The best Government Job Source

State Aviation Manager and Transportation Specialist

Significant Points

The primary duties of this position are directed toward supporting aerial fire suppression and fire use activities. The incumbent advises state and field office fire management officers on aircraft performance, capabilities, limitations, cost-effectiveness and support requirements of firefighting aircraft. The primary duties are administrative and directly connected with the control and extinguishment of fires. The position requires prior firefighting experience and is clearly in an established career path.

Nature of the Work

The incumbent is responsible for all phases of the statewide aviation program including operations, management, administration, safety, training and program evaluation. The incumbent provides advice and guidance to managers, supervisors, project leaders and their staffs, to ensure aviation safety and costeffectiveness in meeting a variety of Bureau missions and objectives. The majority of the employee's duties are directed toward supporting aerial fire suppression and fire use activities. Prior experience and training in wildland firefighting and the use of aircraft in fire suppression is required to carry out the duties and responsibilities of this position.

This position may have supervisory responsibility. The level of aviation management staffing at the State Office level depends on the magnitude and complexity of aviation operations conducted within any given state.

The primary line of work of thi~ position is fire and aviation management. Prior experience in wildland firefighting and aviation management is a requirement of this position.

Unit Aviation Manager, GS-2101-11

This position is located in a multi-agency FieldlDistrict Fire and Aviation Management organization or an Interagency Zone Organization (units). The incumbent is responsible for all phases of the unit's aviation program including: policy development and compliance, budget management, contract inspection, safety, training program, evaluation and all aviation services provided by the aviation program.

The incumbent provides advice and guidance to the local decision-makers, program leaders and project leaders to ensure aviation safety and cost-effectiveness in meeting a variety of bureau goals and objectives.

Prior experience and training in wildland firefighting and the use of aircraft in fire suppression is a mandatory prerequisite to carry out the duties and responsibilities of this position.

This position description is for Unit Aviation Managers in a multi-agency fire organization with program characteristics that include: (I) requirement to negotiate short and long term usage agreements on military restricted airspace; (2) requirement to function as the COR for all assigned unit aircraft; (3) large volume of non-fire aviation support to resource programs; (4) management of multiple types of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and (5) multiple aviation facilities. The aircraft are acquired though a variety of methods (e.g., exclusive use, call when needed, and rental agreement, cooperator aircraft).

Major Duties

Planning and Program Execution (50%)

Responsible for the unit's Aviation Program to include oversight, budget planning, development, execution, and monitoring of all aviation operations. The employee may be responsible for: Tanker Bases, Air Attack Bases, Heliports, Call When Needed (CWN) aircraft, Helitack/Rappel bases, back country airstrips, or non-fire aviation support programs (e.g., law enforcement and investigations, wild horse and burro, rehabilitation, wilderness, timber, remote sensing, and all job service contracts).

Serves as liaison for the interagency coordination and use of tactical and logistical aircraft on multi-agency emergency incidents, mutual aid responses, military operations/coordination or other emergency use of tactical aircraft.

Determines aircraft needed to accomplish missions and recommends priority on the use of aviation assets.

Advises managers and resource program leads on aviation applications in their respective programs.

Develops Unit Aviation Plans, manuals, handbooks, and instructional materials and conducts workshops that provide direction and guidance to field/zone/interagency offices. Periodically inspects all Unit/Zone aviation facilities and airstrips for health and safety code compliance.

Coordinates the unit's aviation frequencies with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Interagency Fire Center.

Aviation Safety and Training Program (25%)

Responsible for the unit's Aviation Safety and Training Program. Conducts training needs analysis and sponsors, conducts, or coordinates aviation training. Is an Office of Aircraft Services (OAS) certified Interagency Aviation Trainer. Identifies and provides training to personnel working in fire and aviation and other employees who use aviation resources. Ensures consistent aviation safety standards are maintained within the unit, and that aviation safety and other training (e.g., flight manager, chief of party) are kept current.

Ensures that the unit's dispatch center(s) operates within current accident/incident response measures.

Reviews the Aviation Safety Communications Database (SAFECOM) and provides recommendations for corrective action. Follows-up on recommendations.

Initiates and participates in investigations for aircraft incidents and accidents. Assists in the preparation of reports. Investigates violations of policies, procedures and safety standards.

Contracting (15%)

Serves as the unit's Contracting Officers Representative (COR) on Call When Needed (CWN) aircraft. Participates in the preparation ofCWN and Exclusive Use contract specifications. Coordinates aircraft inspections to ensure compliance with contract specifications. Monitors aircraft contractor perfonnance and provides findings to appropriate personnel.

Airspace Coordination (10%)

Coordinates requests to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for airspace restrictions. Provides clearances into restricted airspace (Federal Aviation Regulation 91.137) in emergency incident areas. Approves restricted airspace entry for media, cooperators, or military aircraft under controlled conditions. Reports violations to FAA. Insures compliance with Departmental Manuals and Agency Aviation policies and procedures. Develops and updates operating agreements with local FAA and Military operations within the appropriate area.

Negotiates short- and long-tenn agreements on the joint use of restricted or special use military airspace to meet unit's objectives. Coordinates entry into military restricted airspace as required.

State Aviation Manager, GS-2101-12

Major Duties

Aviation Program Management (25%)

Develops, manages and evaluates the State Aviation Management Program to support natural resource management goals, policies and objectives. Ensures that applicable Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Department of the Interior (DOl), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB), General Services Administration (GSA) andOccupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) policies, regulations and procedures regarding aviation management are fully integrated and enforced in the statewide aviation program.

Provides interpretation, guidance and recommendations to the State Director and State Office staff concerning State, Bureau and Departmental aviation policy and regulations. Provides expertise to Program Leaders (WH&B, Law Enforcement, Cadastral, etc.) regarding aviation policy and operational requirements. Serves as liaison between State Director and National Aviation Office (NAO).

Develops, implements and updates the State Aviation Management Plan. This plan standardizes aviation policy, procedures, procurement, training, technical requirements, accident prevention measures and aviation management systems for the statewide program.

Prepares, reviews and disseminates aviation policy statements, instruction memoranda, safety bulletins, manuals and handbooks.

Inspects, evaluates and monitors statewide aviation facilities and operations to ensure that State, Bureau and Departmental regulations and requirements are being met. Conducts internal aviation reviews, Fire Readiness Reviews, periodic site visits, inspections, and participates in national aviation reviews.

Performs aviation needs analyses and provides fire and non-fire resource program managers with aviation costs for use in developing PAWP/AWP. Plans, implements and monitors the statewide aviation budget. Provides technical and fiscal input to Fire Management Plans and Resource Management Plans.

When requested by the National Fire and Aviation Office, may participate on national aviation management initiatives.

Aviation Safety and Accident Prevention (20%)

Develops and implements aviation safety policy and guidance for the State Director, Field Managers and staff. Provides proactive direction and leadership for the aviation accident prevention program.

Prepares or reviews Special Use Safety Plans for specific Field or State Office flights and projects to ensure hazard and risk mitigation. Performs risk management assessments of on-going activities, proposed aviation missions and over-all program standards. Analyzes program performance and systems to identify deficiencies and initiate changes in local or statewide procedures and requirements.

Prepares, updates and disseminates Aviation Incident/Accident Response Guide for use statewide. Provides guidance on the use of aircraft during Search and Rescue activities.

Functions as the state focal point for submission and review of aviation incident/hazard reports (SAFECOM); provides follow-up to ensure unsafe conditions and operations are rectified. Works alone or with Bureau and Office of Aircraft Services (OAS) Safety Managers to recommend corrective action to Field Office Managers, State Director and staff. Prepares statewide SAFECOM summary, analysis and recommendations annually.

Provides expertise in the operational planning of BLM aviation activities on or near Military Training Routes or within Special Use Airspace. Coordinates with military, Federal Aviation Administration and other agency officials to deconflict airspace over public lands and to prepare cooperative airspace management agreements.

Performs aviation safety reviews in the field, scheduled or spontaneously. May serve as a member of aviation safety teams and accident investigation teams assigned within the state or in other states.

During periods of high fire activity the incumbent visits permanent and temporary airbases to observe operations, communicate with aviation and incident personnel, resolve problems and provide recommendations for safety and improvement. May serve on Aviation Safety Teams to conduct reviews and assistance for large interagency incident aviation operations.

Aviation Administration (15%)

Prepares contract and rental aircraft requests and specifications and submits to the National Aviation Office (NAO) and Office of Aircraft Services (OAS). Advises program leaders of technical, administrative and fiscal requirements concerning aviation procurement. Coordinates with BLM Contracting Officers and program leaders to ensure proper specifications are applied when non-OAS service contracts will require the use of aircraft.

Serves as the Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) on all OAS procured aviation contracts assigned to BLM in the state. Designates Project Inspectors for each contract, delegates duties, and monitors performance. Monitors vendor, pilot and aircraft contract performance and mediates local problems. Initiates or completes contract instructions, modifications, extensions and evaluation reports. Provides documentation to the OAS Contracting Officer regarding contract administration, progress, performance, contractor claims, etc. May serve as a witness for the government in a court of law for the resolution of contractor claims. Conducts Contract Post Award/Pre-Work Conferences annually between Vendors and field users.

Performs comparisons between commercial, charter and fleet aircraft to determine the most advantageous mode of transportation and appropriate acquisition of aircraft to comply with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars A-27, A-76, A-123 and A-126. Submits comparisons to 001 Solicitor when Senior Federal Officials, Senior Executive Service officials or non-Federal travelers are proposed passengers. Makes a semi-annual report of SES flights to NAO.

Completes statewide aviation statistical summary annually; provides to State and Field Office Managers. Analyzes data to determine shifts in aircraft use, by activity, and identifies areas of high use or inefficiency that need attention or emphasis.

Technical Assistance and Aviation Training (15%)

Develops and implements standard aviation operational procedures to ensure adherence to Bureau, Department and FAA policy. Issues directives, guidebooks and technical advice.

Analyzes new aviation technology advances in aircraft, avionics, navigational systems, support equipment, personal protective equipment for application and enhancement of Bureau aviation activities. Prepares technical reports and analysis of new products; disseminates to the field and national office. Coordinates procurement, use/training and evaluation of new technology.

Assists OAS in the annual inspection and approval of local aircraft vendors and pilots. Works with OAS and cooperators (USFS, Military, State, and other federal agencies) to ensure only approved aircraft and pilots are utilized by the Agency.

Manages the statewide Aviation Training Program to meet Bureau and Department aviation training requirements and ensure that all employees managing, supervising or involved in aircraft operations are weir trained and fully qualified. Maintains statewide aviation training and qualifications records. Serves as Course Coordinator/Instructor of aviation training sessions and workshops and provides input to interagency aviation curriculum and policy at the regional and national levels.

Fire Suppression (25%)

Advises State and Field Office Fire Management Officers on aircraft performance, capabilities, limitations, cost-effectiveness and support requirements of firefighting aircraft. Conducts Fire Readiness Reviews of fire helicopter and fire retardant bases. Coordinates with local, regional and national fire dispatch/coordination offices and cooperating agencies to establish aircraft priorities, availability, placement and efficient use of firefighting aircraft.

Serves on an Incident Management Team or as miscellaneous overhead in the National Interagency Incident Management System (NIIMS), per qualifications (Air Operations Branch Director, Air Tactical Group Supervisor, Air Support Group Supervisor, etc.)

Supervisory Responsibilities (Optional) (Less than 25%):

Plans, organizes, and directs the activities of subordinates, ensuring that the aviation unit complies with legal and regulatory requirements and meets customer needs. Establishes policies and procedures for accomplishment of the state aviation program. Plans and schedules work in a manner that promotes a smooth flow and even distribution. Coordinates plans and schedules with other organization managers and customers as appropriate. Identifies need for changes in priorities and takes action to implement such changes. Plans work to be accomplished by subordinates, sets and adjusts short-term priorities, and prepares schedules. Assigns work to subordinate employees based on organization priorities and consideration of difficulty and requirements of assignments such that the experience, training, and abilities of staff are effectively utilized to meet organization and customer needs. Balances werkload and provides advice, guidance, and direction on a wide range of aviation and administrative issues. Structures assignments to create effective and economical positions.

Coordinates with other organization managers and customers as appropriate. Identifies requirements and initiates requests for additional resources including personnel, overtime, equipment, supplies, and space to ensure success in meeting goals and objectives.

Exercises supervisory personnel management responsibilities. Advises and provides counsel to employees regarding policies, procedures, and directives of management. Selects or recommends selection of candidates for vacancies, promotions, details, and reassignments in consideration of skills and qualifications, work requirements, and EEO and diversity objectives. Develops, modifies, and/or interprets performance standards.

Explains performance expectations to employees and provides regular feedback on strengths and weaknesses. Holds employees responsible for satisfactory completion of work assignments. Appraises subordinate workers performance ensuring consistency and equity in rating techniques. Recommends awards when appropriate and approves within-grade increases. Hears and resolves employee complaints and refers serious unresolved complaints to higher level management. Initiates action to correct performance or conduct problems. Effects minor disciplinary measures such as warnings and reprimands and recommends action in more serious disciplinary matters.

Prepares documentation to support actions taken. Identifies employee developmental needs and provides or arranges for training (formal and on-the-job) to maintain and improve job performance. Encourages self-development. Approves leave. Recognizes and takes action to correct situations posing a threat to the health or safety of subordinates. Applies EEO principles and requirements to all personnel management actions and decisions, and ensures all personnel are treated in a manner free of discrimination. Periodically reviews position descriptions to ensure accuracy, and the most effective utilization of personnel resources. Explains classification determinations to subordinate employees.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement


Undergraduate and Graduate Education: Major study -- accounting, business administration, business or commercial law, commerce, economics, engineering, finance, industrial management, statistics, traffic management, transportation, motor mechanics, or other fields related to the position.



General Experience (for GS-5 positions): Experience that provided a general knowledge and under-standing of traffic or transportation programs or operations.

Specialized Experience (for positions above GS-5): Experience that demonstrated a knowledge of the transportation function(s) of the position to be filled.

Sources of Additional Information

Information on obtaining State or Unit Aviation Manager positions with the Federal Government is available from the Office of Personnel Management through USAJOBS, the Federal Government's official employment information system. This resource for locating and applying for job opportunities can be accessed through the Internet at or through an interactive voice response telephone system at (703) 724–1850 or  (703) 724–1850  or TDD (978) 461–8404 and   (978) 461–8404. These numbers are not toll free, and charges may result. For advice on how to find and apply for Federal jobs, download the Insider's Guide to the Federal Hiring Process” online here.


  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition; and
  • Office of Personnel Management, Position Classification Standards.

Download Today!

Do Your Homework

The competition is fierce when it comes to finding a government job today, but the best informed job seekers are sure to come out on top. Insider's Guide to the Federal Hiring Process, shows you step-by-step what you need to do in order to be considered for government employment.


We are here to help you and answer your questions.