14 FAM 550


(CT:LOG-358;   08-25-2022)
(Office of Origin:  A/LM)

14 FAM 551  Policy and objectives

(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
(Foreign Service)

This chapter addresses the Department’s use of U.S. Government aircraft (including  aircraft owned, leased, or rented and operated by the Government, such as military aircraft) for transportation of Department personnel and those carrying out Department official business, as well as requests for aeromedical support and military-airlift support for disaster relief.

14 FAM 552  Scope and Applicability:  criteria for use

(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
( State/USAGM/USAID/Commerce/Agriculture)
(Foreign Service)

a. The transport of either Department personnel, or those carrying out official Department business, on U.S. Government aircraft should only be requested and approved when:

(1)  No scheduled commercial airline service is reasonably available (i.e., able to meet the traveler’s departure and/or arrival requirements within a 24-hour period, unless extraordinary circumstances require a shorter period) to fulfill the Department’s travel requirement;

(2)  The cost of using a U.S. Government aircraft is less than the cost of the city-pair fare for scheduled commercial airline service or the cost of the lowest available full-coach fare if a city-pair fare is not available.  The cost of nonproductive or lost work time while in travel status and certain other costs should be considered when comparing the cost of using a U.S. Government aircraft in lieu of scheduled commercial airline service;

(3)  U.S. Government aircraft is required for bona fide communications (e.g., 24-hour secure communications) or security reasons (e.g., highly unusual circumstances that present a clear and present danger) or exceptional scheduling requirements (e.g., a national emergency or other compelling operational considerations); and/or

(4)  The aircraft is already scheduled for use for an official purpose, and the traveler’s use of the aircraft does not require a larger aircraft or result in more than minor additional cost to the U.S. Government.

b. Otherwise, travel on commercial aircraft is generally assumed to be the preferred option.


(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
(Foreign Service)

a. Current U.S. laws, regulations, and policies related to the use of U.S. Government aircraft include:

(1)  The Federal Travel Regulation, 41 CFR. Chapters 300-304;

(2)  Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-126;

(3)  April 4, 2011 White House Chief of Staff Memorandum on the Use of Military Aircraft on White House Support Missions (“Daley Memo");

(4)  “U.S. Government Aircraft Cost Accounting Guide,” available from the General Services Administration, Office of Government-wide Policy, MTA, 1800 F Street, N.W., Washington, DC  20405;

(5)  Title 31 U.S.C. 1535 and 1536 (the Economy Act);

(6)  National Security Presidential Directive 44, “Management of Interagency Efforts Concerning Reconstruction and Stabilization”;

(7)  Department of Defense Instruction 3000.5 (DoDI), “Military Support for Stability, Transition and Reconstruction” (SSTR);

(8)  Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 4000.19, “Interservice and Intragovernmental Support”;

(9)  Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 4515.13, “Air Transportation Eligibility”; and

(10) 41 CFR 102-33, “Management of Government Aircraft.”

b. Templates for air transportation request memoranda can be found on the Executive Secretariat Infolink Web page


14 FAM 554.1  White House Support Missions

(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
(Foreign Service)

a. To be considered a White House Support Mission (WHSM), the President must have specifically directed that the travel occur.  Travel that is simply in furtherance of a Presidential initiative does not qualify.  As a general rule, such missions will be limited to travel by the Secretary or Presidential emissaries.

b. To qualify as a WHSM, a trip must both be directed by the President and one or more of the following circumstances must exist:

(1)  Commercial airline or aircraft service (including charter) is not reasonably available (i.e., it is unable to meet the traveler's departure and/or arrival requirements within a 24 hour period);

(2)  Use of U.S. Government aircraft is more cost-effective than commercial air;

(3)  Use of U.S. Government aircraft is required to meet emergency needs or national-security concerns (e.g., an emergency exists, personal security requirements,  24-hour secure communications requirements, emergency action responsibilities); or

(4)  Other compelling operational considerations making commercial transportation unacceptable.

14 FAM 554.2  Non-U.S. Government Employees and Non-U.S. Nationals

(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
(Foreign Service)

a. Non-U.S. Government employees and non-U.S. nationals are subject to the same criteria for use of U.S. Government aircraft as U.S. Government personnel, provided that they are providing a “direct service” to the U.S. Government.  See generally 5 U.S.C. 5703 and the Federal Travel Regulations at 41 CFR 300-3.1 (definition of “Federal traveler” and “invitational travel”).

b. Family members of Department personnel are considered by the Federal Travel Regulations to be “non-Federal travelers” for purposes of travelling on U.S. Government aircraft.  They may fly on U.S. Government aircraft with approval by the Office of the Legal Adviser (L).  See generally 14 FAM 532 (family travel) and the Federal Travel Regulations at 41 CFR 301-10.262.

14 FAM 554.3  NSC Request Procedures

(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
(Foreign Service)

a. All Department requests for White House Support Missions must be cleared by S/ES, CGFS, M, L/M, and the relevant bureau or office (if the travel request is for a special emissary, e.g., S/SEMEP).  The memorandum should also be circulated to D, PM, and S/ES-O MilAd.

b. All requests must be sent to the National Security Advisor via Executive Secretariat channels for approval and include the following information:

(1)  The name(s) and title(s) of the traveler(s);

(2)  An explanation of the mission including a specific statement on how it furthers the President’s foreign policy goals;

(3)  Proposed date(s) and destination(s) (an itinerary with detailed information is preferable);

(4)  Any special needs (e.g., access to secure communications);

(5)  A 24-hour Department point of contact with the individual’s name, title, bureau, extension, and e-mail address; and

(6)  With the following statements:

(a)  “We request that this mission be designated a White House Support Mission and that a special air mission aircraft be made available on a non-reimbursable/reimbursable basis to transport . . .” and

(b)  “The Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser has cleared this request.”

c.  To ensure that transportation is available, requests should be submitted to the NSC no later than 96 hours before the proposed departure time.  In addition, the Department should forward a copy of the request to the Director of White House Military Operations at the same time it is sent to the National Security Advisor.

d. Once a request is approved, any change in the itinerary or number of travelers must be submitted in writing to the National Security Advisor with a copy to White House Military Operations.

14 FAM 554.4  DoD Request Procedures

(CT:LOG-358;   08-25-2022)
(Foreign Service)

a. Requests for U.S. military transportation for individual travel requests must be sent to the Executive Secretariat of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) D and to P, L, PM, CGFS, and the relevant regional bureau(s) must clear on the request prior to its submission to the Executive Secretariat.  L/M generally clears on requests for transportation of U.S. Government personnel or those carrying out official business, while requests for airlift support or emergency relief should be cleared with L/PM.  Such requests should also be coordinated with the Military Adviser in State’s Operations Center (S/ES-O MilAd).

b. The memorandum must:

(1)  Certify that the mission to be performed is in the U.S. national interest.  Sufficient detail must be included to enable the Department to properly evaluate and determine that the request meets this criterion; and

(2)  Certify that one of the grounds set forth in 14 FAM 552(a) is satisfied-I.e., commercial transportation is either not available or, for reasons which must be specified, is not capable of satisfying the requirement (see e.g., 14 FAM 555.1).  Commercial transportation includes U.S. and foreign carriers, scheduled or charted, air or surface mode.

c.  The memorandum should also contain the following information:

(1)  Departure or arrival dates and locations for the requested flight;

(2)  Number of passengers and the names and titles of any VIPs;

(3)  Any special requirements;

(4)  A statement specifying whether the flight is reimbursable or non-reimbursable;

(5)  Contact information for State Department and DoD points of contact; and

(6)  The following sentence:  “The Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser has cleared this request.”

d. Requests for DoD assistance for any kind of support for U.S. Embassy Baghdad should include the following statement about NSPD-36:  “Consistent with NSPD-36, the Department of State requests….  The Department of State requests this support on a non-reimbursable basis under such authorities that may be available to DoD.”

e. Where the transportation is being requested in connection with activities that are of direct interest to DoD or relate to DoD’s mission (e.g., base negotiations), this should be clearly stated in the memorandum and the request should be for transportation on a non-reimbursable basis.  Otherwise, requesters should anticipate for planning purposes that DoD will provide air transportation only on a reimbursable basis and the Department will be required to reimburse the DoD pursuant to the Economy Act.  Requesters should ensure that they have sufficient funding and legal authority to pay for transportation.

f.  The requirements contained above in this section do not apply to the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST), which deploys in accordance with the authorities and procedures detailed in National Security Presidential Memorandum 36.

14 FAM 554.5  Defense Attaché Procedures

(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
(Foreign Service)

a. The defense attaché may approve space-available non-reimbursable travel of defense attaché-controlled aircraft for the chief of mission (ambassadors, ministers, or chargés d'affaires) and key members of their staffs designated by the chief of mission, to conduct official U.S. Government business.  This applies only when the primary purpose of the flight is for official business for the defense attaché.  It does not apply if special mission flights are required for normal PCSs of U.S. diplomatic personnel.

b. Spouses or domestic partners (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) of chiefs of mission and deputy chiefs of mission may accompany their sponsors on a space-available basis within the sphere of accreditation (including area of dual accreditation) only when the trip is for official business and, further provided, that the presence of the spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 is requested as being necessary for the accomplishment of official business.


14 FAM 555.1  Cases not Acceptable for Aeromedical Transportation

(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
(Foreign Service)

Cases that are not acceptable for aeromedical transportation include:

(1)  Terminal cases;

(2)  Non-reimbursable cases;

(3)  Personal or family convenience cases; and

(4)  Medical experimentation (unless determined by competent medical authority that such experimentation will save a life) cases.

14 FAM 555.2  Emergency Lifesaving Aeromedical Transportation

(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
(Foreign Service)

a. The following criteria will be strictly adhered to in determining transportation eligibility:

(1)  The patient's illness or injury should be an immediate threat to the patient's life;

(2)  Patient is situated where medical capabilities of adequate diagnosis or treatment, under generally accepted medical standards, are not available in the immediate geographical area.  Transportation should be requested only to the nearest medical facility which can provide such necessary medical capability; and

(3)  Suitable commercial transportation must either not be available or insufficient for U.S. Government requirements.  This will be checked by the regional TRANSCOM Patient Movement Requirements Center (TPMRC) aeromedical duty officer to ensure compliance with DoD policy that the DoD will not compete with the commercial transportation industry in providing this service.

b. All requests for lifesaving transportation should contain the following information:

(1)  Name, age, and sex of patient;

(2)  Affiliation of patient (foreign government, etc);

(3)  Complete medical diagnosis and prognosis;

(4)  Name and phone number of attending physician;

(5)  Name and location of origin hospital;

(6)  Name and location of destination hospital.  For patients originating from or destined for treatment in a DoD military medical treatment facility, the request should include specific language requesting Secretarial Designee status, which may be approved by the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, or Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.   Use of DoD Secretarial Designee authority shall be used very sparingly, and only when it serves a compelling DoD mission interest.  Such care shall be on a reimbursable basis, unless non-reimbursable care is waived by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness or the Secretaries of the Military Departments, when they are the approving authority.  Coordination of international Secretarial Designee requests will include a formal request from the host nation that is then endorsed by the U.S. Ambassador (and SDO/DATT), then forwarded for endorsement by the State Executive Secretary, then requested to the DoD Executive Secretary for action.;

(7)  Name and phone number of receiving physician;

(8)  A statement that possible use of commercial transportation facilities has been fully explored and cannot meet the requirement;

(9)  Name and phone number of person requesting transportation;

(10) Billing address (bona fide lifesaving missions will not be delayed pending receipt of billing address); and

(11) Name and phone number of persons responsible for surface ambulance transportation at both origin and destination.

c.  Send all requests for lifesaving transportation, including the information specified in paragraph b of this section, by "Immediate" telegram to the OSD Executive Secretary.  Also include distribution to S/ES-O MilAd, D, P, L, PM, CGFS, and the relevant regional bureau(s).

d. The joint-forces commander responsible for the area in which the emergency arises has approval authority if the patient's injury or illness is directly related to U.S. Government operations within the area.  Otherwise, requests for movement of foreign nationals must be forwarded to the responsible theater area coordination center (AECC) through the local diplomatic post for a determination of whether the movement is in the national interest and a confirmation of the U.S. Government agency's authority and requirements for placing a request under 31 U.S.C. 1535 -1536.  When the critical nature of the patient's illness or injury precludes submission of a request, the theater AECC may approve based on a State Department determination of U.S. interests and commitment to reimburse the Department of Defense for transportation costs.  A message shall be sent from the theater AECC to the USTRANSCOM, and the TPMRC, confirming the mission and indicating reimbursement source (other U.S. Government agency, the military service, private insurance, etc.).

14 FAM 555.3  Other than Lifesaving Conditions

(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
(Foreign Service)

a. Post should forward these requests by telegram to the Department providing full background and justification as to why aeromedical transportation is requested.  Information on the patient requested in 14 FAM 555.2, paragraph b, should also be included.

b. When the Department through the Executive Secretariat requests transportation, certifying that such transportation is in the national interest and that commercial transportation is neither available nor capable of meeting the requirement, aeromedical transportation may be provided within the area abroad and from abroad to a hospital under other than lifesaving conditions.

c.  This transportation must be recommended by the responsible Theater Validating Flight Surgeon.  One member of the immediate family may accompany a patient as a nonmedical attendant when competent medical authority determines that a family member's presence is essential to the patient's mental and/or physical well being.

d. The sponsoring authority's request must indicate the agency or individual responsible for reimbursement and provide a specific name and address for direct billing.  Reimbursement will be at the non-U.S. Government Rate Tariff, AFR 76-28, paragraph 5, plus applicable in-flight medical charges.  If aeromedical transportation on other than a routine basis (that is, urgent or priority) is required, the tariffs prescribed in AFR 76-28, paragraph 4b, will be charged.


14 FAM 556.1  Foreign Disaster Emergency Relief

(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
(Foreign Service)

a. See 2 FAM and ADS 251, International Disaster Assistance and Series 200 Interim Update 01-06, USAID/BHR Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance’s Guidance for Disaster Planning and Response – FY 2002.

b. The primary U.S. Government provider of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief is the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).  Military assistance for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief should only be requested as a last resort when all other available means have either been exhausted, OFDA is unable to support, or the assistance requested is unique to the U.S. military.  In such cases, the memorandum to OSD must certify that:

(1)  The host government has requested assistance and that the U.S. ambassador has declared a disaster;

(2)  No contract or commercial supplies/equipment/support are available or the assistance is a unique capability that only the U.S. military can provide;

(3)  The requested assistance exceeds OFDA's capabilities; and

(4)  OFDA concurs and has cleared on the memo.

c.  Requests for military airlift support and/or other forms of disaster relief should be cleared by L/PM prior to being submitted to DoD.


(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
(Foreign Service)

a. Federally funded aviation activities of executive branch agencies of the U.S. Government who use Government aircraft to accomplish their official mission, except as otherwise outlined, will adhere to the Federal Management Regulations at 41 CFR Part 102-33.

b. State only: The Department's Aviation Governing Board provides oversight of aviation activities in the Department as described in 2 FAM 800, Managing Aircraft.


(CT:LOG-277;   10-31-2019)
(Foreign Service)

a. All travel on U.S. Government aircraft by senior Federal officials and non-Federal travelers is reported to the General Services Administration (GSA) by the agency that owns, borrows, leases, rents, charters, contracts for and/or operates the U.S. Government aircraft.  Senior Federal travelers and non-Federal travelers are reported to GSA in two reporting periods (October 1 - March 31 and April 1 - September 30) in the Senior Federal Travel Report (SFTR) Tool.  Due dates are April 30 and October 31 respectively.  In addition,  all records about  travelers on U.S. Government aircraft must be made available to the public in response to written requests under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), except for portions exempt from disclosure under that Act.

b. State only:  All Department entities who own, borrow, lease, rent, charter, contract for, and/or operate an aircraft, or acquire aviation services through Commercial Aviation Services (CAS), must report senior Federal travel information to INL/A.  In accordance with the Federal Travel Regulations at 41 CFR 301-10.265, INL/A will compile each bureau and post's Senior Federal Travel Report in the GSA SFTR tool and submit a consolidated report to the Department's Senior Travel Representative in the Office of Logistics Operations (A/LM/OPS) for certification and submission to GSA.  Also see 2 FAM 816.2-1(b). 

c.  USAID only:  All Bureaus and Independent Offices who intend to own, borrow, lease, rent, charter, contract for, and/or operate an aircraft, or acquire aviation services through Commercial Aviation Services (CAS), must obtain prior approval from the Chief of the Travel and Transportation Division (M/MS/TTD).  TTD will compile the Senior Federal Travel Report for certification and submission to GSA in accordance to the Federal Travel Regulations at 41 CFR 301-10.265.

14 FAM 559  unassigned