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Incident Command System

Air Operations Branch Director

Air Operations

The following sections provide information on this position:

Air Operations Branch Director - General

The Air Operations Branch Director - (AIROPS), who is ground-based, is primarily responsible for preparing the air operations portion of the. The plan will reflect agency restrictions that have an impact on the operational capability or utilization of resources (e.g., night flying, hours per pilot). After the plan is approved, the AIROPS is responsible for implementing its strategic aspects, which are those that relate to the overall incident strategy as opposed to those that pertain to tactical operations (specific target selection). Additionally, the AIROPS is responsible for providing logistical support to helicopters operating on the incident. The Air Tactical Group Supervisor, working in conjunction with ground and air resources, normally performs specific tactical activities, such as target selection and suggested modifications to specific tactical actions in the Incident Action Plan (IAP).

Air Operations Branch Director - Specific Responsibilities

The major responsibilities of the Air Operations Branch Director are:

  • Review Common Responsibilities

  • Organize preliminary air operations.

  • Request declaration (or cancellation) of restricted air space area, (Federal Aviation Administration Regulation 91.137).

  • Participate in preparation of the Incident Action Plan (IAP) through the Operations Section Chief (OPS). Insure that the air operations portion of the IAP takes into consideration the Air Traffic Control requirements of assigned aircraft.

  • Perform operational planning for air operations.

  • Prepare and provide Air Operations Summary Worksheet to the Air Support Group and Fixed-Wing Bases.

  • Determine coordination procedures for use by air organization with ground Branches, Divisions, or Groups.

  • Coordinate with appropriate Operations Section personnel.

  • Supervise all air operations activities associated with the incident.

  • Evaluate helibase locations.

  • Establish procedures for emergency reassignment of aircraft.

  • Schedule approved flights of non-incident aircraft in the restricted air space area.

  • Coordinate with the Operations Coordination Center (OCC) through normal channels on incident air operations activities.

  • Inform the Air Tactical Group Supervisor of the air traffic situation external to the incident.

  • Consider requests for non-tactical use of incident aircraft.

  • Resolve conflicts concerning non-incident aircraft.

  • Coordinate with FAA.

  • Update air operations plans.

  • Report to the OPS on air operations activities.

  • Report special incidents/accidents.

  • Arrange for an accident investigation team when warranted.

  • Maintain Activity Log.

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