Aircraft Coordinator - National and GACC, THSP

Position Category: 
Incident Positions
Position Code: 
Functional Area: 
Coordination & Support
AD Class: 


This position performs an emergency support and coordination function that is mobilized at National Planning Level 3, or as activity warrants, to support the National Interagency Coordinating Committee. It may also be activated to support individual Geographic Area Coordinating Centers as necessary, and work with interagency partners and vendors to meet incident, area, and national aviation needs.


  • Utilizes specialized knowledge to coordinate and assist in interagency mobilization to fill resource orders for aircraft assignments, as well as locating and filling overhead resource orders.
  • Develops staffing schedules for pilots and aircraft, tracks pilots’ mandatory days off, monitors aircraft availability, monitors pilot flight and duty limitations, and use of the Automatic Flight Following throughout the day to anticipate areas of need.
  • Attends daily briefings and participates in daily conference calls to make strategic planning recommendations on the most efficient use of aviation resources.
  • Serves as a primary point of contact and subject matter expert for aviation dispatch related questions.
  • During the off-season, may be called upon to serve on various aviation committees, as well as cadre for some aviation related courses.

Position Knowledge and/or Requirements

  • Thorough, extensive, specialized knowledge of all phases of interagency air operations relative to wildland fire suppression.
  • Extensive knowledge of aircraft safety.
  • Knowledge of governing policies, regulations, procedures and practices.

Supervisory Controls

  • Both national aviation management and the National Interagency Coordination Center Manager may supervise this position. The supervisor makes assignments by defining objectives, priorities and deadlines.
  • The incumbent, being self-motivated and self-directed, independently plans the manner in which assignments are to be carried out, and handles problems and deviations in accordance with policies and accepted practices.
  • Completed work is usually evaluated for technical soundness, appropriateness, and conformity to policy and requirements. The methods used by the incumbent to arrive at the end results are not usually reviewed.


  • Numerous guidelines are available, but have gaps in specificity.
  • The number and similarity of guidelines and work situations require the incumbent to use seasoned judgment in locating and selecting the most appropriate guidelines and adapt them to specific cases.


  • The work is characterized by the performance of a wide variety of duties that involve different and unrelated practices and methods. Some duties involve formulating recommendations and proposed solutions to aviation related problems and issues.
  • Formulating such recommendations and proposals require the incumbent to analyze the phases or issues in each assignment, and develop the chosen course of action by selecting from many alternatives.
  • The work involves conditions and elements that must be identified and analyzed to discern interrelationships.

Scope and Effect

  • The purpose of the work is to provide a comprehensive approach for the most effective utilization of firefighting aircraft. Through information provided by personal contacts with vendors, pilots, and aviation managers, along with the Resource Ordering Status System (ROSS), the incumbent determines and shares the status of the fleet with Area Coordination Centers as well as agency aviation officials nationwide. Through daily electronic status forms, the incumbent provides accurate and current preparedness data, thus allowing for more timely responses to incidents.
  • The objective of this work is to achieve cost effective and timely decision making.

Personal Contacts

  • Contacts are national, regional, and local in scope and include center managers, dispatchers, aviation managers, air operations fire personnel, vendors, and pilots.

Purpose of Contacts

  • Makes recommendations and presents proposed solutions to problems related to making the most effective utilization of the national aircraft fleet.
  • Facilitates the mobilization of pilots and aircraft to fill outstanding aviation resource orders.
  • Shares information.
  • Collects information on availability of support personnel and individual aircraft managers.

Physical Demands

  • Duties primarily involve office type work with occasional field activity. Work is characterized primarily by light physical exertion.

Work Environment

  • The environment involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of office type work.
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