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Approval Process for DOD Air Carriers

User Request > DOD Contracting Agency > DOD Evaluation Process (DOD COMMERCIAL AIRLIFT DIVISION) > Commercial Airlift Review Board (CARB) Decision>

Authority and Guidance
10 USC Sec 2640 (Public Law 99-661)
DOD Instruction 4500.53
32 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Part 861 National Security Decision Directive 280
AMCI 10-402

Commercial Air Transportation Quality and Safety Requirements

The requirement for DOD evaluation of commercial air carriers is established in US Law and DOD policy. Procedural guidance and DOD requirements are published in the Code of Federal Regulations (32 CFR 861). DOD requirements are customer oriented, focused on safety, and based on the best practices in the air carrier industry.

DOD Evaluations

DOD air carrier evaluations include on-site surveys, desktop performance evaluations (PEs), cockpit observations, and aircraft ramp inspections. The frequency of on-site surveys and PEs are established in law and DOD policy. Passenger carriers undergo an on-site survey once every 2 years. A performance evaluation will be completed every 6 months. All evaluations are based on the criteria published in 32 CFR 861.

On-site survey teams consist of operations and maintenance evaluators. These evaluators will examine programs and conduct interviews on a non-interference basis with the carrier. FAA principal inspectors will also be contacted. The results of DOD surveys are shared with the FAA and Department of Interior, and when requested, the National Transportation Safety Board.

A PE consists of interface, usually via telephone, between our personnel and the FAA principal inspectors assigned to that carrier.

Model Programs

We have compiled the characteristics of the best air carrier programs seen, and developed individual model programs for the areas DOD evaluates. These model programs are designed to assist air carriers; however, the use of a specific model program is not mandated by the DOD.

DOD Commercial Airlift Review Board (CARB)

The CARB is comprised of DOD senior officials (general/flag officers or civilian equivalent). The CARB is institutionalized by US Law and authorized to make decisions regarding the use or nonuse (including suspension) of air carriers participating or attempting to participate in the DOD Air Transportation Program.