90 Sep 26 '16 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ @vasin1987 I did check the help center but didn't see anything specifying civil/military regulation restrictions. I may have missed it though. $\endgroup$ – Notts90 Sep 26 '16 at 12:28
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    $\begingroup$ Is it allowed to? Sure, probably. The aircraft carrier would just have to coordinate with the associated airspace. Typically unless you are very close to an airport, there is an underlying airspace from the shelf that is open to pretty much anything, as long as they don't bust somebody's airspace then they are fine. As to if it is possible or not, I doubt it. Aircraft carriers have to have some forward speed to assist the take-off of aircraft. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Sep 26 '16 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ I flew on and off the USS Independence (CV-62) while it was pierside in Pearl Harbor, in a helicopter. The issue is for Ship's ATC and local ATC to deconflict/coordinate. (In that case, it was VFR so no big deal). $\endgroup$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 3 '16 at 12:19
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I don't know what permissions are required (guessing a fair bit of paperwork, involving not only the FAA but also port authorities), but taking off in port (in this case, a museum ship) has been done. The USS Midway was stationary, looks like minimal wind, but on the other hand an acrobatic plane with lots of power. (Youtube)

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice video! Do you have any other information on this? It doesn't look like they used the normal ship ATC. $\endgroup$ – Notts90 Sep 26 '16 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Notts90 This was probably conducted under an airshow TFR, which means that they closed the airspace around the vessel specifically for this demonstration. In that case the pilot only needed to coordinate with somebody running the airshow. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Sep 26 '16 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ I don't have any more information, but suspect the airshow TFR is probably correct. $\endgroup$ – Eugene Styer Sep 26 '16 at 16:24
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    $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer - I assumed it was hoisted on deck, but it's much more fun to think of it landing there on its own! After all, there are all those Alaska bush pilots who could get in a full day's worth of touch-n-go practice on one pass down the deck... :) $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Sep 26 '16 at 20:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Freeman how did they get the plane on the deck in the first place. The same way they got an SR-71 onto the Intrepid. ;-) $\endgroup$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 3 '16 at 2:14

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