Flying While Armed Requirements
for Law Enforcement Officers
Information provided by Sergeant
Title 49: Transportation
§ 1544.219 Carriage of accessible weapons.
for which screening is conducted. The provisions
with respect to accessible weapons, do not apply to a law enforcement
officer (LEO) aboard a flight for which screening is required
if the requirements of this section are met. Paragraph (a) of
this section does not apply to a Federal Air Marshal on duty
status under §1544.223.
(1) Unless otherwise authorized by
TSA, the armed LEO must meet the following requirements:
a Federal law enforcement officer or a full-time municipal, county,
or state law enforcement officer who is a direct employee of
a government agency.
(ii) Be sworn and commissioned to enforce
criminal statutes or immigration statutes.
(iii) Be authorized
by the employing agency to have the weapon in connection with
(iv) Has completed the training program “Law
Enforcement Officers Flying Armed.”
(2) In addition to the
requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the armed LEO
must have a need to have the weapon accessible from the time
he or she would otherwise check the weapon until the time it
would be claimed after deplaning. The need to have the weapon
accessible must be determined by the employing agency, department,
or service and be based on one of the following:
(i) The provision
of protective duty, for instance, assigned to a principal or
advance team, or on travel required to be prepared to engage
in a protective function.
(ii) The conduct of a hazardous surveillance
(iii) On official travel required to report to another location,
armed and prepared for duty.
(iv) Employed as a Federal LEO, whether
or not on official travel, and armed in accordance with an agency-wide
policy governing that type of travel established by the employing
agency by directive or policy statement.
(v) Control of a prisoner,
in accordance with §1544.221,
or an armed LEO on a round trip ticket returning from escorting,
or traveling to pick up, a prisoner.
(vi) TSA Federal Air Marshal
on duty status.
(3) The armed LEO must comply with the following
(i) All armed LEOs must notify the
aircraft operator of the flight(s) on which he or she needs to
have the weapon accessible at least 1 hour, or in an emergency
as soon as practicable, before departure.
(ii) Identify himself
or herself to the aircraft operator by presenting credentials
that include a clear full-face picture, the signature of the
armed LEO, and the signature of the authorizing official of the
agency, service, or department or the official seal of the agency,
service, or department. A badge, shield, or similar device may
not be used, or accepted, as the sole means of identification.
If the armed LEO is a State, county, or municipal law enforcement
officer, he or she must present an original letter of authority,
signed by an authorizing official from his or her employing agency,
service or department, confirming the need to travel armed and
detailing the itinerary of the travel while armed.
(iv) If the
armed LEO is an escort for a foreign official then this paragraph
(a)(3) may be satisfied by a State Department notification.
The aircraft operator must do the following:
(i) Obtain information
or documentation required in paragraphs (a)(3)(ii), (iii), and
(iv) of this section.
(ii) Advise the armed LEO, before boarding,
of the aircraft operator's procedures for carrying out this section.
Have the LEO confirm he/she has completed the training program “Law
Enforcement Officers Flying Armed” as required by TSA,
unless otherwise authorized by TSA.
(iv) Ensure that the identity
of the armed LEO is known to the appropriate personnel who are
responsible for security during the boarding of the aircraft.
Notify the pilot in command and other appropriate crewmembers,
of the location of each armed LEO aboard the aircraft. Notify
any other armed LEO of the location of each armed LEO, including
FAM's. Under circumstances described in the security program,
the aircraft operator must not close the doors until the notification
(vi) Ensure that the information required in paragraphs
(a)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section is furnished to the flight
crew of each additional connecting flight by the Ground Security
Coordinator or other designated agent at each location.
for which screening is not conducted. The
provisions of §1544.201(d),
with respect to accessible weapons, do not apply to a LEO aboard
a flight for which screening is not required if the requirements
of paragraphs (a)(1), (3), and (4) of this section are met.
(c) Alcohol. (1)
No aircraft operator may serve any alcoholic beverage to an armed
(2) No armed LEO may:
(i) Consume any alcoholic beverage while
aboard an aircraft operated by an aircraft operator.
an aircraft armed if they have consumed an alcoholic beverage
within the previous 8 hours.
(d) Location of weapon. (1)
Any individual traveling aboard an aircraft while armed must
at all times keep their weapon:
(i) Concealed and out of view,
either on their person or in immediate reach, if the armed LEO
is not in uniform.
(ii) On their person, if the armed LEO is in
(2) No individual may place a weapon in an overhead storage
Title 49: Transportation
OPERATOR SECURITY: AIR CARRIERS AND COMMERCIAL OPERATORS
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§ 1544.221 Carriage of prisoners
under the control of armed law enforcement officers.
(a) This section applies as follows:
(1) This section applies
to the transport of prisoners under the escort of an armed law
(2) This section does not apply to the carriage
of passengers under voluntary protective escort.
(3) This section does not apply to the escort of non-violent
detainees of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. This
section does not apply to individuals who may be traveling with
a prisoner and armed escort, such as the family of a deportee
who is under armed escort.
(b) For the purpose of this section:
(1) “High risk prisoner” means
a prisoner who is an exceptional escape risk, as determined by
the law enforcement agency, and charged with, or convicted of,
a violent crime.
(2) “Low risk prisoner” means any
prisoner who has not been designated as “high risk.”
No aircraft operator may carry a prisoner in the custody of an
armed law enforcement officer aboard an aircraft for which screening
is required unless, in addition to the requirements in §1544.219,
the following requirements are met:
(1) The agency responsible
for control of the prisoner has determined whether the prisoner
is considered a high risk or a low risk.
(2) Unless otherwise
authorized by TSA, no more than one high risk prisoner may be
carried on the aircraft.
(d) No aircraft
operator may carry a prisoner in the custody of an armed law
enforcement officer aboard an aircraft for which screening is
required unless the following staffing requirements are met:
(1) A minimum of one armed law enforcement officer must
control a low risk prisoner on a flight that is scheduled for
4 hours or less. One armed law enforcement officer may control
no more than two low risk prisoners.
(2) A minimum of two armed law enforcement
officers must control a low risk prisoner on a flight that is
scheduled for more than 4 hours. Two armed law enforcement officers
may control no more than two low risk prisoners.
(3) For high-risk prisoners:
(i) For one high-risk prisoner on
a flight: A minimum of two armed law enforcement officers must
control a high risk prisoner. No other prisoners may be under
the control of those two armed law enforcement officers.
(ii) If TSA has authorized more than
one high-risk prisoner to be on the flight under paragraph (c)(2)
of this section, a minimum of one armed law enforcement officer
for each prisoner and one additional armed law enforcement officer
must control the prisoners. No other prisoners may be under the
control of those armed law enforcement officers.
(e) An armed law enforcement officer who
is escorting a prisoner—
Must notify the aircraft operator at least 24 hours before the
scheduled departure, or, if that is not possible as far in advance
as possible of the following—
(i) The identity of
the prisoner to be carried and the flight on which it is proposed
to carry the prisoner; and
or not the prisoner is considered to be a high risk or a low
(2) Must arrive at the check-in counter at least
1 hour before to the scheduled departure.
(3) Must assure the aircraft operator,
before departure, that each prisoner under the control of the
officer(s) has been searched and does not have on or about his
or her person or property anything that can be used as a weapon.
(4) Must be seated between the prisoner
and any aisle.
accompany the prisoner at all times, and keep the prisoner under
control while aboard the aircraft.
(f) No aircraft operator
may carry a prisoner in the custody of an armed law enforcement
officer aboard an aircraft unless the following are met:
(1) When practicable, the prisoner must
be boarded before any other boarding passengers and deplaned
after all other deplaning passengers.
(2) The prisoner must be seated in a seat that is
neither located in any passenger lounge area nor located next
to or directly across from any exit and, when practicable, the
aircraft operator should seat the prisoner in the rearmost seat
of the passenger cabin.
(g) Each armed law enforcement officer escorting a prisoner
and each aircraft operator must ensure that the prisoner is restrained
from full use of his or her hands by an appropriate device that
provides for minimum movement of the prisoner's hands, and must
ensure that leg irons are not used.
(h) No aircraft operator may
provide a prisoner under the control of a law enforcement officer—
(1) With food or beverage
or metal eating utensils unless authorized to do so by the armed
law enforcement officer.
(2) With any alcoholic
§ 1544.223 Transportation
of Federal Air Marshals.
(a) A Federal Air Marshal on duty status may have
a weapon accessible while aboard an aircraft for which screening
Each aircraft operator must carry Federal Air Marshals, in the
number and manner specified by TSA, on each scheduled passenger
operation, and public charter passenger operation designated
(c) Each Federal Air Marshal must be carried on a first
priority basis and without charge while on duty, including positioning
and repositioning flights. When a Federal Air Marshal is assigned
to a scheduled flight that is canceled for any reason, the aircraft
operator must carry that Federal Air Marshal without charge on
another flight as designated by TSA.
(d) Each aircraft operator
must assign the specific seat requested by a Federal Air Marshal
who is on duty status. If another LEO is assigned to that seat
or requests that seat, the aircraft operator must inform the
Federal Air Marshal. The Federal Air Marshal will coordinate
seat assignments with the other LEO.
The Federal Air Marshal identifies himself or herself to the
aircraft operator by presenting credentials that include a clear,
full-face picture, the signature of the Federal Air Marshal,
and the signature of the FAA Administrator. A badge, shield,
or similar device may not be used or accepted as the sole means
(f) The requirements of §1544.219(a)
do not apply for a Federal Air Marshal on duty status.
(g) Each aircraft operator
must restrict any information concerning the presence, seating,
names, and purpose of Federal Air Marshals at any station or
on any flight to those persons with an operational need to know.
(h) Law enforcement officers authorized to carry
a weapon during a flight will be contacted directly by a Federal
Air Marshal who is on that same flight.
Each aircraft operator must use the procedures included, and
the facilities and equipment described, in its security program
to perform the following control functions with respect to each
(a) Prevent unauthorized access to areas controlled
by the aircraft operator under an exclusive area agreement in
accordance with §1542.111
of this chapter.
(b) Prevent unauthorized access to each aircraft.
a security inspection of each aircraft before placing it into
passenger operations if access has not been controlled in accordance
with the aircraft operator security program and as otherwise
required in the security program.
Amendment(s) published May 26, 2006, in 71 FR 30510
Effective Date(s): October 23, 2006
18. Amend §1544.225 by adding new paragraph (d) to read
§ 1544.225 Security of aircraft
* * * * *
(d) When operating under a full program or a full all-cargo program,
prevent unauthorized access to the operational area of the
aircraft while loading or unloading cargo.