Updated April 5, 2017

An Interim Final Rule (IFR) published by TSA in the Federal Register on July 15, 2005, established security procedures that allowed GA operations to resume at DCA. These procedures include a requirement that every GA flight operating into or out of DCA have onboard an armed security officer specially trained and authorized by TSA. Persons authorized as ASOs are not employed by the federal government, but are compensated for their services by either a FBO or the aircraft operator conducting the flight.

Eligible participants must:

  • Participate voluntarily
  • Be a U.S. citizen or national
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be free from any emotional or mental condition which might adversely affect the exercise of the requirements of the position
  • Have successfully completed a basic law enforcement training certificated program conducted by an entity authorized to train persons to perform as a law enforcement officer
  • Be an active law enforcement officer in good standing; a qualified retired officer; or a qualified former officer in good standing each requiring a minimum of four years of law enforcement experience
  • Not have been terminated for cause by a previous law enforcement employer or have had an approval or authorization revoked by TSA, or been subject to a serious disciplinary action by a previous employer
  • Not have had a certification revoked by TSA

Applicants who meet all eligibility requirements and who pass all necessary background checks must successfully complete, at their own expense, a two-day training program conducted by the Federal Air Marshal Service at field offices located throughout the United States.

Detailed information regarding the ASO Program, as well as application materials and instructions, can be obtained on the TSA’s website. Additional questions about the program should be directed to asoprogram@tsa.dhs.gov.