What We Do

The National Park Service (NPS) aviation program is unique, challenging and the most complex of any aviation programs within the Department of the Interior (DOI). High-risk activities are routinely performed in diverse terrain and environmental conditions. NPS law enforcement activities, search and rescue, firefighting, medical evacuations, natural and cultural resource management activities, and cargo and personnel transport require highly technical aircraft and equipment, as well as highly skilled pilots and personnel, to perform aviation functions critical to accomplishing the NPS mission.

Wildland & Prescribed Fire

Reconnaissance on Lewis Peak Fire

Fire management in our National Parks combines fire operations, prescribed fire and fire ecology in order to maintain fire in the natural ecosystems

Visitor Protection

Protecting the people and the parks.

Resource & Wildlife Management

Nearly 40% of aircraft use in NPS supports natural resource management.

Personnel Transport

Aircraft are another means of transportation used similarly to cars, boats, ATVs and snowmobiles.

Law Enforcement

Mammoth Cave law enforcement

Commissioned employees perform resource stewardship, education, and visitor use management activities, including law enforcement.



The Aviation Program receives support in Administration.

Communication and Education

A plane on display near Death Valley National Park.

Communication and education enhances the knowledge and understanding of National Park Service aviation.

Information Technology

Information Technology

Information technology supports aviation in the NPS.