The management of NPS aircraft is collaborative effort between NBC-AMD and the NPS. Here are some examples of the tools used in the business management of NPS fleet and contracted aircraft.
In the business of managing aircraft, the administrative side can be extremely important for a number of reasons. Parks must justify their need to use aircraft not only from a safety risk management side, but also for financially sound reasons. Documentation of this need can justify the use of aircraft over other methods.
Once parks have a documented need for aircraft, they can procure flight services from a number of options one of which is to solicit for a contract set up for the exclusive-use of NPS. NPS requests these services through the NBC-AMD Aviation Acquisition Branch which is responsible for the centralized contracting for aircraft and related services for all Department of the Interior agencies. Solicitation for aircraft services are advertised through the Federal Business Opportunities website.
Another option for filling requests for aircraft is to use contracts that are set up in advance for intermittent use and often are contracted by our interagency partners for interagency use. There are a variety of these types of contracts; the DOI Call When Needed Program has a number of contracts available to the NPS:
- On Call SEAT (Single Engine Air Tankers)
- Variable Term SEAT
- On Call BLM Wild Horse and Burro
- On Call ACETA Helicopter
- On Call Small Helicopters
- On Call Air Tactical Fixed Wing
- On Call and Variable Term Water Scooping Air Tanker
- Aircraft Rental Agreement (ARA)
Of course, in addition to these contract vehicles, the NPS has 27 fleet (government-owned) aircraft available to support Park missions. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires, through the Exhibit 300 process, agencies to develop, implement and use a capital programming process to develop their capital asset portfolio. This process requires an evaluation of current aviation fleet resources and demonstration of projected return on investment that are equal to or better than alternative uses of available resources.