2015BLM National Aviation Plan

2015 BLM Oregon/Washington

State Aviation Plan

2015 Burns Interagency

Unit Aviation Plan

Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management

Oregon-Washington State Office

______/s/ Jonathan Manski

Written by: Jonathan Manski- Unit Aviation ManagerDate: 3/28/2015

______/s/Dave Toney

Reviewed by: Dave Toney - Fire Management OfficerDate: 4/6/2015

______/s/Kurt S. Kleiner

Reviewed by: Kurt Kleiner – State Aviation ManagerDate: 4/15/2015

______/s/Brendain Cain

Approved by: Brendan Cain - District ManagerDate: 5/4/2015

BLM Fire and Aviation Directorate

National Aviation Office



National Interagency Fire Center

3833 South Development Ave.

Boise, ID, 83705

This plan provides comprehensive information regarding BLM aviation organizations, responsibilities, administrative procedures and policy. This plan is implemented through BLM Instruction Memorandum.

The primary distribution of this document is electronic and available at:

The BLM Oregon/Washington State Aviation Plan is inserted in this document as a second tier to each section of the BLM National Aviation Plan which is written in black text. The State Aviation Plan has been written in blue text so it visually stands out as supplemental text. Each BLM District in Washington and Oregon is encouraged, but not required, to add their Unit Aviation Plan language as a third tier to this document. Use of a different color font is suggested to visually differentiate Unit-level text. This State Aviation Plan will reside in the BLM National Aviation website. The primary distribution of this document will be through a BLM Oregon/Washington State Office Information Bulletin.

This plan consists of 3 tiers that captures the BLM National, BLM Oregon & Washington and Burns BLM and BIFZ Aviation policy. Each Unit is tiered to the higher Administrative Unit’s plan.

The plans National and OR/WA signature pages are on file.

National Aviation Plan (Black)

PNW and State Aviation Plan (Blue)

Burns/BIFZ Unit Aviation Plan (Red)

1.0 Aviation Plan

1.1 Purpose

The purpose of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Aviation Plan (NAP) is to describe National Aviation Office (NAO) leader’s intent, authority, role and responsibilities, program objectives, and to provide strategic and operational guidance to each organizational level. The NAO identified the need for a cohesive national aviation management plan that will allow all state, district/field offices, and aviation users to easily acquire the necessary information and policy to manage the BLM aviation program. Each organizational level plan provides the detailed operational procedures pertinent to their organization. This plan is supplemental and does not replace the policy as described in theDepartmental Manual or the BLM Manual 9400 – Aviation Management.

1.1 BLM Oregon/Washington Supplement: Purpose

The purpose of the BLM Oregon/Washington State Aviation Plan is to provide the ten BLM Districts in Oregon/Washington with a uniform set of policies, procedures, guidance, and business practices that promote safe, efficient, and economic use of aircraft in support of land management objectives.

This plan is inserted into the BLM National Aviation Plan as a supplement to reduce redundant language. The State Aviation Plan incorporates the principles ofSafety Management Systems (SMS) which serves as the foundation for the Bureau aviation program. Unit Aviation Managers (UAMs) are encouraged to insert their Unit or Zone Aviation Planas a third tier into this combined national and state-level aviation plan format. A Unit Aviation plan developed and maintained as a stand-alone document is an acceptable alternative to the three-tiered format. Aunit aviation plan should describe how national and state aviation policy is implemented at the field level. See Section 3.3 for additional details on the required contents.

1.1Burns Interagency Fire Zone, (BIFZ), Aviation Plan Supplement: Purpose and Overview of Aviation Program

This plan is designed to supplement the BLM National Aviation Plan, the Oregon/Washington State Aviation Plan, and function as the third tier within one master document. The Burns District Aviation Plan complements the integration of Safety Management Systems (SMS) at the national and state level, which serves as the foundation for the management of the Burns District aviation program. The Aviation Plan provides guidance and direction for personnel so that aviation operations are planned and carried out safely and cost-effectively.

BIFZ has several unique physical and administrative characteristics that influence the structure and complexity of the Aviation program. The Zone ranges from approximately 4,000 feet to 9,900 feet in elevation. During hot summer days, aircraft may be required to perform at operating Density Altitudes that may be several thousand feet or greater than their true altitude above sea level.

BIFZ is composed of a diverse landscape stretching between the Northern Great Basin and the Southern Blue Mountains. There are many large areas of sagebrush, western juniper forests, wetlands and rivers scattered throughout, and ponderosa pine forests found in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. BIFZ encompasses over 5,900,000 acres which contains 4,268,000 million acres of public land.

The Zone has fire & aviation management responsibilities for its public lands and a cooperative fire suppression role on adjacent U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, BOR, BIA and State of Oregon properties.

Specific Fire Suppression Aviation activities are addressed in the Burns District Fire Management Plan and Resource Management Plan and other Agency land management documents. The primary missions flown on the Zone include fire suppression, prescribed fire, animal surveys, maintaining radio repeater sites, Search & Rescue as well as several other resource management related missions.

During the summer fire season, Burns District Exclusive Use and CWN aircraft and employees are often utilized on aviation missions elsewhere throughout the US. Likewise, personnel and aircraft from other Districts, States, and agencies are frequently utilized when ordered for fighting fire on the Zone. For this reason, significant emphasis is placed on effective communications in the form of daily operational briefings and District orientation briefings for those detailed or assigned to Burns Aviation program. The district has numerous initial attack agreements to share resources with neighboring States, Districts, and agencies with adjoining boundaries.

1.2 Mission Statement

The NAO is responsible for supporting all BLM fire and resource management programs through an active and professional aviation organization that:

  • Develops and coordinates efficient aviation policy and management processes.
  • Provides guidance for aviation programmatic and operational risk management.
  • Leads aviation safety assurance and promotion programs.
  • Provides aircraft acquisition support as specified by BLM management objectives.
  • Develops and promotes a skilled aviation management workforce.

1.2 BLM Oregon/Washington Supplement: Mission Statement

The BLM Oregon/Washington State Office (OR-934) is aligned with the mission of the National Aviation Office stated above. The State Office provides aviation program leadership to BLM Districts in Oregon/Washington with the intent to enhance safety, assist the field to develop efficient processes, and encourage cooperation with federal and state partner agencies. The Aviation Leadership Team for BLM Oregon-Washington and USFS PNW/AK has adopted the following vision/mission statement:

We strive to be a High Reliability Organization in all aspects of safety, flight operations, and aviation services.We are cohesive and supportive. Our work capitalizes on the strengths and expertise of our team and embodies the highest levels of trust, cooperation and leadership. Through oversight and direct actions, we provide superior customer service across all areas of our responsibilities.

1.2BIFZ Aviation Plan Supplement: Burns District Mission and Vision Statement

BIFZ Aviation Program is committed to provide a fast, aggressive and thorough response to wildland fires and other incidents and supporting the administrative needs of the Units through a variety of planning, implementation and education. These missions are conducted with the highest regard for personnel/public safety, environment protection and cost management. Not without significant risk and expense, the Aviation Program requires Managements attention, program support & involvement and a keen awareness of the consequence of failure.

1.3 Aviation Program Objectives

The BLM aviation program provides the aviation tools to meet public expectation for efficient and safe management of the National System of Public Lands. Aviation management balances mission goals withthe environmental considerations,available funding and safety of the involved personnel.

Safety: The priority in all BLM aviation missions is the safety of employees, contractors, cooperators and the public.

  • Risk management as part of Safety Management Systems (SMS) will be inherent in all aviation missions and programs.
  • All aviation personnel are empowered and expected to manage the risks of aviation operations and make reasonable and prudent decisions to accomplish the mission.
  • Aviation personnel must take every opportunity to plan missions thoroughly, and respect aircraft and the environment in which they operate.
  • Individuals will be held accountable for their decisions, which should be based on policy, principles, risk management, training, experience and the given situation.
  • The agency is committed to ensuring our workplaces are free of recognized hazards.Prior to conducting any mission, all risks will be mitigated to the lowest acceptable level possible.

Professionalism: BLM personnel performing aviation functions must be service oriented and meet all qualification requirements of the Departmental and Bureau manuals, handbooks, and guides.

Diversity: Individual development, employee wellness and workforce diversity will be emphasized at all levels of the BLM aviation program.

Innovation: Management at all levels is responsible for enhancing the aviation program with a commitment to aviation safety and operational/management efficiency.

1.3BLM Oregon/Washington Supplement: Aviation Program Objectives

In addition to the roles and responsibilities identified in National Aviation Plan, BLM State and Unit-level aviation program managers should strive to achieve the following objectives:

  • Provide leadership, direction, service, and supportto promote cost-effective interagency coordination and cooperation.
  • Create a learning environment for aviation personnel, and encourage open communication with line officers.
  • Strive towards zero aircraft accidents and a reduction in the occurrences of mishapsbyfocusing attention on human factorsand the application of sound risk management practices.
  • Promote effective interagency working relations in a State/Regional (USFS/BLM) “Service First” organizational structure that values mission over agency.

1.3BIFZ Aviation Plan Supplement: Aviation Program Objectives

In addition to the objectives stated in the National and State Aviation Plans above, BIFZ is committed to integrating its aviation resources and activities to:

  • Provide a safe work environment for all agency and interagency employees including Contractors and volunteers.
  • Protect public lands in accordance with established resource management objectives so that viable opportunities are maintained for the public to utilize those lands for recreation and personal livelihood as authorized within legal and permitted constraints in accordance with the Burns District Resource Management Plans (RMPs).

The services provided to the Zone by the Aviation program include aviation safety training and education, fire detection/reconnaissance/intelligence gathering, relaying communications, fire suppression and aerial ignition, directing tactical aircraft and ground operations, airspace management, and supporting resource management programs.

Within the Aviation program, these objectives may only be met through effective planning, using well trained and supervised personnel, maintaining a continuous awareness of aviation hazards and managing risks at appropriate levels.

1.4 National Fire Aircraft Management Strategy

Aviation resources are one of a number of tools available to accomplish land management objectives. The proper utilization of aircraft in support of resource management programs serve as a force multiplier when dealing with issues of time, remoteness, terrain, large areas and distances.

This national strategy will:

  • Optimize overall aviation capability.
  • Apply effective management controls to suppression costs.
  • Ensure that aviation assets are assigned to areas of greatest risk and/or highest probability of success.
  • Maximize operational flexibility and mobility.
  • Contribute to interagency suppression efforts.

The BLM national fire aircraft fleet composition is based on the National Interagency Aviation Council (NIAC) Aviation Strategy document, 2008, and is outlined in detail in the BLM Fire Aircraft Acquisition Plan (reference BLM NAP Appendix 2). Any changes in aircraft type or capability must be supported and approved by the Assistant Director of the BLM Fire and Aviation Directorate (FA-100).

In order to maximize effectiveness and efficiency, aviation resources should be centrally controlled, and operations must be locally executed. National strategy considers all BLM fire aircraft and assigned personnel to be national resources available for immediate assignment to areas of greatest national needregardless of their status in the Resource Ordering and Status System.

The BLM national aircraft management strategy is predicated on the NAO providing oversight to all BLM fire aircraft acquisition, coordination and allocation of aircraft between states. The NAO tracks tactical aircraft utilization along with monitoring fire activity, fire danger levels and forecasted weather. The NAO will modify contract terms (designated base, MAP, etc.) as required to ensure maximum utilization and effectiveness of firefighting aircraft.

The NAO coordinates with the State Fire Management Officers (SFMO) and their staff on aircraft needs, availability and re-positioning. SFMO will remain informed on the national situation, and will consult with Fire and Aviation’s NAO and/or the Division of Fire Operations on assignment of BLM exclusive use aircraft to ongoing large fires.

The NAO facilitates aircraft pre-positioning with funding charge codes. During fire season, BLM exclusive use aircraft will be activated and mobilized to meet BLMs fire needs to the extent possible. Once authorized and acquired, all BLM exclusive use and severity funded aviation resources will be considered national resources subject to pre-positioning by SFMOs within their states, and by the national office on a national basis. This includes aviation personnel such as single engine air tanker (SEAT) managers and Air Tactical Group Supervisors (ATGS). The NAO will coordinate with SFMOs and State Aviation Managers (SAM) prior to any movements. Supplemental fire aircraft acquisition will be in accordance with BLM NAP 3.10.

1.4 BLM Oregon/Washington Supplement: State/Regional Aircraft Management Strategy

BLM Oregon/Washington recognizes national aviation plans and policies regarding aviation assets utilized as national resources. The State Office highly recommends District fire and aviation managers pre-position aviation resources where needed and share them with neighboring units and agencies as appropriate via established mobilization procedures. Assignment of exclusive use aircraft outside of OR/WA for extended attack fire or non-fire projects requires notification to the BLM State Fire Management Officer (FMO), or the designated SORO Fire Duty Officer. The Northwest Coordination Center will in-turn assess current draw-down levels, anticipated resource requirements, and coordinate the movement of aircraftbetween agency unitsaccordingly.

1.4BIFZ Aviation Plan Supplement: District Aircraft Management Strategy

BIFZ fire and aviation managers acknowledge the benefits to be gained by rapid mobility and ramp-up of aerial resources for initial attack during periods of anticipated activity. It’s also important practice to recognize the benefits of maintaining effective working relations with neighboring Units through effective and timely resource sharing and incident risk management.

1.5 Authority

This plan fulfills the departmental manual requirements outlined in 350 DM 1, Appendix 3, and BLM Manual 9400.3 Directives. This plan has been developed to provide policy standardization for all BLM aviation programs during 2015.

1.5 BLM Oregon/Washington Supplement: Authority

The BLM Oregon/Washington State Aviation Plan is required and authorized by BLM 9400 policy and the BLM National Aviation Plan (NAP). The State Aviation Plan will be updated annually, and reviewed by the State FMO, and signed/approved by the State Director.

1.5BIFZ Aviation Plan Supplement: Authority

This Plan has been developed to provide policy standardization for all BLM aviation operations within the BLM Burns District and associated Zone protection areas. It is authorized and required by the BLM 9400 manual, the BLM National Aviation Plan, and the Oregon/Washington State Aviation Plan. The Plan is valid and may be implemented once it is signed by the Burns BLM District Manager who has Fire Management delegated authority within the Zone. It will be updated, reviewed, and approved by the authorizing Line Officer (District Manager) by May 15 each year.

1.6 Policy

BLM aviation management and operations will be conducted within policies contained in the Federal Aviation Regulations, DOI 350-354 Departmental Manuals (DM), Operational Procedures Memorandums (OPM) and Handbooks (HB), and BLM Manual 9400.

In addition, the current version of the following Handbooks, Plans and Guides constitute BLM Aviation policy as specified in the BLM Manual 9400.

Exemptions/Waivers: Exemptions/waivers to federal aviation regulations and DOI regulations must be requested in writing to the BLM Aviation Division Chief. Final approval will reside at the OAS Director level (reference 350 DM 1.10).

1.6.1 Handbooks

  • Aerial Capture, Eradication and Tagging of Animals (ACETA) Handbook
  • Aviation Life Support Equipment Handbook (ALSE)
  • BLM Wild Horse & Burro Aviation Management Handbook (WH&B)
  • Interagency Aviation Transport of Hazardous Materials Handbook
  • Law Enforcement Short-Haul Policy
  • Military Use Handbook

1.6.2 Plans