Volume 12 INTERNATIONAL AVIATION
chapter 14 INTERNATIONAL Inspector Travel
Section 1 Policy
12-715 FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA) INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL GUIDELINES. The Office
of the Administrator (AOA) requires that all FAA employees comply with the FAA
International Travel Guidelines. You can find these guidelines on the International
Programs and Policy Divisionís (AFS‑50) Intranet Web site or the Office of Policy,
International Affairs, and Environmentís (APL) Web site. These guidelines provide
information, forms, and formats for FAA employees who need foreign travel approval
and travel documents. Other U.S. Government agencies and departments or foreign
embassies, high commissions, and consulates control many of the required forms
and processes. There are also links to important information provided by other
agencies, such as travel warnings and immunization requirements, on the Web
site. An FAA employee must ensure that they complete the numerous requirements
prior to traveling to a foreign country on official business. The International
Travel Guidelines are the responsibility of the APL, and can be found at
Flight Standards Service (AFS) personnel travelling internationally on official
business must follow both the process prescribed by the APLís International Travel Guidelines and AFS.
Note: A step-by-step checklist summarizing the requirements is located
at the end of this section (see Figure 12-19, International Travel Pre-Departure Checklist (General)).
A. APL. All AFS personnel shall follow the APLís International
Travel Guidelines processes when required to travel outside the United States or its territories.
B. AFS. All AFS personnel traveling to a foreign country to conduct
FAA business are required to do the following:
1) Ensure all international travel is entered into the International
Travel SharePoint Web site. Each AFS division, region, and field office has
points of contact (POC) who are responsible for inputs into the SharePoint Web site.
2) Ensure that the required/designated personnel enter all travel
information into the U.S. Department of Stateís (DOS) electronic Country Clearance (eCC) form in accordance with DOS requirements.
3) Approval, disapproval, and management control of FAA personnelís
travel is the responsibility of:
a) AFS-50 for International Field Offices (IFO).
b) All division managers or their designee for all other Flight Standards
District Offices (FSDO), certificate-holding district offices (CHDO), etc.
must obtain a documented country clearance from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate of the destination country.
Note: The travel request should include information such as controlling
office, hotel details, itinerary while abroad, etc.
6) An official (red) passport, as required with the appropriate
visa, will be used with the exception of visits to Taiwan. For additional details see subparagraph 12-720C.
7) A security briefing completed by FAA Security, Office of Security
and Hazardous Materials Safety (ASH), Intelligence and Threat Analysis Division (AEO-600) may be required as per the current edition of FAA Order
Travel Security Briefing & Contact Reporting Requirements for FAA Employees & Contractors.
12-716 CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATIONS. The international equivalent of
the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is Customs and Immigrations. Each traveler must:
∑ Be mindful that each foreign country is a sovereign state and
sets its own customs and immigration laws, including procedures which, depending
on the country, may vary from those set out by the U.S. CBP. For example, some
countriesí national legislation limits the Crew Manifest portion of the General
Declaration (Gen Dec) to only list the operating flightcrew. Other countries may permit the listing of reposition crew.
∑ Comply with the customs and immigration clearance procedures of
the destination country. Specifically, have the required documents (e.g., visa,
immunization records, access authorizations on airport property/facilities,
etc.) and be listed on the appropriate document (e.g., operator approved or
accepted flight information documents, such as passenger manifest, authorized
employees, or other travelers) in order to clear through the countryís customs and immigration.
∑ Not use a designated crew entry point unless it is the only entry
point for customs and immigrations or the aviation safety inspector (ASI) was
directed to do so by that countryís customs and immigrations. This applies to
ASIs conducting any type of surveillance. ASIs and their supervisors should
be aware that in certain countries, immigration officials may not allow an inspector
to enter the country listed with their name recorded on the crew manifest portion of the Gen Dec.
A. Clearing the U.S. CBP. An ASI will need to clear the U.S.
CBP upon returning from an international en route inspection. Guidance contained in
Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 9 states
that when conducting an en route inspection,
the inspector will complete all necessary paperwork and be included in the operatorís passenger manifest.
operators do not carry passengers and as such do not have a passenger manifest.
1) Regulations. U.S. CBP regulations (Title 19 of the Code of
Federal Regulations (19 CFR) part 122) require that operators list ASIs
as passengers. FAA regulations (Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part
a flightcrew member as a pilot, flight engineer, or
flight navigator assigned to duty in an aircraft during flight time. FAA regulations, including 14 CFR part
to an ASI as an inspector performing official duties/performing the duties of conducting an inspection.
2) Passenger Operations. The U.S. CBP does not consider FAA inspectors
conducting en route inspections on U.S.-certificated passenger operators
flightcrew members and therefore, ASIs should not be listed on the Gen Dec manifest.
The Gen Dec gives the flightcrew relief from some immigration requirements.
The U.S. CBP advises ASIs not to proceed through the crew entry point when going
through customs and immigration, unless otherwise directed. The passenger manifest
must list the ASIs conducting en route inspections on U.S.-certificated passenger operations.
3) Cargo-Only Operations. For the latest U.S. CBP guidelines
on ASIs conducting en route inspections on U.S.-certificated, cargo-only operators, refer to
B. Clearing Foreign Customs and Immigration. When planning international
travel to include conducting an en route inspection, the person traveling must
check, or request that the designee for their office in charge of filing country clearances check, the following Web site:
will determine each countryís clearance requirements the employee is scheduled
to visit, such as: ďIs a visa required?Ē When preparing for international travel,
the traveler should also carry with them a copy of the contact details for the
U.S. Embassy or Consulate, in case the traveler experiences any problems and
requires assistance. This information can be found on the U.S. DOS Web site:
C. Guidelines for Government Officials. The DOS guidelines for
government officials traveling internationally while on official duty require,
in addition to an official (red) passport, a country clearance from the
appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate and, if necessary, a visa from the respective
country. It is imperative that the travelerís request identify all stopover
points. While in the country, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate must be aware of
the inspectorís presence. There are certain conditions and privileges associated
with a country clearance, to include assistance, when needed, from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
D. Local Procedures and Requirements. Recently, the FAA has had
situations where inspectors conducted cockpit en route inspections to foreign
countries without proper documentation. This resulted in aircraft departures
being delayed while the inspectorís status was resolved, or in some cases the
ASI being temporarily detained. The appropriate FAA IFOs with geographic oversight
of the particular country are most familiar with local procedures and clearances
and, therefore, can assist the certificate management offices (CMO) with local requirements.
12-717 COUNTRY CLEARANCES. The regional Flight Standards division (RFSD) is responsible
for placing country clearances in the system for FSDO inspectors, unless the
responsible policy division delegates or advises otherwise. Headquarters (HQ)
Divisions are responsible for placing country clearances in the system for HQ
travelers. IFOs will continue to take care of their own country clearances.
AFS-50 will continue to provide support as needed (e.g., country clearances
for inspectors traveling to conduct an International Aviation Safety Assessment
(IASA) or technical assistance). The APL can provide assistance on visa requirements
and country‑specific documentation. Managers are responsible to ensure
inspectors are aware of and receive the visa and/or country clearance prior
to conducting any international travel. The CMOs should also advise the air
carriers not to automatically place FAA inspectors into the Gen Dec manifest
category, if possible. Each CMO must confirm that U.S.-certificated, cargo-only air carriers are aware of the U.S. CBP guidelines at
Note: FAA inspectors and their supervisors must understand that they
do not have the same constitutional rights/privileges outside of the United
States. Direct questions or requests for further clarification of this matter to AFS-50.
12-718 ROUTINE VERSUS NONROUTINE FOREIGN TRAVEL. There are two types
of foreign travel, routine and nonroutine. Each traveler and his or her supervisor
are responsible for determining whether the proposed travel is routine or nonroutine.
For reference, see the definitions of routine and nonroutine travel from the
APLís International Travel Guidelines below, with one annotation specific to AFS personnel.
A. Routine Travel Time. The FAA defines routine foreign travel as frequent
travel to, from, and between foreign areas on routine official
business by employees not directly involved in discussions with foreign officials
of major departmental policies and programs. Examples of routine foreign travel are:
1) Travel of personnel, such as aircraft pilots, involved exclusively
in transporting departmental and other government personnel to and from foreign areas.
2) Travel of maintenance, inspection, safety, and air traffic
personnel whose purpose of travel is related to accident investigation, aircraft
repair, hazardous materials (hazmat) container inspections, Navigational Aids
(NAVAID), airport and air carrier safety inspections, air traffic operational issues, and similar activities.
Note: AFS inspectors conducting any type of inspection would fall under
this definition (e.g., check airman observation, en route inspections, evaluation
flights, U.S. air carrier facility/line station inspections abroad, and foreign FAA‑certificated repair station inspections).
3) Permanent change of station travel to, from, and between foreign
areas by employees (and their dependents) whose official duty stations are in foreign areas.
4) Travel conducted under a government-to-government reimbursable technical assistance or cooperation agreement.
5) Travel to attend routinely held working groups, study groups,
subgroups, panels, or task force meetings for international organizations, such
as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). These trips involve
purely technical discussions on such matters as NAVAIDs, flight inspections,
safety inspections, safety surveillance, and aircraft certification. It can
also include a group of technical experts who meet to discuss and/or exchange
ideas, or develop a range of solutions to an operational issue for subsequent referral to governments.
6) Travel related to bilateral technical meetings in which FAA policy or positions are not created or amended.
7) Travel in connection to air traffic operational issues, air
traffic control (ATC) liaison functions, and familiarization travel.
8) Travel to attend a technical training class.
B. Nonroutine Foreign Travel. Nonroutine foreign travel
includes travel to meetings of any kind where official U.S./FAA policy or
positions are created or amended. Examples of nonroutine travel are:
1) Travel taken by the Administrator, the Deputy Administrator,
or anyone reporting directly to the Administrator (e.g., Associate/Assistant
Administrators, Chief Counsel, and the Chief Operating Officer (COO)), including travel to Canada and Mexico.
2) Travel taken by FAA executives and senior professionals.
3) Travel as part of a formal delegation sanctioned by the DOS
or other authority to represent the U.S. Government. Typically, this is the
case with worldwide ICAO conferences, such as the Triennial Assembly, regional air navigation meetings, and Regional Planning Group (RPG) meetings.
4) Travel to attend meetings with the Directorate General of
Civil Aviation (DGCA) and travel to attend senior-level meetings with Civil
Aviation Authority (CAA) counterparts to institute or amend bilateral policy issues.
5) Travel to participate in, or speak at, special ad hoc conferences
that do not meet the definition of routine travel, as described above.
6) Travel related to FAA representation at air shows.
7) Travel to attend management training courses/classes.
12-719 FOREIGN TRAVEL APPROVAL PROCESS FOR NONROUTINE TRAVEL.
A. International Travel SharePoint Web Site. All international travel must be entered into
the International Travel SharePoint Web site at
to the Web site must be requested through AFS-50. Each AFS division,
region, and field office has POC(s) who are responsible for inputs into the
SharePoint Web site. AFS, the APL, and the Office of the Secretary of Transportation
(OST) review nonroutine, K-band and above travel monthly for the 3-month period following international travel.
B. Nonroutine Travel. For nonroutine travel, the APL will receive
and review final packages prior to approval by the Assistant Administrator for
the APL and the AOA, and in some cases, the OST. Travelers must submit all travel
packages to the APL no fewer than 45 calendar-days before the planned start
of the trip. If employees from more than one organization will travel from
the United States to the same event, the lead office must submit one consolidated
foreign travel request (FTR) for all travelers, and the head of the organization of each traveler must approve the FTR.
1) Complete the AOA Foreign Travel Request Form (Adobe .pdf)
or the OST Travel Memorandum entirely. Grid approval (typed) from each line
of business (LOB) represented on the delegation is required to complete the form.
a) AOA approval of international travel is required when:
∑ Any official of Senior Executive Service (SES) rank plans
official international travel, and
∑ Six employees below the level of Associate/Assistant
Administrator, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), or Chief Counsel plan to travel to/support the same venue.
b) OST approval of international travel is required when:
∑ Seven or more employees plan to travel to/support the same venue;
∑ Any executive at or above Deputy Associate/Deputy Assistant
Administrator, Deputy CFO, or Deputy Chief Counsel plan official international travel;
∑ The planned international travel includes a weekend, exclusive
of travel time (applies to all ranks of travelers);
∑ The planned international travel includes official business
more than three countries (applies to all ranks of travelers); and
∑ The planned international travel involves an around-the-world
itinerary (applies to all ranks of travelers).
Note: The exception to these guidelines is nonroutine travel to Canada
or Mexico by groups of any size or any level below the Administrator and Deputy Administrator level require approval by the Administrator. Use the
AOA Foreign Travel Request Form (Adobe .pdf).
2) Email the completed FTR to 9-NATL-ForeignTravel-Request@faa.gov.
A complete submission includes the following attachments:
∑ AOA Foreign Travel Request Form (Adobe .pdf) or OST Travel
Memorandum (MS Word .doc);
∑ Delegation itinerary (MS Word .doc);
∑ Conference/meeting agenda (MS Word .doc or Adobe .pdf);
∑ Cost breakdown for individual travelers (Excel/Word .doc);
∑ Letter of Invitation for International Travel; and
∑ Additional attachments, if applicable (National Service Center
(NSC) Letter, Non-Federal Payment Source Memo, or Travel Above Coach Class Request Memo).
Note: For a complete list of attachments, refer to Section 3 of the
International Travel Guidelines.
3) The FAA will return incomplete packages to the requestor via
email with clear instructions on what is required to restart the approval process.
Upload all attachments to the Adobe .pdf form using the paper clip icon to the left of the form.
4) Once the APL travel POC has received a complete package, he
or she will route the package for Assistant Administrator for Policy, International
Affairs, and Environment (APL-1)/Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy,
International Affairs, and Environment (APL-2) approval. After the travel POC
has obtained APL approval, he or she will send a notification email to the requestor.
a) The APL travel POC will electronically transfer the FTR package
to the APL travel desk for APL‑1/2 review and signature.
b) When the APL travel POC obtains APL-1/2 signature approval, the
APL travel POC will electronically transfer the FTR package to the Executive
Secretariat (AOA-3) for approval coordination. After the travel POC obtains
APL approval, he or she will send a notification email to the requestor.
12-720 TRAVEL PROCEDURES APPLICABLE TO ALL FOREIGN TRAVEL. These
procedures must be followed concurrently with the routine and nonroutine travel approval processes.
A. GovTrip. The traveler should utilize GovTrip to make the appropriate travel arrangements.
B. Official Passport.
1) Official Foreign Travel. Except in very limited situations,
the traveler should conduct all official foreign travel on an official (red)
passport. If a traveler does not have an official passport with at least
6 months of validity before expiration, he or she must apply for and receive
one prior to travel. To do so, he or she must obtain the appropriate paperwork
through his or her regional or local coordinator. Links to the necessary forms
and memoranda are available in the APLís International Travel Guidelines, Section 4.
2) Role of APL Management Staff (APL-10) or Department of Transportation
(DOT) Passport Agent. Once the traveler completes the paperwork, his or
her regional or local coordinator will forward it, along with all required documentation,
to APL-10 in HQ or to the DOT Passport Agent at least 30 days prior to travel
(refer to the APLís International Travel Guidelines, Section 4 for addresses
and phone numbers). APL-10 or the DOT Passport Agent will process the application
through the DOS and will return the new passport and any personal documentation to the traveler via express mail.
C. Use of Tourist Passport.
1) The DOT Passport Agent does not routinely permit use of the
tourist (blue) passport for official travel, except for travel to Taiwan. In
those rare cases when travel requires a tourist (blue) passport, travelers must obtain approval from the Office of the Director (AFS-1).
2) Per DOS instructions, travelers will perform all official
travel to Taiwan using the tourist (blue) passport. Travelers making an onward
connecting flight through a Taiwanese airport must carry the tourist (blue) passport in addition to the official (red) passport.
D. Diplomatic Passports. AFS employees posted overseas with an
International Field Office (IFO) hold diplomatic (black) passports and must
use them for official travel. The other provisions of the APLís International
Travel Guidelines, Section 5.2, as well as the visa requirements in Section
5.3, apply the same as to other AFS employees, although their visa applications
are processed through the closest U.S. Embassy, not in Washington, DC.
E. Expedited Service. The DOS can process a request for a passport
on an expedited basis upon request from the APL. In addition to providing the
APL with the appropriate paperwork, the travelerís supervisor must send an email
message to the APL travel team leader explaining the need for expedited service.
The traveler can expect to receive the passport in 7 to 10 business days.
F. Visa Application.
1) The traveler may determine visa requirements either by requesting
that the regional or local coordinator contact APL-10 or the DOT Passport Agent,
or by assistance in consulting the eCC system. Special visa requirements for
Taiwan, the Russian Federation, India, China, the Schengen States, Cuba, and
others are described in the APLís International Travel Guidelines, Section 6.
2) Due to continual geopolitical changes, travelers must always
check the APLís International Travel Guidelines, Section 6 for any new requirements.
3) If a visa is necessary, the regional or local coordinator
should request the appropriate paperwork from APL-10. APL-10 may refer the coordinator
to a U.S. Embassyís Web site for the visa form. APL-10 should also provide an estimate of the U.S. Embassyís visa processing time.
4) If the travelerís passport has fewer than 6 months of validity, most U.S. Embassies
will not issue a visa on it. The traveler must receive and sign the new passport before he or she can submit it for a visa.
5) If the visa in the expiring passport is valid for the dates
of travel, then the traveler must carry both the old and new passports with them when traveling.
6) If a traveler will visit more than one country requiring a
visa, the traveler must obtain visas for each country. It is also recommended that a traveler request multi-itinerary visas in case of emergencies.
1) Annual Security Briefing. The FAA requires all FAA employees
and contractors to receive a security briefing prior to departure on international travel for official business.
2) Certificate of Awareness. Specifically, at least 14 calendar‑days
prior to official international travel, the FAA requires FAA employees and contractors to read the current edition of FAA Order
sign/date the Certificate of Awareness found at the end of Appendix 1 of the order. This certificate
is good for 12 months from the date of signature. It is a managerís responsibility
to ensure that their employees and contractors conducting international travel
for official business sign the Certificate of Awareness and to retain a completed
copy of the certificate in the employeeís official personnel folder.
3) Security Information in eCC Response. Employees must review
the information provided in their eCC response and follow any security directives provided.
4) Cybersecurity. If the eCC response indicates cybersecurity issues, employees must follow any
additional security measures prescribed therein for agency information technology
(IT) equipment. All employees returning from foreign travel with agency computers
must follow the Office of Quality, Integration, and Executive Services (AQS)
procedures before resuming normal office use. Refer to AQS-212-001-W1, Request
for International Travel System Flowchart, for the process of obtaining computer
systems to be used by Aviation Safety (AVS) employees while traveling to foreign
countries on official business that pose a high risk to information security.
There are certain countries to which FAA electronic devices cannot be carried
because of the possibility of being compromised. The security briefing will identify those countries.
5) Other Security Considerations. The FAA requires all FAA employees and contractors
to report to your local Servicing Security Element (SSE) any contact made by
individuals attempting to obtain information that may be considered sensitive,
proprietary, or classified information either while in a foreign country or
in the United States. For information on security briefings, refer to FAA Order
6) Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) Requirements. All
FAA employees and contractors with SCI security clearances have additional briefing
and reporting requirements relating to official and unofficial travel. You can find these requirements in the current edition of FAA Order
Compartmented Information (SCI) Program Management.
H. Country Clearance Requirement. The traveler(s) must request
and receive country clearance from the U.S. Embassies in all countries in which
he or she will travel prior to leaving on the trip. Per DOS policy, the only
condition when country clearance may not be required is if a traveler remains
in the transit area of an airport (i.e., does not pass through customs) and
returns to the United States on the same day (refer to paragraph 3 of the APLís International Travel Guidelines, Section 5).
I. Country Clearance Recommendation. Notwithstanding the above-mentioned
policy, the DOS recommends that traveler(s) obtain country clearance(s) even
in cases where there is no plan to leave the premises of the airport, in case
of an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances that may require the
traveler(s) to pass through customs or stay overnight.
1) Country Clearance. The traveler should use the DOSís Web-based
eCC system to submit the clearance request. The DOS asks that travelers make eCC requests 30 days in advance of travel under routine circumstances.
2) Country Clearance Copy. When the DOS grants country clearance,
the eCC coordinator will forward a copy of the clearance to the traveler and the traveler should expect a response within 3 to 5 business days.
3) Travel Information. The response will include pertinent travel
information, such as visa, security, and immunization requirements for the country.
Travelers should keep a copy of their clearance with their passport throughout the trip.
4) Reference and Contact Information. You can find general guidelines
on the eCC process in the APLís International
Travel Guidelines, Section 5. For assistance with technical problems, contact the eCC help desk at eCCHelpDesk-DL@state.gov.
Figure 12-19. International Travel Pre-Departure Checklist (General)
Section 1: Travel Location, Date, and Type
Enter Country and City to be Visited:
Enter Travel Date:
Select the applicable check box:
☐Routine Travel ☐Nonroutine Travel
Section 2: Approvals, Entries, and Electronic Country Clearance (eCC)
Select the applicable check box:
☐Travelerís Front Line Manager approved the travel request.
☐If the trip requires a travel package (see nonroutine
travel as defines in the International Travel Guidelines), the package was
submitted to APL 45 calendar-days before the planned start of the trip.
☐Travel analysis performed in accordance with Flight Standards
International Travel SOP.
☐Travel Information Entered into International Travel SharePoint.
Electronic Country Clearance (eCC)
☐eCC not required because traveler remains in the transit
area of an airport (i.e., does not pass through customs) and returns to
the U.S. the same day.
☐Required ☐Requested ☐Identified
stopover points ☐Obtained
(30 days in advance of Routine circumstances)
☐No stopover points
☐Traveler responded within 3-5 business days to the eCC
coordinator making notification of eCC being granted by the State Department.
☐Traveler has copy of eCC (which they should keep for the
duration of their trip).
Section 3: Passport (Select the applicable check boxes):
☐Official (Red) Required
☐Tourist (Blue) Required
☐Has at least 6 months of validity from travel date
☐Requested new or passport renewal (when less than 6 months
validity from travel date)
☐Submitted request for expedited service (need it in 10
☐Submitted to the APL with the appropriate paperwork
☐Emailed the APL travel team leader explaining the need
for expedited service
☐Received passport (7-10 days)
☐At least 30 days prior to travel, the local/regional coordinator
forwarded all completed paperwork to APL-10 in HQ or to the DOT Passport
Section 4: VISA
Select and enter as applicable:
☐Special Requirements (see APL's Web site)
☐No Special Requirements (see APL's Web site)
Select as applicable:
☐Required ☐Requested ☐Obtained
Section 5: Immunizations (Select and enter as applicable):
☐Checked with Center for Disease Control on health requirements
(Enter type and date of requirement) (Enter type and date of requirement)
(Enter type and date of requirement) (Enter type and date of requirement)
(Enter type and date of requirement) (Enter type and date of requirement)
(Enter type and date of requirement) (Enter type and date of requirement)
Section 6: Additional Information (Select as applicable):
Transportation/lodging arrangements: ☐Initiated
☐N/A (returns to the U.S. the same day)
Section 7: FAA Order 1600.61 & Certificate of Awareness (Select as
☐At least 14 calendar-days prior to travel read current
edition of the Order and signed/dated the Certificate.
☐N/A (Certificate good for 12 months from the date of signature).
A copy has been filed in the employeeís official personnel folder.
Section 8: Security Briefing (Select as applicable):
☐Required ☐Scheduled ☐Completed
Section 9: Other (Enter as applicable):
U.S. Embassy/Consulate Point of Contact Name(s) Phone Number(s)
Note: Travelers must comply with any additional
applicable office specific travel requirements/procedures.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 12-721 through 12-735.