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Aviation Safety Inspector (Operations)

Wallops Island, Virginia
Closing date
Aug 12, 2022

Serves as a Flight Standards Service (FS) technical expert assigned to oversee, implement and integrate communication, navigation and surveillance flight operational technology and other associated air traffic management and National Airspace System (NAS) programs. Maintains a continuing awareness of evolving flight operations technology and procedures and assures that the necessary technical concepts, standards, criteria, procedures, guidance, and rules are developed to permit the introduction of this technology in a timely and effective manner. Develops special flight technical concepts, policies, standards, criteria, procedures, guidance and rules and recommends final approval or disapproval of operators, aircraft, and equipment for these operations. Determines the need for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements pertaining to navigation systems and flight operations.

Research and Development
Additionally, responsible for recommending research and development requirements for new or revised navigation systems, operational procedures and aircraft equipment and develops policy and criteria for use of these systems. This work frequently includes working on national and international panels and working groups. Provides aviation safety oversight and surveillance work relative to flight operations in the NAS.

Policy Guidance
The inspector's work directly affects critical objectives and programs of the line of business. Typical assignments include developing policy and guidance or serving as a primary technical specialist or as a technical trainer/instructor. Work also affects major components of the domestic and international aviation industries and other external organizations. Work may involve prototypes and state-of-the-art programs. Decisions on highly complex issues frequently establish the Agency's position and create agency policy and precedents on a long-term basis. Determines the need for and makes recommendations for new or amended regulations, policies and procedures, and for research projects.

Program Management
Plans, directs, and monitors project activities to determine efficient and effective airspace operations. Defines, organizes, and assigns resources to accomplish organizational objectives. Allocates resources to accomplish complex work activities within established schedules. Incorporates strategic planning/initiatives, rulemaking and regulatory requirements, operational approval guidance, navigation system performance standards, internal/external studies, and recommendations from FAA sponsored advisory committees to determine gaps in existing standards. The inspector interprets policy and provides guidance to lower level inspectors on difficult or complex policy interpretations.

He/she is accountable for accomplishing work activities within established schedules. Conducts special studies, surveys, and evaluations of established technical policies, standards, programs, projects, and procedures to assure they are up to date with the latest aircraft and operational developments. Reviews and ensures the technical adequacy of safety regulatory material developed.

Leads special project teams and technical review groups, which may consist of internal/external flight operation, air traffic control, airport operations, and other technical/analytical personnel.

Expert knowledge is applied to identify and resolve highly complex problems that often cross organizational boundaries.


Conditions of Employment

  • Review the Additional Information Section of this vacancy announcement for important information regarding your COVID vaccine status.
  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must submit an SF50 (See Required Documents)
  • Successful completion of a security investigation may be required.
  • Please Review Required Documents & Additional Information.


Reference: OPM Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions, Individual Occupational Requirements (IOR) for Aviation Safety, 1825 series.


Minimum Eligibility Requirements For 1825 Positions:
  • Not more than two separate incidents involving Federal aviation regulations violations in the last 5 years;
  • Valid State driver's license;
  • Fluency in the English language;
  • No chemical dependencies or drug abuse that could interfere with job performance; and
  • High school diploma or equivalent.

  • Medical Requirements: Applicants must be physically able to perform the duties of the Aviation Safety Inspector position in a safe and efficient manner, with or without a reasonable accommodation . The minimum medical requirements include the following requirements:
  • Have good distant vision in each eye and be able to read, without strain, printed materials the size of typewritten characters (glasses and contact lenses permitted);
  • Have the ability to hear the conversational voice (hearing aid permitted); and
  • Not have any physical condition that would cause them to be a hazard to themselves or others that would interfere with their ability to fly as passengers in a variety of aircraft.

  • In addition, applicants for positions that require participation in the operation of aircraft must:
  • Possess a valid second-class medical certificate in accordance with Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) regulations; and
  • Pass recurrent medical examinations as prescribed by the FAA.

  • Applicants not requiring valid second-class medical certificates who are tentatively selected will be required to:
  • Provide documentation from a board-certified physician certifying that they meet the minimal medical requirements; or
  • Individuals who do not meet the minimum medical requirements but who are otherwise qualified will receive an individualized assessment to determine whether they can perform the essential functions of the position.

  • Specialized Experience, Training, And Certification Requirements:

    When the predominant work involves general aviation operations, applicants for Aviation Safety Inspector (Operations) positions must meet all of the following requirements:
  • Valid, unexpired Flight Instructor Certificate with single and multi-engine airplane and instrument airplane ratings. Must have given a minimum of 200 hours of flight instruction in an aircraft.
  • Professional flying skill as demonstrated in a flight check to Commercial Pilot Certificate with an instrument rating;
  • Possession of Airline Transport Pilot Certificate or Commercial Pilot Certificate with instrument airplane rating.
  • Minimum of 100 flight hours within the last 3 years.
  • Minimum of 1,500 total flight hours.
  • Possession of single and multi-engine land airplane ratings.
  • Not more than 2 flying accidents in the last 5 years in which the applicant's pilot error was involved.
  • Possession of a valid second-class FAA medical certificate.

  • When the predominant work involves air carrier operations, applicants for Aviation Safety Inspector (Operations) positions must meet all of the following requirements:
  • At least 1 year of pilot experience in multi-engine aircraft of more than 12,500 pounds maximum certificated takeoff weight;
  • Not more than 2 flying accidents during the last 5 years in which the applicant's pilot error was involved;
  • Professional flying skill as demonstrated in a simulator check to Airline Transport Pilot Standard;
  • Minimum 100 flight hours during the last 3 years;
  • Airline Transport Pilot Certificate or Commercial Pilot Certificate with instrument airplane rating;
  • Possession of a valid second-class FAA medical certificate; and
  • Minimum 1,500 total flight hours.

  • In addition to the above requirements, to qualify for this position at the FG/GS-14 (FV-J) level, you must demonstrate in your application that you possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the FG/GS-13 (FV-I) level. Specialized experience is experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties.

    Specialized Experience includes experience conducting enforcement investigations and preparation of final reports, and recommendations on disposition; experience assisting, conducting, or performing various technical functions related to certification, surveillance, investigations, and enforcement activities; advises other inspectors of major changes in the operation of aircraft; serves on national boards that determine the minimum equipment necessary to operate a particular type of aircraft safely; serves on boards that evaluate incidents, accidents, complaints, and other serious problems relating to aircraft and develops plans to resolve problems; serves as the principal representative in regulatory surveillance of air carrier activities; exercises certificate authority over a major air carrier with extensive and complex operations.

    Recency of specialized experience requirements (100 flight hours within the last 3 years) and second class medical is waived for current and former FAA employees in the 1825 series (this covers internal placement actions including promotions, reassignments, voluntary changes to lower grades, transfers or reinstatements to same or lower grade that currently or previously held).

    For Lateral Movements Between 1825 specialties: To assist in determining qualification requirements, applicants transferring between specialties at the same grade level are strongly encouraged to complete the appropriate Qualifications Assessment Tool (QAT) check sheet and upload it along with their resume. Check sheets are contained in Order 3410.26, Flight Standards Service. This order is located at:

    Applicants should include examples of specialized experience in their work history.

    Qualifications must be met by the closing date of this vacancy announcement.

    Errors or omissions may impact your rating or may result in you not being considered for the job.


    As a part of the Federal-Wide Hiring Reform Initiative (streamlining the hiring process), the FAA is committed to eliminating the use of the Knowledge, Skills and Ability (KSA) narratives from the initial application in the hiring process for all announcements. Therefore, as an applicant for this announcement, you are NOT required to provide a narrative response in the text box listed below each KSA.

    In lieu of providing a KSA narrative response in the text box listed below each KSA, in your work history, please include information that provides specific examples of how you meet the response level or answer you chose for each KSA. Your work history examples should be specific and clearly reflect the highest level of ability. Your KSA answers will be evaluated further to validate whether the level that you selected is appropriate based on the work history and experience you provided. Your answers may be adjusted by a Human Resource Specialist as appropriate.

    Eligible applicants meeting the minimum qualification requirements and selective factor(s), if applicable, may be further evaluated on the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA), Demonstrated Abilities and Other Factors listed in the announcement. Based on this evaluation, applicants will be placed in one of the following categories: score order, category grouping, or alphabetical and referred to the selecting official for consideration.

    Preview Job Questionnaire
    Make sure your resume includes detailed information to support your qualifications and answers to the job questionnaire.

    Additional information

    We may use this vacancy to fill other similar vacant positions.
    Position may be subject to a background investigation.
    A one-year probationary period may be required.

    The person selected for this position may be required to file a financial disclosure statement within 30 days of entry on duty. FAA policy limits certain outside employment and financial investments in aviation-related companies.

    The U.S. Department of Transportation strives to ensure that equity, transparency, accountability, collaboration, and communication permeate all that we do for the betterment of the Department, the traveling public, and our nation. As such, DOT values a highly diverse workforce of persons who promote a culture of belonging by respecting the personal dignity and worth of each individual and fostering a positive environment where all feel safe and welcome. If these commitments coincide with your personal ideals and professional aspirations, please consider joining the DOT family.

    If selected, you will be required to provide information regarding your COVID-19 vaccination status for the purposes of implementing workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

  • Initial position to be filled within AFS-410 (Flight Operations Branch). Additional positions may be filled anywhere within AFS-400 (Flight Technologies & Procedures Division).
  • Interviews: If the agency decides to interview any qualified employee on the selection list, then all on the list who are qualified must be interviewed. If the selection list is shortened to a best qualified list through a comparative process, then the best qualified list shall be considered to be the selection list.
  • In-grade/downgrade applications will be accepted.
  • Applicants must apply on-line to receive consideration for this vacancy announcement. Faxed, mailed, or emailed applications cannot be accepted.
  • Please ensure you answer all questions and follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may impact your rating or may result in you not being considered for the job.
  • To check receipt of documents, please contact Linda Dean at

  • This is a bargaining unit position. This position is represented by PASS: Flight Standards Services.

    Links to Important Information: Locality Pay , COLA

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