Aviation Strategic Plan

Because aviation activities have inherent risks, important aspects of the aviation program include risk management, leadership, accountability, and the development of a culture of aviation safety throughout the Service. Managers and supervisors must provide oversight to ensure that these needs and requirements are met in order to minimize the risks associated with performing these operations.

Read the Aviation Strategic Plan 2005–2010

helicopter at Bryce Canyon pilots igniting a prescribed wildland fire

Purpose of the Aviation Strategic Plan

This Aviation Strategic Plan conveys the vision and direction of the NPS aviation management program for the next five to 10 years. The plan was developed by aviation subject matter experts in collaboration with stakeholders and other field personnel. The plan identifies priorities, strategies and emphasis areas that will ensure a continued safe, efficient, effective, and supportive aviation program. It will serve as a communication tool and framework for managers and users to work together toward common goals affecting the NPS.

Areas of NPS Aviation Emphasis

  • Safety
  • Organizational structure
  • Policies and regulations
  • Workforce development
  • Homeland security
  • Facilities and equipment
  • Funding
  • Customer education and outreach
  • Internal and external coordination
  • Environmental stewardship

Flight Plans

Any flight that takes place in which the National Park Service has operational control there is an aviation plan in place. Some flights are covered by an individual Project Aviation Safety Plan (PASP) and then other flights that commonly take place in a Park are addressed by the Park’s Aviation Management Plan. Some special-use operations, such as an aerial ignition project have standardized PASPs, pre-use checklists, go no-go checklists, etc. Interagency Aerial Ignition Guide.

Aviation Plans are an Essential Part of the Mission Planning Process

Mission planning is required for all flights as identified in Departmental and NPS policy. The Chief of Party, fleet pilot, Park aviation manager, dispatcher, or flight manager, may be responsible for compiling the information needed, however the planning process is generally a cooperative effort between all parties involved in the flight.

Templates of aviation planning tools: