2 FAM 800

2 FAM 810 


(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)
(Office of Origin: INL/A)


(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

a. The Department's policy for managing aircraft adheres to Title 41 Code of Federal Regulations (41 CFR), supplements the regulations in 14 CFR Chapter 1, “Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation,” and outlines the Department’s flight program requirements in situations where 14 CFR Chapter 1 does not apply.  Per 41 CFR 102-33, these rules apply to all Federally-funded aviation activities of executive branch agencies of the U.S. Government that use Government aircraft to accomplish their official business.

(1)  The Department will acquire, manage, and dispose of Federal aircraft and acquire and manage Commercial Aviation Services (CAS) as safely, efficiently and effectively as possible. This includes aircraft acquired or operated by the Department for official business and aircraft acquired for, or made available to, foreign governments for counternarcotics or law enforcement operations and other foreign assistance purposes.

(2)  The Department will document and report the following data pertaining to Department-owned or exclusively leased aircraft:

(a)  Types and quantity of aircraft;

(b)  Costs of acquisition and operation;

(c)  Number of flight hours per airframe;

(d)  Mishaps, accidents and incidents; and

(e)  For aircraft made available to a foreign government, detailed records on the use of such aircraft.

(3)  Department-owned or exclusively leased aircraft must be used only to accomplish the Department’s official business or made available to a foreign government for foreign assistance purposes.

(4)  All passengers traveling on the Department’s aircraft must be authorized to travel on such aircraft.

(5)  OMB Circulars A-126, A-76, A-11, and A-94 and 41 CFR 102-33, which prescribe requirements for managing aircraft, must be complied with.

(6)  Contracting aircraft for one-time use must be accomplished through a bureau/office with a policy-compliant aviation program or in coordination with A/LM/OPS.

b. The Department, through its designated Senior Aviation Management Official, participates in, and coordinates its policy with, the Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy (ICAP). The ICAP advises the General Services Administration (GSA) on making policy for Federal aviation management.

c.  The Department’s Aviation Governing Board (AGB), which the Under Secretary for Management chairs, provides oversight of aviation activities in the Department, to include the Aviation Working Capital Fund (AWCF).

d. All Department bureaus/offices desiring to establish new aviation programs/contracts, including Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) greater than 55 pounds, must request and obtain approval of the AGB in advance, with the exception of nonrecurring and unpredictable aero-medical evacuation authorized pursuant to 16 FAM 300.  Approval for UAS not exceeding 55 pounds is delegated to INL/A (see 2 FAM 815.3).  Bureaus/offices requesting such new programs/contracts will submit their requests (with specific requirements and justifications), along with a cost-benefit analysis, to the AGB Executive Secretariat prior to initiating action with the Department’s Office of Acquisition. The cost-benefit analysis for proposals involving capital acquisitions will be in conformance with the OMB A-11, Part 2, Section 51 Aviation Business Case Summary format with reference to the Aircraft Capital Asset Planning Desk Guide and will also consider commercial outsourcing alternatives. The Aviation Safety Management Systems and Flight Program Standards Committee will provide comments and recommendations on all proposals (whether for capital acquisitions, Commercial Aviation Services, inter- and intra-departmental transfer of aviation assets, or aircraft required to fly as Federal Aircraft) to the AGB for consideration in the approval process. Additionally, for any proposal including aeromedical evacuation services, the AGB will request, receive, and consider a technical and patient safety analysis from the Bureau of Medical Services prior to acting on such requests.  Acquisition Management in the Bureau of Administration will assist the AGB by identifying all potential acquisition actions involving aviation assets and/or services and flagging them for AGB attention. After an aviation program/contract receives initial approval by the AGB, routine contract renewals/extensions, exercising of option years, and modifications that do not significantly expand the scope will not require AGB approval. 


(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

The objective of this chapter is to define responsibilities and procedures beyond the CFR for implementing the Department's policy for managing aircraft.


(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

This policy applies to the management of all activities related to “Government Aircraft” as defined in 41 CFR 102-33.5.  This includes:

(1)  Aircraft that the Department owns, bails, loans, or borrows.

(2)  Commercial aircraft that the Department hires as Commercial Aviation Services (CAS), which the Department:

(a)  Leases or lease-purchases with the intent to take title;

(b)  Charters or rents; or

(c)  Hires as part of a full-service contract.

      The term aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight, regardless of where the pilot is located. As such, this policy and the term aircraft applies to both manned aircraft and UAS.


(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

Authorities include:

(1)  31 U.S.C. 1343, which states an appropriation is available to buy, maintain, or operate an aircraft only if the appropriation specifically authorizes the purchase, maintenance, or operation; and

(2)  Section 636(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, which states that funds made pursuant to the Act shall be available for purchase, maintenance, operation, and hire of aircraft. According to the Act, an aircraft for administrative purposes may be purchased only as specifically provided in an appropriation or other Act.

(3)  41 CFR 102-33.50, stipulates additional circumstances under which the Department can acquire Government aircraft, to include Commercial Aviation Services (CAS).

(4)  22 U.S.C. 2684, which established a working capital fund for the Department of State.


2 FAM 815.1  Aviation Governing Board

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

The Department of State Aviation Governing Board (AGB) is responsible for approving policies, Aviation Working Capital Fund budgets, and strategic plans for the Department’s aviation assets and activities.  The AGB Charter provides details on the Board’s scope, composition, processes, and procedures.  In carrying out this role, the AGB shall give due regard to the statutory mandate of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) in the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act (Public Law 99-399) to research, develop, and implement technical and physical security programs in carrying out its worldwide (foreign and domestic) security and law enforcement activities. Such emerging technologies that may be utilized by DS include UAS and tethered aircraft.  The Board shall also recognize the statutory mandate of the Bureau of Medical Services within 22 USC 4081 to provide for the medical travel and air ambulance evacuation of eligible beneficiaries, which may be conducted notwithstanding review by the Aviation Governing Board.

2 FAM 815.2  Senior Aviation Management Official

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

The Under Secretary for Management designates a Senior Aviation Management Official (SAMO) for the Department, in accordance with 41 CFR 102-33.30. The SAMO is the agency’s primary member of the Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy (ICAP). The SAMO also is responsible for:

(1)  Designating the certifying official for the Federal Aviation Interactive Reporting System (FAIRS);

(2)  Appointing representatives of the agency as members of ICAP subcommittees and working groups;

(3)  Serving as Airworthiness Determination Official for all Department-owned aircraft;

(4)  Ensuring the agency’s internal policies and procedures are consistent with aviation management requirements in OMB Circulars and Federal Management Regulations; and

(5)  Representing the Department and promoting flight safety and adherence to standards.

2 FAM 815.3  INL Office of Aviation (INL/A)

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

INL/A provides aviation services to INL, and also to the Department at large as requested, subject to resources and capability.  INL/A is responsible for complying with the provisions of this chapter as well as OMB Circulars A-126, A-76, A-11, and A-94 and 41 CFR 102-33.  Additionally, as part of the Department’s Management Control Plan (see 2 FAM 020), INL/A must establish cost-effective management control systems to ensure that INL/A aviation programs are managed effectively, efficiently, economically, and with integrity.  INL/A is available to provide technical advice and assistance on aviation matters to other bureaus/offices providing or acquiring aviation services.

2 FAM 815.4  Directorate of Operational Medicine (MED/DO/OM)

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

The Bureau of Medical Services’ (MED) Directorate of Operational Medicine (MED/DO/OM) maintains the Department’s standing aviation support capability for: (1) biocontainment medical evacuation (MEDEVAC); (2) non-biocontainment MEDEVAC; (3) rapid deployment of crisis engagement teams, mission critical personnel, and equipment; and (4) evacuation of personnel and cargo from posts in crisis through the Multi-Mission Aviation Support Services (MMASS) contract.

2 FAM 815.5  Office of Logistics Operations (A/LM/OPS)

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

The Office of Logistics Management (A/LM) in the Bureau of Administration acquires commercial one-time use special aircraft charters when needed to meet special requirements for the Department, e.g., short notice evacuation of personnel from an Embassy or transport of urgently required cargo using a Federal Management Regulation tender of service as opposed to a Federal Acquisition Regulation contract.

2 FAM 815.6  Other Department Organizations Providing Aviation Services

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

Department aviation organizations conducting aviation activities that are not serviced by INL/A, MED/DO/OM, or A/LM/OPS are also responsible for complying with the provisions of this chapter as well as OMB Circulars A-126, A-76, A-11, and A-94, and 41 CFR 102-33.  Details of those activities must be provided to the Aviation Governing Board and the SAMO to ensure compliance with Department reporting requirements.  Commercial Aviation Services (CAS) contracted within the Department are included in this requirement.  Additionally, as part of the Department's Management Control Plan (see 2 FAM 020), activities providing aviation services must establish cost-effective management control systems to ensure that aviation programs are managed effectively, efficiently, economically, and with integrity.


2 FAM 816.1  Planning, Budgeting, and Acquisition

2 FAM 816.1-1  Planning

(CT:GEN-393;   05-16-2012)

a. In planning for the acquisition and operation of aircraft, the AGB must:

(1)  Consider all phases of the capital asset life cycle;

(2)  Develop capital asset plans;

(3)  Consider alternatives to include Commercial Aviation Services (CAS); and

(4)  Evaluate the benefits and costs of all options to arrive at the most effective arrangement possible.

b. Strategic plans involving ownership of aircraft must clearly demonstrate how these capital assets will contribute to meeting the goals and objectives of the Department and why they are necessary.

2 FAM 816.1-2  Aircraft Acquisition/Procurement

2 FAM 816.1-2(A)  Conditions Under Which Official Business Aircraft Can Be Purchased

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

The Department may only acquire aircraft for official business under the following circumstances:

(1)  Aircraft are the optimum means of supporting the Department's official business;

(2)  The organization does not have aircraft that can support this official business safely and cost-effectively;

(3)  No commercial or other U.S. Government source, including CAS, is available that would meet the specific requirements safely and cost effectively;

(4)  Legal authorities exist to allow this procurement (see 2 FAM 814.); and

(5)  The AGB approves the acquisition.

2 FAM 816.1-2(B)  Benefit-Cost Analysis

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

a. Before acquiring aircraft, Department bureaus/offices must comply with the following:

(1)  31 U.S.C. 1343, Buying and Leasing Passenger Motor Vehicles and Aircraft;

(2)  OMB Circular A-126, Improving the Management and Use of Government Aircraft;

(3)  OMB Circular A-11, Part 2, Section 25.5. Table 1, Business Case for Acquisition and Maintenance of Aircraft;

(4)  OMB Circular A-76, Performance of Commercial Activities; and

(5)  OMB Circular A-94, Guidelines and Discount Rates for Benefit-Cost Analysis of Federal Programs.

b. OMB Circular A-11, Part 2, Section 25.5, Table 1, provides instructions for submitting a business case for the acquisition and maintenance of aircraft. Any organization proposing the acquisition of aircraft must prepare such a business case and include it in its proposal to the AGB and its budget submission to the Department.  A business case is not required for acquisitions of Unmanned Aircraft Systems unless they are capital assets (i.e., they exceed $25,000 in value and are expected to be in use for at least two years).

2 FAM 816.1-2(C)  Excess Capacity Not Authorized

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

Organizations must not acquire or hold more aircraft than are needed or aircraft that are of greater size or capacity than required to perform U.S. Government functions cost effectively. If the AGB determines excess capacity exists, it may agree to redistribute assets, but must meet applicable legal requirements, if any, for obtaining a determination by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary and notifying Congress prior to transferring aircraft.

2 FAM 816.1-2(D)  Compliance With Acquisition Regulations

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

a. All bureaus/offices within the Department must comply fully with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs) and the Department of State Acquisition Regulation (DOSAR) in order to purchase or lease-purchase aircraft or award a Commercial Aviation Services (CAS) contract, with the exception of one-time use civilian airline charter services acquired off the spot market using a tender of service. Bureaus/offices should consult with the AGB Aviation Safety Management Systems and Flight Program Standards Committee for guidance regarding compliance with CFR 102-33.140 Flight Program Standards.

b. The Department must comply with OMB Circular A-11, Capital Programming Guide II.8 and II.9, by ensuring that management control systems exist to identify and mitigate cost and schedule performance risks. All cost- types of contracts must institute control systems to monitor contractors' cost, schedule, and performance variances.

2 FAM 816.1-2(E)  Requirement for Five-Year Reviews

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

After 5 years of holding an aircraft, the Department must review its operations, establish a continuing need for the aircraft, and demonstrate that aircraft operations are cost effective (see 41 CFR 102-33.200).   This is accomplished annually by the AGB’s Federal Aircraft Fleet Management Committee.  Additionally, the AGB must monitor the usage and cost effectiveness of aircraft on a continuing basis.

2 FAM 816.1-2(F)  Commercial Aviation Services (CAS)

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

CAS include leasing, chartering, or renting an aircraft for exclusive use, as well as contracting for full aviation services (i.e., aircraft and related services) or aviation related services only.  Department bureaus/offices must only contract for Commercial Aviation Services (CAS) when:

(1)  Aircraft are the optimum means of supporting the agency’s official business;

(2)  Using commercial aircraft and services is safe and is more cost effective than using Department-owned aircraft, aircraft from any other U.S. Government source, or scheduled air carriers; and

(3)  The AGB approves the contract.

2 FAM 816.1-3  Budgeting and Financial Management

2 FAM 816.1-3(A)  Budgeting

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

Aviation budgets must capture cost elements aligned with the U.S. Government Aircraft Cost Accounting Guide and must include the following additional cost elements where applicable:

(1)  Facility construction costs;

(2)  Aviation Life Support Equipment (ALSE);

(3)  Training costs;

(4)  Herbicides;

(5)  Ammunition; and

(6)  Weapons and Weapons Systems.

2 FAM 816.1-3(B)  Cost Accounting and Reporting

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

Department of State offices with responsibility for acquiring and/or managing aircraft must account for the operations and ownership costs of their aircraft as described in the GSA U.S. Government Aircraft Cost Accounting Guide and 41 CFR 102-33.190.  Bureaus and offices providing or contracting aviation services are responsible for maintaining an automated system to collect and report cost data elements as the Federal Aviation Interactive Reporting System (FAIRS) requires for their fleet of aircraft.  Bureaus/offices providing or contracting services are required to report data in FAIRS in accordance with 2 FAM 816.3-1.  All FAIRS submissions will be via INL/A.  This FAIRS information permits the organization to:

(1)  Justify the use of U.S. Government aircraft in lieu of commercially available aircraft, and the use of one aircraft in lieu of another;

(2)  Recover costs of operating aircraft when appropriate;

(3)  Determine the cost effectiveness of aircraft programs; and

(4)  Conduct cost comparisons under OMB Circular A-76 to justify in-house operation of U.S. Government aircraft versus procurement of commercially available aircraft services.

2 FAM 816.1-3(C)  Cost Recovery

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

When Department aircraft are used to support other agencies, the Department may be required to recover the costs in accordance with applicable law and regulations, such as 41 CFR 102-33.205, Section 13 of the State Department Basic Authorities Act (22 U.S.C. 2684), 31 U.S.C. 1535, and Section 607 of the Foreign Assistance Act.  When cost recovery is required, INL/A, the Aviation Working Capital Fund, MED/DO/OM, A/LM/OPS, other bureaus/offices providing or contracting aviation services, and those organizations receiving/funding that support must:

(1)  Ensure an agreement for cost reimbursement is established;

(2)  Recover the costs; and

(3)  Arrange for and obtain reimbursement for aviation support provided to other Department elements, missions, programs, or activities that fall outside of their own mission, authorities, and appropriation purposes.

2 FAM 816.2  Flight Program Standards

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

Department of State Aviation - INL, MED, A, and other bureaus/offices/posts providing or contracting aviation services are responsible for establishing flight program standards that meet the requirements in 41 CFR 102-33.140-185. The Department meets this responsibility through the Aviation Governing Board’s Aviation Safety Management Systems and Flight Program Standards Committee, which establishes flight program standards for Federal aircraft operations and Commercial Aviation Services in the areas of management, administration, operations, maintenance, flight personnel training, flight program safety, aircraft accident/incident reporting and high-risk operations and special personnel requirements.  Department bureaus/offices desiring to acquire or contract aircraft in support of their missions must submit a proposal to the Aviation Governing Board (AGB) per the AGB Charter that includes flight program standards.  However, Department bureaus/offices desiring to acquire a charter aircraft off the spot market with a tender of service are not required to gain approval from the AGB.  Department of State bureaus/offices providing or contracting aviation services must establish or require (contractually, where applicable) the following requirements through their flight program standards:

(1)  Basic qualifications and currency requirements for pilots and other crewmembers, maintenance personnel, administrative personnel and other mission-related personnel;

(2)  Limitations on duty time and flight time for pilots and other crewmembers;

(3)  Procedures to record and track flight time, duty time, training of crewmembers, and applicable requirements;

(4)  Compliance with owning-agency or safety of flight notices and operational bulletins;

(5)  Flight-following procedures to notify management and initiate search and rescue operations in the event of lost or downed aircraft;

(6)  Dissemination of an appropriate disclosure statement to all crewmembers and qualified non-crewmembers who fly aboard Government aircraft (see, e.g., Appendix A to 41 CFR 102-33);

(7)  Creation of a manifest at the origin of each flight containing the full names of all persons on board for each leg of flight, a point of contact for each person, and phone numbers for the points of contact;

(8)  Documentation of any changes in the manifest by leg, and retention of manifests for two years from the time of flight;

(9)  Procedures for reconciling flight manifests with persons actually on board and a method to test those procedures periodically;

(10) At the origin of each flight, preparation of a complete weight and balance computation and a cargo-loading manifest, and retention of this computation and manifest for 30 days from the time of flight;

(11) Appropriate emergency procedures and equipment for specific missions;

(12) Procedures to ensure that required Aviation Life Support Equipment (ALSE) is inspected and serviceable; and

(13) Procedures to implement a “risk assessment” before each flight and/or as frequently as necessary that include such items as weather, crew rest, type of flight (low level, Instrument Flight Rules [IFR], night, etc.), crew makeup, etc.  This process should be accomplished in accordance with a published operations, flight dispatch, or flight following procedures/programs.

    Note: Acquisitions of one-time use civilian airline charter services are exempt from adhering to points (1) through (13) above.  When sourcing one-time-use aircraft charters from civilian airlines domestically, the Department will source Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified 14 CFR Part 121, 125, and 135 operators.  When international operators are required due to airframe type or origin/destination requirements, the Department will source operators that maintain a 14 CFR Part 129 certification or equivalent from the operator’s country’s Civil Aviation Authority, i.e., operators from countries that have a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) International Aviation Safety Assessment program category 1 rating.  Alternatively, the Department can source operators who meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, e.g. European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) operators, Third Country Operators (TCOs) holding an EASA safety authorization, and International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) registered operators or International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) program registered member operators.  The Air Mobility Command (AMC), a component of the U.S. Transportation Command, maintains a Commercial Airlift Review Board (CARB) list of approved DOD operators.  Designation as an AMC-approved CARB operator can be determined/confirmed by contacting the Office of Logistics Operations (A/LM/OPS).  Contact A/LM/OPS when considering an operator registered in a country that does not have an FAA category 1 rating or an operator that does not meet ICAO standards.  Deviation from or exceptions to the standards listed above require a determination from the Under Secretary for Management.

2 FAM 816.2-1  Operations and Training

2 FAM 816.2-1(A)  Documenting Aircraft Use

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

In accordance with OMB Circular A-126, Department of State  bureaus/offices/posts providing or contracting aviation services must ensure documentation of the use of Department aircraft, including tail number, date(s), pilot and crew names, purpose, routes flown, and passengers on board, and retain such information for a minimum of two years.

2 FAM 816.2-1(B)  Reporting Senior Federal Official Travel

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

The Department must report to GSA, on a semi-annual basis, travel by senior Federal officials, members of their families, and certain non-Federal officials, in accordance with OMB Circular A-126.  Inputs will be provided to INL/A for all Departmental Senior Federal Travelers using Government Aircraft (not applicable for travelers using DoD aircraft).

2 FAM 816.2-1(C)  Instructional Program

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

Bureaus/offices must establish or require (contractually, where applicable) the following standards for training and evaluating flight program personnel:

(1)  An instructional program to train and evaluate flight program personnel, initially and on a recurrent basis, in their roles, responsibilities, and authorities, and in the operational skills relevant to the types of operations conducted.  Flight program personnel may include, for example, managers, pilots and other crewmembers, flight safety personnel, maintenance personnel, administrative personnel and dispatchers; and

(2)  An instructional program that meets the specific requirements for safety manager training identified in 41 CFR 102-33.180(a).

2 FAM 816.2-1(D)  Arming Aircraft

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

Aircraft owned, leased, or operated by the Department may be armed only when mission requirements dictate and only for defensive purposes. Organizations within the Department desiring to arm aircraft for defensive purposes must:

(1)  Adhere to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, where applicable (specifically INL), and/or other legal requirements and authorities applicable to arming aircraft;

(2)  Establish Rules for Use of Force approved by the Chief of Mission, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Special Protective Equipment Review Board, and the Office of the Legal Adviser that are consistent with the local law of the country in which the aircraft are operated; and

(3)  In consultation with INL/A, ensure a comprehensive training program for aerial gunnery and use of force is in effect.

(4)  These provisions also apply to armed aircraft made available to foreign governments for foreign assistance purposes when such aircraft are supporting official business of the Department.

2 FAM 816.2-1(E)  Designation of State Aircraft

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

All Department-owned aircraft performing governmental non-commercial functions are designated “State Aircraft” consistent with the Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944, also known as the Chicago Convention.   In certain environments and under special circumstances, it may be necessary or warranted to declare other aircraft, to include Commercial Aviation Services (CAS) aircraft that are conducting governmental functions on behalf of the U.S. Government, as State Aircraft.  In these situations, the owner and the operator of the aircraft must consent to conduct the operation under a “State Aircraft” designation.   

(1)  A State Aircraft declaration carries significant implications for the Department and the U.S. Government.  For example, State Aircraft are exempt from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety regulations and oversight for the duration of the designation, which provides the Department with additional operational flexibility but also additional responsibility with respect to the airworthiness and safe operation of such aircraft.  At the same time, State Aircraft enjoy sovereign immunity and are generally not subject to boarding or inspection by foreign government authorities without the consent of appropriate U.S. Government authorities.  As such, the authority to declare a Department-contracted aircraft as a State Aircraft is vested with the Under Secretary for Management.

(2)  Contracting officials should clearly document any authorization(s) provided to the operator of a State Aircraft to deviate from FAA regulations or other requirements applicable to civil aircraft, and should narrowly tailor such deviations in scope and time only to the extent strictly required to accomplish the Department’s objective.

(3)  In designating State Aircraft, it should be considered that a State Aircraft can only operate in or through a country’s airspace with that state’s explicit permission.  This is generally accomplished through the diplomatic clearance process, or the establishment of a blanket clearance for a specific country that covers applicable State Aircraft operations.

(4) Additional questions about a potential designation of a mission as a State Aircraft should be directed to PM/GPI, L/PM, and/or L/EB.

2 FAM 816.2-2  Maintenance

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

For Department owned/managed aircraft, bureaus/offices providing or contracting aviation services must establish, or require (contractually, where applicable) procedures to:

(1)  Record and track duty time and training of maintenance personnel;

(2)  Establish maintenance and inspection programs that comply with owning-agency or military safety of flight notices, FAA airworthiness directives, or mandatory manufacturers bulletins applicable to the types of aircraft, engines, propellers and appliances that they operate;

(3)  Prevent the operation of aircraft with insufficient operable instruments and equipment (e.g., establishment of Minimum Equipment Lists and Configuration Deviation Lists);

(4)  Ensure utilization of technical support, including updated technical publications and appropriate engineering documentation and testing, for aircraft, power-plant, propeller, or appliance repairs, modifications, or equipment installations;

(5)  Establish and maintain a quality control system for acquiring replacement parts, ensuring that the parts acquired have the documentation needed to determine that they are safe for flight and are inspected and tested, as applicable; and

(6)  Record and track maintenance actions, inspections, and the flight hours, cycles, and calendar times of life-limited parts and Flight Safety Critical Aircraft Parts (FSCAP).  Procedures for acquisition, tracking, use, and disposal of FSCAP must comply with 41 CFR 102-33.115, 41 CFR 102-33.230, and FAA Advisory Circular 20-142.

2 FAM 816.2-3  Safety

(CT:GEN-571;   04-22-2021)

All Department bureaus/offices providing or contracting aviation services must establish, adopt, (or require contractually, where applicable) a written safety program that complies with the following requirements in accordance with 41 CFR 102-33.180-185:

(1)  A Safety Management System (SMS) that complies with the FAA's current Advisory Circular that addresses SMSs or an equivalent internationally recognized SMS standard;

(2)  Policies that define clear roles and responsibilities for implementing an SMS.  This includes ensuring that senior-level management has the ultimate responsibility for the SMS.  Members of management appointed as qualified aviation safety managers and safety officers must have experience as a pilot or crewmember, or experience in aviation operations, aviation maintenance, or flight program management, has and must have graduated from an aviation safety officer course provided by a recognized training provider;

(3)  Establishing an accident-prevention program that includes:

(a)  Measurable accident prevention procedures (e.g., safety reviews, clear roles and responsibilities, operations and maintenance procedures, pilot and mechanic proficiency evaluations, fire drills, crash drills, and hazardous analysis);

(b)  A system for disseminating accident-prevention information;

(c)  Safety training;

(d)  An aviation safety awards program;

(e)  An aviation safety council;

(f)   A pre-accident plan that culminates with a notification to the Under Secretary for Management; is tested semi-annually; is included in the proposal of the program to the AGB; and

(g)  Procedures for returning aircraft data plates of destroyed aircraft to property management personnel for proper disposition.

(4)  Implementing a risk management program to identify, analyze and take steps to mitigate hazards to a minimum practical level;

(5)  Policies that require the use of independent, unbiased inspectors to verify compliance with standards;

(6)  Procedures for personnel to report safety hazards and unsafe operations to senior safety personnel and management without reprisal;

(7)  Establishing a system for collecting, reporting and investigating accidents and incidents (as required by 49 CFR part 830 and 41 CFR 102-33.445-450), and conducting causal analysis for the purpose of finding recommendations for future mishap prevention.

(8)  Policies and procedures that identify clear standards for acceptable behavior, preventing and deterring unlawful acts, and responding to threats and unlawful acts.

(9)  A security program that includes a designated security manager,   threat assessment process, and security training for personnel.  Additionally, policies and procedures for a mail security plan, including a plan to protect staff and occupants of facilities from hazards that might be delivered in the mail, including an agency's use of aircraft for mail delivery, if required under the cognizant civilian flight program standards;

(10) Standing aviation operations must establish an internal and external program assessment process. The managing program office will conduct internal evaluations using the appropriate checklist. By their nature, Federal Aircraft programs, Commercial Aviation Services (CAS), and charter operations require different methods of assessing and ensuring safety standards. To the maximal extent practicable, programs shall be subject to external evaluation.

(a)  Federal Aircraft programs – The managing program office will assess their Federal Aircraft programs according to the assigned timetable against the Aviation Resource Management Survey (ARMS) checklist derived from the Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy (ICAP) standards, with participation by outside ICAP members where practical.  The managing program office will supervise corrective actions until completed and provide updates to the AGB on an annual basis.

(b)  CAS – Standing programs in which the Department neither owns nor operates the aircraft shall be subject to evaluation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense Commercial Airlift Review Board (CARB). Non-U.S. operators shall demonstrate compliance with the commercial standards of their local Civil Aviation Authority and an accepted international safety standard such as EASA, EASA TCO, IS-BAO, or IOSA. The COR will track discrepancies and corrective actions until completed and provide updates to the AGB on an annual basis.

(c)  Charter Operations – To meet this requirement, the Department shall prioritize FAA Category 1 operators and/or vendors accredited under internationally recognized safety standards, e.g. EASA, EASA TCO, IS-BAO, IOSA, etc., when hiring aviation services.

      The purpose of the assessment is to identify program deficiencies in the areas of operations, maintenance, training, standardization, safety, logistics, and management for corrective action to mitigate risk. The Department’s standard is for each program or CAS operation to receive an external evaluation every 24 months.

(11) Standing operations that require an air ambulance component will ensure the vendor maintains a current Commission of Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) or a National Accreditation Alliance Medical Transport Applications (NAAMTA) certificate at the advanced life support level/standard or higher.

2 FAM 816.3  Property Management and Reporting

2 FAM 816.3-1  Federal Aviation Interactive Reporting System (FAIRS)

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The Department must comply with General Services Administration (GSA) reporting requirements for aircraft under the Federal Aviation Interactive Reporting System (FAIRS).  This entails detailed property and cost reporting for all Department-owned or -leased aircraft and Commercial Aviation Services (CAS) aircraft. The Office of Aviation (INL/A) is responsible for FAIRS reporting for the Department but must receive data from other Department offices that own, operate, or lease aircraft to ensure complete reporting.  INL/A has published detailed procedures in the INL Aviation Program Policies and Procedures Handbook for organizations to report their data for incorporation into INL’s information system for FAIRS reporting.  Program managers must comply with these procedures to ensure aircraft and costs are captured in the system and that new aircraft acquisitions, disposals, transfers, or replacements are reported. See also 2 FAM 816.1-3(B) and 14 CFR 102-33.190-210 regarding aviation cost accounting.

2 FAM 816.3-2  Integrated Logistics Management System (ILMS) Reporting

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INL/A and other bureaus/offices providing or contracting aviation services must ensure that Department-owned aircraft are reported as capital assets to the Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services for inclusion in financial statements.  The Department’s Integrated Logistics Management System (ILMS) is the vehicle for entering this data.


2 FAM 817.1  Definitions

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a. Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS): An unmanned aircraft and its associated elements related to safe operations which may include but not be limited to control stations, data communications links, support equipment, payloads, flight termination systems, and launch/recovery equipment.

b. Unmanned Aircraft (UA): An aircraft that is remotely operated without direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.

c.  Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) UAS: UAS meeting any of the following descriptions:

(1)  UAS sold in substantial quantity in the marketplace and offered to the government in the same form in which it is sold to non-government consumers.

(2)  UAS that are commercially available to the public from both domestic and foreign manufacturers.

(3)  UAS that were commercially available in original form, but have been modified with different hardware, software, or payloads.

(4)  UAS ground command and control elements to include smart phone or tablet with associated software and hardware that are commercially available.

2 FAM 817.2  UAS Policy

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a. INL/A coordinates with other federal agencies on UAS policy, to include participation in the ICAP subcommittee on UAS, and provides Department UAS policy as approved by the AGB.

b. INL/A will perform these functions consistent with Section 106(a) of the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-399, 22 U.S.C. 4801, et seq.), as amended , which imposes an affirmative obligation on other Federal agencies to cooperate with the Department in carrying out its security, law enforcement, and other responsibilities.

2 FAM 817.3  Requirements for Acquiring and Employing UAS

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a. Bureaus/offices that already have or intend to acquire (by purchase, lease, loan, or commercial aviation services contract) and/or employ UAS must:

(1)  Comply with  the Small UAS (SUAS) requirements and standards listed below regarding qualification, acquisition, training, operations, safety, maintenance, and electronic media management, if the UAS weighs up to 55 pounds. (UAS weighing more than 55 pounds fall outside of the Small UAS category included under 14 CFR Part 107 and have more stringent aircraft and pilot certification requirements and operational limitations and therefore will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis).

(a)  Qualification: At a minimum, all SUAS Remote Pilots must be certified in accordance with 14 CFR 107 and possess a valid Remote Pilot certificate, issued by the FAA or Host Nation equivalent.

(b)  Acquisition: Federally vetted SUAS and SUAS Management Information Systems (MIS) must be acquired whenever feasible.  This includes SUAS and SUAS MIS utilized by the U.S. DOD, DHS, DOJ, DOE, and DOI.  Due to cyber-security risks, Chinese made SUAS and SUAS MIS may only be acquired on an exception basis after conducting a thorough risk assessment and with approval of the Aviation Governing Board.

(c)  Training:

(i)     Initial SUAS Remote Pilot training will consist of obtaining knowledge and skills necessary to achieve 14 CFR 107 certification or Host Nation equivalent.

(ii)    Pilots will receive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) training on specific SUAS models when available and feasible.

(iii)    Remote Pilots that will be instructing other personnel will obtain instructor training when feasible.

(d)  Operations: SUAS shall be operated in accordance with 14 CFR 107 or Host Nation equivalent; and OEM guidance.  Host Nation waivers or FAA Certificates of Authorization (COA) for conducting operations otherwise not authorized under 14 CFR 107 will be handled on a case by case basis, in coordination with INL/A.

(e)  Safety: Any mishap, incident or accident that results in death, physical injury, or >$500 in property damage shall be immediately reported to the Executive Secretariat, per 2 FAM 816.2-3 (6) and (7).  The AGB Executive Secretariat will forward the reports to the AGB Safety Management Systems and Flight Program Standards Committee for review and action.

(f)   Maintenance: Preventative maintenance and unscheduled repairs shall be conducted in accordance with OEM guidance.

(g)  Electronic Media Management: At a minimum, all electronic media management must be managed in accordance with 12 FAM 500 and 600 (series).  Due to cyber-security risks, Chinese electronic media management systems may be acquired/operated only on an exception basis after conducting a thorough risk assessment.

(2)  Coordinate with and obtain approval per 2 FAM 811(d) prior to acquiring UAS.

(3)  Report FAIRS data on UAS through INL/A to the GSA, just as is done for other types of aircraft.  FAIRS reporting is only required for UAS when the cost basis exceeds $25,000 and they have a useful life of two years or more.

b. Bureaus/offices desiring to acquire UAS to donate to other parties, such as host nation organizations, will require approval of the AGB, and a title transfer determination.  Coordination with INL/A is required prior to the acquisition.  In addition, any transfer of UAS to foreign persons must be consistent with, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations or the Export Administration Regulations.

c.  INL/A and other bureaus/offices providing or contracting for UAS aviation services are responsible for verifying compliance with the requirements of paragraph 2 FAM 817.3.a. (above) upon implementation of the program and annually thereafter.

2 FAM 817.4  Responsibilities and Authorities for Regulating Department UAS

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a. INL/A is the approval authority, on behalf of the AGB, for the acquisition of SUAS (i.e., UAS weighing no more than 55 pounds).

b. INL/A is responsible for making recommendations to the AGB and M regarding bureau/office UAS program compliance with the aforementioned requirements.

c.  INL/A will consult with IRM/IA in reviewing and approving requests for acquisition and establishing standards in order to ensure that cybersecurity concerns are properly addressed.

d. In the event of unsafe, unauthorized, and/or illegal practices, INL/A will immediately notify the AGB and M; and may recommend corrective actions, restrictions, and/or prohibitions on bureau/office SUAS operations and/or acquisitions.

2 FAM 817.5  Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Protections:

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All Bureaus/offices will be in compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requirements for Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties protections.