[Update] USCBP AIA Helicopter Pilots – California, Puerto Rico, Texas & Arizona


Department of Homeland Security

Customs and Border Protection

Air and Marine Operations


  • Open & closing dates

    10/01/2020 to 10/31/2020

  • Service


  • Pay scale & grade

    GS 11

  • Salary

    $74,525 to $96,881 per year

  • Appointment type


  • Work schedule



Many vacancies in the following locations:

  • Sierra Vista, AZ
  • Yuma, AZ
  • San Diego, CA
  • Aguadilla, PR
  • Laredo, TX
  • San Angelo, TX
Relocation expenses reimbursed

Yes Relocation expenses will be paid in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulation limits and agency policy for CAMB locations. Applicants applying to the Caribbean and Puerto Rico “CAMB” locations need to be aware of the Federal Travel Regulation GSA Bulletin FTR 18-05. More information can be found under “Additional Information”.

Telework eligible


Announcement number

AIA 21-01 10920340

Control number


Job family (Series)

1881 Customs And Border Protection Interdiction



As our nation navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, CBP is committed to delivering our mission to safeguard America’s borders and enable legitimate trade and travel. Staffing mission critical positions remains a high priority. Be reassured that CBP is still hiring, despite potential hiring process step delays due to restrictions to in-person activities.

This is a Direct Hire Public Notice. Category rating, Veterans’ Prefence and traditional rating and ranking do not apply to this Public Notice.


Applicants will be referred for selection consideration throughout the announcement open period. Further questions regarding the Air Interdiction Agent position can be sent to the AMO Recruiters at CBP_AMO_Recruiting

Organizational Location: This position is with the Department of Homeland Security, within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations.
This is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GS-11, GS-12 & GS-13. You will be eligible for a promotion to the next higher grade level automatically (without re-applying) once you complete 52-weeks at each grade level. Air Interdiction Agents (AIA) special salary rates are posted on OPM’s site. To see the special salary rates please visit this link. Compensation acronyms used below:

  • LEAP: Law Enforcement Availability Pay (25%)
  • RI: Retention Incentive (10%) for UAS sites only (Sierra Vista, AZ and San Angelo, TX)
  • SSR: Special Salary Rate – as posted by OPM (Effective 1/05/2020)

Example annual compensation for the first three years at our new-hire locations (Aguadilla, PR, El Paso, TX, San Diego, CA, Laredo, TX and Yuma, AZ) which are currently authorized to receive LEAP (amounts below include the SSR + LEAP).

  • GS-11, 1st year annual pay – $93,156
  • GS-12, 2nd year annual pay – $111,656
  • GS-13, 3rd year annual pay – $132,774

Example annual compensation for the first three years at our new-hire locations (Sierra Vista AZ and San Angelo, TX) which are currently authorized to receive a 10% retention incentive (amounts below include the SSR + LEAP + 10% RI).

  • GS-11, 1st year annual pay – $100,609
  • GS-12, 2nd year annual pay – $120,589
  • GS-13, 3rd year annual pay – $143,396

Travel Required

25% or less – You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential



Conditions of Employment

  • FAA Class 1 Medical required at time of Flight Assessment. FAA Class 2 Medical qualifies to start the pre-employment process for the AIA position. All FAA Medicals must be dated within the last 12 months
  • Dual Rated (Aircraft and Helicopter) FAA ATP certificate or Commercial with instruments certificate
  • Apply with as little as 750 flight hours; see Qualifications
  • Must meet job related medical, fitness and drug testing standards
  • You may be required to pass a background investigation and/or polygraph
  • Referred for selection prior to age 40; waiver for vets
  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Primary U.S. residency for the last three of the last five years (additional details below)
  • Upon appointment, you may be required to undergo random drug testing
  • You must meet the OPM Qualification Standard for the GS-1881 series
  • As an employee of CBP, you will be joining a workforce that is dedicated to accomplishing our mission while maintaining the trust of our Nation by strictly adhering to all government ethics standards. Your conduct will be subject to the ethics rules applicable to all Executive Branch employees, and to CBP employees specifically, as well as the criminal conflict of interest statutes. Once you enter on duty, these rules include obtaining approval for outside employment or business activity, to ensure such employment or business activity is not prohibited and does not interfere or conflict with performance of your official duties. Please review further details via the following link. (Section 4601.104 of the Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of DHS, 5 C.F.R. § 4601.104, provides, in relevant part, as follows: (a) Prohibitions on outside employment and activities. (1) No CBP employee shall be employed by or engage in activities in support of or on behalf of a[n] customs broker; international carrier; bonded warehouse; foreign trade zone…; cartman; law firm engaged in the practice of customs, immigration, or agriculture law; entity engaged in the enforcement of customs, immigration or agriculture law; importation or exportation department of a business; or business or other entity which engages in services related to agriculture matters where such agriculture matters relate to CBP’s mission.)


You qualify for the GS-11 grade level if you possess one year of specialized work experience that demonstrates the ability to:

This position has a selective factor, as a minimum qualification requirement all candidates must have the following certificate. Dual Rated: Airplane (Single-engine land or multi-engine land) with instrument rating AND Rotorcraft Helicopter with instrument rating will be considered at this time.

  • Fly as a Pilot-in-Command or sole manipulator in an airplane and helicopter in all environments of flight, including night, poor weather, unfavorable terrain, low altitudes or speed;
  • Ability to valuate information rapidly and make judicious decisions promptly during in-flight operations;
  • Develop strategies and coordinate aircraft and ground assets;
  • Use information systems and databases to conduct information surveys, queries, update files and disseminate information.

Experience may include:

  • Operation of an aircraft as Captain
  • Pilot in Command
  • Aircraft Commander
  • First Officer
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • Second in Command
  • Co-pilot

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

The application package (resume, supporting documents, and responses to assessment questions) must support your qualifications for the position.

Hiring Minimums: Pilot Enter on Duty minimums are 1500 flight hours; (up to 500 hours can be waived, reducing the pilot enter on duty minimums to 1000 hours)

A current Dual Rated (Airplane and Rotorcraft) FAA ATP Certificate or Commercial Certificate with Instrument:

Dual Rated: Airplane (Single-engine land or multi-engine land) with instrument rating AND Rotorcraft Helicopter with instrument rating

250 Pilot-in-Command hours and

75 Instrument hours

75 Night hours

FAA Class I medical required for assessment dated within last 12 calendar months

FAA Class II medical will qualify. It must be dated within last 12 calendar months. However, at the time of your Flight Assessment you MUST present a FAA 1st Class Medical Certificate dated within the previous 12 calendar months.

FAA Commercial or ATP – Dual rated with Airplane and Helicopter rated w/instrument rating

Apply at 750 hours total time

Applicants applying at 750 flight hours are required to obtain at least 1,000 flight hours (depending on the number of hours approved for a waiver) at own expense before being able to attend the 3-part flight assessment. Applicant must still meet 250 PIC, 75 instrument and 75 night hours.

UAS Flight Hours: Applicants may include UAS Predator A (MQ-1), Predator B (MQ-9) flight hours and Predator A (MQ-1), Predator B (MQ-9) or predator based variant flight hours. These hours may be credited towards satisfying the “Total flight time” 1,500 flight hour requirement only. UAS hours do not count towards the 250 flight hours as a Pilot in Command, 75 flight hours Instrument and 75 flight hours Night. Flight hour logbooks will be required at time of your Flight Assessment for verification.

You must meet all qualification requirements, including education if applicable to this position, subject to verification at any stage of the application process by 10/31/2020.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.

Background Investigation: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a federal law enforcement agency that requires all applicants to undergo a thorough background investigation prior to employment in order to promote the agency’s core values of vigilance, service to country, and integrity. During the screening and/or background investigation process, you will be asked questions regarding any felony criminal convictions or current felony charges, the use of illegal drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamines, ecstasy), and the use of non-prescribed controlled substances including any experimentation, possession, sale, receipt, manufacture, cultivation, production, transfer, shipping, trafficking, or distribution of controlled substances. For more information visit this link.

Polygraph Examination: The CBP AIR INTERDICTION AGENT position is a polygraph-required position. If you are not a current CBP employee in a law enforcement position, you may be required to take a polygraph exam and have favorable results in order to continue in the pre-employment process. Please see Polygraph Examination.

Polygraph Reciprocity: CBP may accept the results of a prior federal polygraph exam in lieu of a CBP polygraph exam. You will receive information to request reciprocity in your Background Investigation Package.

Polygraph Waiver: Certain veterans may be eligible to obtain a polygraph waiver. You will receive information to request a waiver in your Background Investigation Package.

Residency: There is a residency requirement for all applicants not currently employed by CBP. Individuals are required to have physically resided in the United States or its protectorates (as declared under international law) for at least three of the last five years. If you do not meet the residency requirement and you have been physically located in a foreign location for more than two of the last five years, you may request an exception to determine if you are eligible for a residency wavier by meeting one or more of the following conditions:

  • Working for the U.S. Government as a federal civilian or as a member of the military
  • A dependent who was authorized to accompany a federal civilian or member of the military who was working for the U.S. government
  • Participation in a study abroad program sponsored by a U.S. affiliated college or university
  • Working as a contractor, intern, consultant or volunteer supporting the U.S. government

Probationary Period: All employees new to the federal government must serve a one year probationary period during the first year of his/her initial permanent federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment. Current and former federal employees may be required to serve or complete a probationary period.

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles: If you have never worked for the Federal Government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible. Information about ICTAP or CTAP eligibility can be found here. You must submit the supporting documents listed in the “Required Documents” section of this announcement. In addition, to be considered under CTAP/ICTAP, you must have knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies as defined under “How You Will Be Evaluated” section of this announcement which clearly exceed the minimum qualification and any applicable basic requirements for the vacancy.


Additional information

Firearm Proficiency: Firearm proficiency is required for Air Interdiction Agents and is part of the training provided.

Driver’s License: You must possess a valid driver’s license.

Probationary Period: You must serve a one-year probationary period during the first year of your initial permanent federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment.

Mandatory Completion of Basic Training: You will be detailed to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy (FLETC) in Glynco, GA, for 15 weeks of Air and Marine Basic Training (AMBT). The training is comprised of formalized courses of basic technical instruction necessary to perform the duties of the position, including a swim/water survival course. Additionally, you will complete the following training programs: (1) Spanish Language training course; (2) Initial Survival Training course; (3) Aircraft-specific Flight Training course; and (4) Standardized Tactical Aviation Training (STAT) course. Learn more here.

Mobility: You are required to sign a mobility agreement and be willing to relocate as necessary.

Uniforms: This position requires you to wear an officially-approved uniform while in a duty status.

Shift Work: This position requires regular and recurring shift work. You must be willing and available to work rotating shifts. You may also be rotated between assignments and duty locations.

Overtime: Employees must be fully trained to be eligible for overtime. Positions may be filled at any AMO duty station within the regions listed below.

You must be willing to work at any duty location that falls within that region.

Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB): Aguadilla, PR
Southwest Region: Yuma, AZ, San Diego, CA, El Paso and Laredo, TX
National Air Security Operation Centers (NASOC) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Locations: Sierra Vista, AZ and San Angelo, TX.

*Tax Law Impact: Federal Travel Regulation GSA Bulletin FTR 18-05 – On December 22, 2017, Public Law 115-97 – the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 suspended qualified moving expense deductions along with the exclusion for employer reimbursements and payments of moving expenses effective January 1, 2018 for tax years 2018 through 2025. The law made certain reimbursements and other payments taxable, including, airfare and lodging expenses, en-route travel to the new duty station, and temporary storage of household goods and shipment of household goods. For more information please see Federal Travel Regulation GSA Bulletin FTR 18-05

This is a Direct Hire Public Notice. Category Rating, Veterans Preference and traditional rating and ranking do not apply to this Public Notice. This notice may be used to fill any vacancy throughout the Southern Border (SB) & CAMB Duty Locations. In-order to meet agency mission-critical needs, your final duty location offer may include one of the duty locations within the SB and CAMB.

Positions with known promotion potential do not guarantee promotion, nor is the promise of promotion implied.

CBP uses E-Verify, an internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify including your rights and responsibilities.

Follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Twitter @CustomsBorder


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