USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Important Information

Federal Flight Deck Officers

Much of the information related to this program is considered to be Sensitive Security Information and cannot be disclosed publicly by either program participants or the Federal Government. The following additional information is releasable and provided for interested volunteers to review and consider prior to submitting an application.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will protect the records of Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) applicants and FFDOs from public disclosure to the full extent of the law and in accordance with required procedures. A recommendation by the volunteer's employing air carrier will be obtained during the selection process. The air carrier may choose not to make a recommendation on your behalf. The TSA will decide whether a pilot is qualified for the program (i.e. air carriers do not have a "veto") and a no recommendation from the air carrier does not prevent your participation in the program.


  • The TSA will determine which volunteers may be deputized as FFDOs. Deputation may be granted only after successfully completing all phases of the application process, up to and including the required training program.
  • Initial deputation will be for a period of five years unless suspended or revoked by the program. Additional periods of deputation will require program management review, in addition to required background updates.

Law Enforcement

  • FFDOs are considered Federal law enforcement officers only for the limited purposes of carrying firearms and using force, including lethal force, to defend the flight deck of an aircraft from air piracy or criminal violence.
  • FFDOs are not granted or authorized to exercise other law enforcement powers such as the power to make arrests, or seek or execute warrants for arrest, or seizure of evidence, or to otherwise act as Federal law enforcement outside the jurisdiction of aircraft flight decks.
  • FFDOs are issued credentials and badges to appropriately identify themselves to law enforcement and security personnel, as required in the furtherance of their mission.
  • FFDOs are issued firearms and other necessary equipment by TSA
  • FFDOs are responsible for the readiness and daily security of their firearms, credentials and equipment.
  • FFDOs are authorized to transport secured firearms in any state for a flight on which they are flying to or from as approved by TSA as necessary for their participation and activities in the program.

Rights and Responsibilities

  • The purchase, possession and use of drugs and alcohol are restricted for FFDOs any time they are in possession of an issued firearm and for a period of time before transporting the firearm.
  • FFDOs must submit to inspection of their credentials as needed by authorized TSA employees and law enforcement officers when acting in the capacity of an FFDO.
  • FFDOs may be suspended or removed from the program and/or fined civil penalties for program violations.
  • FFDOs and air carriers employing FFDOs are not eligible for compensation from the government for participation in any aspect of the program.
  • It is not required that Air carriers provide their flight crew members time off outside normally scheduled days off for FFDO training and activities.

A federal flight deck officer shall not be liable for damages in any action brought in a federal or state court arising out of acts or omissions of the officer defending the flight deck of an aircraft against acts of criminal violence or air piracy unless the officer is guilty of gross negligence and/or willful misconduct.

Latest revision: 30 December 2014