Reclamation Supplement to Federal Property Management Regulations

Part 37 Government Aviation Administration and Coordination

Subpart 114S-37.75 Aircraft

114S-37.7500 Scope of Subpart.

This subpart establishes procedures and guidelines for the effective management of Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) aircraft. These procedures and guidelines will be used for the maintenance of aircraft, establishing qualifications of operating personnel, all aircraft related safety issues, maintenance of records, and the submission of reports.


The Department of the Interior's (DOI) Aviation policy and Aircraft Accident Prevention Plan as prescribed in the Departmental Manual (DM) and Office of Aircraft Services (OAS) Operational Procedures Memorandum and Reclamation Aircraft Accident Prevention Plan has been adopted as the Standing Operating Procedures (SOP) for Reclamation aviation operations.


The DM's listed below and the instructions contained therein are to be applied to all Reclamation-owned and -operated aircraft, as well as chartered or leased aircraft. Commercial aircraft utilized by Reclamation employees in point-to-point travel are excluded from these requirements.

350 DM 1 General Administration
350 DM 2 Directive System
351 DM 1 Flight Operations Standards and Procedures
351 DM 2 Aircraft Equipment
351 DM 3 Flight Crew Member Policy
351 DM 4 Associate Aircraft
352 DM 1 Aviation Safety Program
352 DM 2 Aircraft Accident Prevention Program
352 DM 6 Aviation Mishap Notification, Investigation and Reporting
353 DM 1 Aircraft Contracting
353 DM 2 Aircraft Rental System
353 DM 6 Aircraft Acquisition and Disposition
451 DM 1 Tort Claims
485 DM 1 Safety

In addition to the above DM's, Reclamation Aviation operations will adhere to the policy prescribed in Reclamation Manual SAF 01, Safety and Health Program Management, all inclusive.


114S-37.7501 Standing Operating Procedures.

SOP's may be developed by the Region/Project as long as they are consistent with the DM and Reclamation policies and procedures. Local SOP's will be forwarded to the Reclamation Aviation Safety Manager for review.


114S-37.7502 Definitions.

The definitions contained herein are used in concert with the definitions found in the DM.


114S-37.7503 Responsibilities.

(a) Commissioner. The Commissioner retains responsibility for control of the number and types of aircraft acquired within Reclamation. Requests to acquire any type of aircraft will be submitted to the Reclamation Service Center (RSC), Attention D-7900, with complete justification. (See also RM 114S-37.7513.)

(b) Regional Directors. Regional Directors are responsible for the proper utilization and maintenance of fleet, chartered, and leased aircraft; for operation of the aircraft in accordance with applicable FAA regulations, including the assignment of qualified pilots; and for compliance with requirements contained herein. They will continuously evaluate aircraft operations to ensure:

(1) Compliance with Federal and State regulations,

(2) Maintenance,

(3) Safety consciousness, and

(4) Availability of equipment and training to support a high degree of pilot proficiency.

Regional Directors are also responsible for the designation of Regional Aviation Managers who are responsible for the overall management of the Regional Aircraft program within their respective areas of jurisdiction.

(c) Reclamation Aviation Manager. The Reclamation Aviation Manager is responsible for issuing aviation policy to support a comprehensive and safe Aviation Program. The Reclamation Aviation Manager position has been delegated to the Leader, Property and Office Services, RSC, Code D-7900, Denver, Colorado.

(d) Reclamation Aviation Safety Manager. Under the oversight of the RSC the Reclamation Aviation Safety Manager is responsible for overall direction, guidance, and support for the Reclamation Aviation Safety program. The responsibilities of the Reclamation Aviation Safety Manager have been delegated to the Chief, Flight Operations at the Phoenix Area Office, Phoenix, Arizona.

(e) Pilots. Refer to section 114S-37.7504 for pilot responsibility and authority.

(f) Flight Schedulers. Flight Schedulers are responsible for:

(1) Providing information;

(2) Publishing daily aircraft schedules;

(3) Working with the pilot and passengers to obtain the most efficient, cost- effective transportation;

(4) Conducting cost comparisons in accordance with OMB Circular A-126; and

(5) Scheduling aircraft when necessary to meet a mission or training requirement.

(g) Employees. All employees are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner which will enhance mission accomplishments in the safest possible way. Passengers must follow the directives of the pilot in all phases of entering and exiting the aircraft, as well as while in flight. Passengers may refuse to fly with any pilot or in any aircraft, if, in the opinion of the passenger, conditions exist which make the flight unsafe. In the event of this type situation an Aviation Mishap Information Report, form OAS-34, is required.


114S-37.7504 Pilot Qualifications.

(a) Full-Time Reclamation Pilots. Persons employed to fill pilot positions will meet or exceed the standards prescribed in the Office of Personnel Management Qualification Standards, Aircraft Operation Series, GS-2181 and as prescribed in 351 DM 3.

(b) Part-Time and Incidental Reclamation Pilots. Any part-time or incidental pilot will possess a valid commercial pilot's license, instrument rating, and FAA Class II medical certificate. In addition, all pilots will be flight-checked by a designated OAS check pilot or an FAA General Aviation District Office Examiner when appropriate: semiannually for instrument flight and annually for all others. Department of the Interior pilot qualifications cards will be issued to all part-time and incidental pilots indicating their qualifications.

(1) Letter of Authorization for Incidental Pilots. If it is determined that an incidental pilot is to operate leased, rented, chartered, or privately owned aircraft in the performance of official duties, including travel, a letter of authorization from the Commissioner is required. Such letter will be issued only when it has been demonstrated that the incidental pilot is technically and physically qualified and proficient for the contemplated flight assignment. Each letter of authorization will specify any restriction on type of aircraft to be flown or any other factors relevant to safe flight. Letters of authorization must be renewed every 2 years. Copies of approved authorizations will be retained by the Reclamation Aviation Safety Manager.

(2) Waivers. Waivers may be obtained from the Director, Office of Aircraft Services. Certain requirements prescribed in this subsection may be waived when the Director determines that such waivers are in the best interests of the Government and that aviation safety considerations are not being unduly compromised. Regional Directors should furnish the Reclamation Aviation Manager a detailed justification that pilot authority is essential in the accomplishment of specific Reclamation projects. Refer to 350 DM 1.9.

(3) Costs for Administrative Flight Checks. OAS will furnish a check pilot for full- and part-time pilots at no cost to Reclamation. Aircraft and related costs for flight checks, training, and upgrading will be provided by Reclamation. Reclamation may be charged for costs incurred by OAS in providing a check pilot for incidental pilots. Where private aircraft are used, the incidental pilot concerned will provide the aircraft and related costs for flight checks and required inspections.

(4) Transportation of Passengers by Incidental Pilots. The transportation of passengers by incidental Reclamation pilots flying or operating aircraft (including privately owned aircraft engaged by the pilot) for official travel is prohibited.

(c) Contract Pilots. Contract or charter pilots will be certified to meet all requirements and regulations established by the FAA and OAS for the particular aircraft and mission.


114S-37.7505 Pilot Responsibility and Authority.

The pilot has primary responsibility for safety. The pilot will refuse to deviate from approved mission profile except for safety of flight and may refuse to pilot any flight, if, in the pilot's opinion, conditions exist which make the flight unsafe.

Pilots are responsible for:

(1) Ensuring the administration, safety, and maintenance of aircraft are in accordance with FAA regulations.

(2) Determining that the aircraft is airworthy and that required periodic maintenance checks are carried out.

(3) Ensuring that all major repairs and overhauls on aircraft are accomplished in commercial shops certified by FAA for each individual aircraft. Repair work may also be performed by Reclamation personnel provided they are certified by FAA.

(4) Interpreting and keeping current with FAA regulations and informed of hazards of flight.

(5) Being aware of and conforming to the Department of the Interior, Federal Aviation Regulations of the FAA, Reclamation Directives, Notices to Airmen, and the regulations and directives of other applicable authorities, including those relating to use for official purposes only and the transportation of unofficial passengers.


114S-37.7506 Utilization.

Effective and economical operation of aircraft depends on optimum utilization of the equipment. Pooled usage of aircraft between regions is encouraged, as is charter flying for other bureaus and Federal agencies, when such service would not seriously impede Reclamation's program. Such charter service will normally include the assigned pilot.

The application of policies and procedures outlined in OMB Circular A-126 applies to all Government owned, leased, chartered, and rental aircraft and related services operated by Reclamation. A travel cost analysis, form OAS-110, or comparable form must be prepared and retained on file to satisfy and justify the documentation requirements of the Circular. The documents must be retained on file for a period of 4 years.


114S-37.7507 Airworthiness.

An aircraft leased or chartered by Reclamation will not be flown unless it has a currently effective FAA Airworthiness Certificate appropriate to its proposed usage. The certificate will be displayed in the aircraft.


114S-37.7508 Official Use.

No officer or employee will willfully use or authorize the use of any Reclamation owned, leased, chartered or rental aircraft for other than official purposes.


114S-37.7509 Transportation of Official Passengers.

Official passengers are those employees of Reclamation, other offices of the Department of the Interior, and other state/local agencies whose presence in the aircraft as passengers is necessary in the accomplishment of official Government business. Since management must choose the mode of transportation most advantageous to the Government, (see Federal Travel Regulations, 41 CFR) employees who have a bona fide aversion to flying will be assisted in every possible way to secure reassignments to positions where a flight requirement does not exist.


114S-37.7510 Transportation of Nonofficial Passengers.

Nonofficial passengers will be limited to Departmental employees and members of their immediate families. Reimbursement of nonofficial passengers will be made in accordance with OMB Circular A-126.


114S-37.7511 Transportation of Others.

Each office will report all uses of Government aircraft by Senior Executive Branch Officials, including for mission travel. In addition, information on nonmission travel by senior Federal Officials and others already reported under OMB Circular A-126 must include the amount of reimbursements collected for travel. Definitions for Senior Federal officials are contained in the Circular in paragraph 5.3.


Reclamation will refrain from providing flights in Reclamation aircraft to members of the press. Since accommodations to all members of the press, i.e., all affiliates of radio, television, newspaper, etc., cannot be provided and as such could be construed as favoritism or misuse to certain press affiliations.

(a) Unusual Situations. In the event an office has occasion to transport unofficial passengers not specifically identified above, a description of the circumstances should be submitted to the RSC, Attention: D-7900, which will request a decision from the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget concerning waiver requirements. Should emergency conditions preclude such advance consideration, a waiver will still be prepared for notification of circumstances to the Assistant Secretary.


114S-37.7512 Aircraft Insurance for Passengers.

Passengers in Reclamation aircraft defined as official, nonofficial, and other (see .7509 through .7511 above) are responsible for obtaining such flight insurance coverage as they deem appropriate. Reclamation personnel will not issue flight insurance policies to aircraft passengers.


114S-37.7513 Replacement of Aircraft.

Proposals for replacements or additional aircraft will be submitted to the RSC, Code D-7910, with complete justifications. Approval must be obtained prior to the acquisition. Acquisition and disposal of aircraft must be in accordance with 353 DM 6. An A-76 review, as required by OMB Circular A-76, must be conducted and approved prior to acquisition of replacement and/or additional aircraft. Refer to Reclamation Manual 114S-71.


114S-37.7514 Disposal of Aircraft.

Disposal of aircraft, aircraft accessories, engines, and spare parts, in instances other than for replacement, requires prior approval of, and will be as directed by the RSC, D-7910. To encourage maximum utilization of equipment within Reclamation and the Department, transfers will be without exchange of funds except when the equipment was acquired with trust funds or other funds which by appropriation language must be reimbursable.


114S-37.7515 Records.

Certain records of the operation and maintenance of Reclamation operated aircraft will be maintained to assist the budgeting of funds, making the reports required by the National Transportation Safety Board, the FAA, and the Commissioner's Office; scheduling inspections and maintenance; and determining the economical replacement of assemblies, engines, propellers, and parts.

(a) Operation Records. The cost of operation of either fleet, rental, leased or chartered aircraft may be charged to any available Reclamation appropriation benefited by its use. As a minimum, the costs of operation will be maintained in accordance with OMB Circular A-76 and A-126, and OAS Operational Procedures Memorandum (OPM-7) or equivalent documentation. This includes but is not limited to pilot and crew salaries and expenses, and other costs such as hangar rental, airport fees, etc.

(b) Aircraft Flight Records. Flight, aircraft, and engine logs showing data, time, etc., of operation will be maintained in accordance with FAA requirements. Records of purpose of flight, names of passengers, points between which flown, and date of flight will be maintained at a minimum for 7 years. Log books are often furnished by the aircraft manufacturer.


114S-37.7516 Reports.

The reports required by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be submitted in accordance with regulations of those organizations. All OAS and the Aircraft Accident/Incident Report will be submitted to the RSC and Reclamation Aviation Safety Manager in accordance with the reporting instructions contained in the Reclamation Aircraft Accident Prevention Plan (appendix 1).

(a) A report for travel by senior Federal officials, family members of such officials, and any non-Federal travel will be submitted to the RSC, D-7910, as indicated below.

Report timeframe Report due date
April 1 - September 30 October 20
October 1 - March 31 April 20


FPMR-15 - 10/2/95 (Supersedes 12/15/83)