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FFDO Budget

Fellow Pilots,

FFDOA has learned that the President’s 2015 Budget proposal for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) includes a reduction in the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program budget of $4.9 million dollars. That represents a nearly 20% reduction in funding of the program from our current year.

One of the key elements to this reduction, as noted in the comments of the FY2015 DHS “Budget in Brief,” is termed an “Inactive Reserve Force.”  Note the reference below taken from this open-source document:

“Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO).......................($4.9M) (3 FTE)
TSA’s request includes a reduction of $4.9 million and 3 FTE to the FFDO program from FY2014. This reduction reflects efficiencies gained from the implementation of an Inactive Reserve Force, the consolidation of requalification facilities and the elimination of unfilled program management vacancies.” (2015 DHS BIB, page 74)

As a member of the FFDO program stakeholder group, FFDOA was notified of the Inactive Reserve Initiative (IRI) and asked to comment. While FFDOA voiced concerns with this implementation of this program, it was also understood that with a limited budget, the TSA must use its full resources as efficiently as possible to, at a minimum, maintain the current force or bring on new applicants.

However, at no time was FFDOA informed by TSA/FAMS that the IRI would be linked to a budget cut in the program.  FFDOA was one of the organizations active in defeating previous budget cut proposals to include an attempt to eliminate the FFDO budget completely. 

As a result of this new information, it will yet again be necessary for our nation’s pilots to contact their Congressional representatives to request full funding for the FFDO program.

The FFDO program represents one of the most cost-effective counterterrorism programs in the history of the United States. FFDOs spend their own dime and own time volunteering to be the last line of defense for our nation’s passengers and precious cargo.  It is illogical and incomprehensible to reduce the funding of this highly successful program.  A program that has resulted in millions of flights protected against a terrorist attack.

We will be taking this message to Congress very soon. In addition, we will be asking you to contact your representatives to request they ensure that this vital program has the funding necessary to carry out its mission. We will send more information on that call to action in the coming days and weeks.


Board of Directors
Federal Flight Deck Officers Association