What We Do
We implement U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) aviation policy and lead the USFWS ability to manage the nation’s trust resources from the sky. Our responsibility includes the safety and training oversight of the USFWS fleet of aircraft and pilots, as well as our fleet of unmanned aircraft systems and remote pilots. From wildlife surveys and habitat monitoring to law enforcement surveillance and fire management, we have been expanding to cover a broad spectrum of conservation work across the continent through the Migratory Birds Program, National Wildlife Refuges, Office of Law Enforcement and other agencies.
Our Laws and Regulations
The USFWS Aviation Program is regulated by a layer of laws and policies that start with Title 14 (Aeronautics and Space) of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). These are the policies developed and administered by the Federal Aviation Administration and apply to all aviation in the U.S. The Department of Interior has its own aviation policies, administered by the Office of Aviation Services, that apply to any aviation assets utilized in the furtherance of the Interior’s mission. These include Departmental Manuals, Operational Procedures Memoranda, Memorandums of Understanding, handbooks, guides, standards, and booklets. Finally, USFWS has its own polices, administered by the Branch of Aviation Management, that applies specifically to USFWS and are outlined in the Service Manual and the National Aviation Management Plan.