- Government contract flight
A government contract flight is a type of
charter airlineoperation contracted with a government agency.
United States, the massive mobility requirements during World War IIproved that military transport could not meet all the logistical needs that might arise. As a result, the Civil Reserve Air Fleet(CRAF) was developed to use airline capacity to provide maximum airlift support in wartime situations. As a benefit, airlines that commit planes to CRAF are able to receive peacetime government contracts in an amount proportional to the airline's potential wartime mobilization value. This is the basis for most routine military charter flights. The government receives an extremely economical source of emergency capacity as well as reasonable costs for peacetime military transportation.
United States passenger operations
Most American government contract flights are sponsored by the military. While many of them are used to move cargo, some are operated as scheduled airline services. These flights are virtually identical to standard airline flights, complete with flight attendants, meal service, and in-flight movies. A contract flight returning from an overseas area is often referred to as a freedom bird, since it usually carries military members who are returning to the United States after what is commonly a one to three-year tour of duty. The service onboard during the Vietnam war was very spartan and did not offer the amenities mentioned above.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the hub for most military charters was
Travis Air Force Baseand McChord Air Force Baseon the west coast and McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey and Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina on the east coast. These bases connected to a number of foreign hubs, which included Yokota Air Basein Japan and Rhein-Main Air Basein Europe. Starting in the 1980s the military shifted many of its domestic hubs from military bases to commercial airports to better integrate its transportation network with scheduled airline service, thereby avoiding the logistical headaches of transporting passengers between airports and air bases. By 1984 McGuire AFB was replaced with Philadelphia International Airport, and Charleston AFB was replaced with Charleston International Airport. By 1997, Philadelphia was replaced with BWI, Maryland and Charleston International Airport replaced with Atlanta, Georgia .
Historically, services were provided to each military theater as follows:
Flying Tiger Lineflew Lockheed Constellationaircraft to Rhein Main AB via Gander, Newfoundland. Trans Caribbean Airwaysalso flew from McGuire to Rhein Main in the mid-60s, with a stopover at Prestwickin Scotland. During the 1970s Capitol Air Linesoperated a large share of flights from Charleston to Rhein Main via Windsor Locks. During the 1990s the main trunk route was from Baltimore to Rhein-Main Air Baseusing Tower AirBoeing 747s. The current trunk route is from Atlanta-Frankfurt or Atlanta-Baltimore-Frankfurt using World AirwaysDC-10 aircraft.
Yokota Air Basenear Tokyo has historically been the major United States airlift hub for Asia. Most flights to Yokota were once operated by Flying Tiger Line. This started during the 1950s with Lockheed Constellationservice from Travis AFB via Cold Bay, Adak, and Misawa ABand continued through the 1980s.
* Korea. The
Air Mobility Commandchartered flights several times weekly to and from Osan Air Baseand the west coast of the United States (sometimes via Yokota Air Base, Japanand/or Kadena Air Base, Japan) for the purpose of ferrying servicemembers and families to and from their duty assignments. At various times, the West Coast port was Los Angeles International Airport, Oakland International Airportand lastly Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Flying Tiger Line held the initial contract in the 1980s, which passed to FedExwhen that company purchased Flying Tigers, the only time in its history FedEx entered the passenger transport business. In the early 1990s the contract passed to Northwest Airlinesbriefly before finding a permanent home with World Airways. These flights flew Boeing 747aircraft until the mid-90s, when it was replaced by the McDonnell Douglas MD-11. Officials at Osan AB discouraged the popular nickname "Freedom Bird" for this flight, as it implied a tour of duty in Korea was less than desirable. The flight was officially known as the "Osan Eagle," later renamed "Patriot Express." The last charter flights flew on 30 September, 2005; afterward U.S. servicemembers assigned to Korea entered commercially through Incheon International Airport.
* Philippines. Flights to the Philippines were operated by
Flying Tiger Line Lockheed Constellationplanes in the 1960s from Travis via Honolulu, Wake, and Guam. In the early 1970s World AirwaysDC-8 service from Travis AFB via Cold Bay and Yokota AB, replaced by Trans International AirlinesDC-8 service via a southern route (Travis - Hickam - Andersen - Clark). Starting in 1980 Flying Tiger LineBoeing 747s were used on a northern route (St. Louis - Los Angeles - Anchorage - Kadena - Clark).
* Vietnam. The
Douglas DC-8was used for the contract operations of Overseas National Airways, Seaboard World Airlines, Flying Tiger Line, Saturnand World Airways. A World Airways DC-8 was the last scheduled flight out of Saigon before its capture in 1975. Boeing aircraft, primarily the Boeing 707, were used for contract operations of Northwest Orient, United, Continentaland Pan Am. Flights serving Vietnam operated from five locations in that country: Da Nang, Cam Ranh Bay, Saigon (Tan Son Nut), Bien Hoa and Phu Cat. Service usually originated at Travis AFB, McChord AFB, Moffett or Los Angeles with stops in Anchorage, Cold Bay, Kadena, Yokota AB, Honolulu, Guam, and/or Clark AFB.
* Turkey. Through the early 1980s, charters were not scheduled into
Incirlik Air Base; passengers had to connect to Rhein Main AB via C-141 Starlifter. This changed in the early 1990s when ATA AirlinesL-1011 service was provided via Rhein Main or Italy.
* Azores/Spain/Italy. One major trunk route used since the 1990s (Norfolk - Lajes - Rota - Naples - Sigonella) using
ATA AirlinesBoeing 757 planes. Another route (Baltimore - Lajes - Aviano) uses ATA AirlinesL-1011 aircraft.
* Saudi Arabia. During the 1990s an important trunk route originated in Baltimore (Baltimore -
Rhein-Main Air Base- Riyadh). Service to Kuwait used ATA AirlinesL-1011 aircraft (Baltimore - Lajes AB - Aviano AB - Kuwait).
* Iceland. During the 60's and 70's various airlines did the contract route from McGuire AFB, NJ. In 1988, Hawaiian Airlines operated the Norfolk NAS - Philadelphia IAP - Keflavik NAS route using DC-8-62 aircraft once a week. By 1994 the route was being operated by American Trans Air utilizing 757 aircraft along with L-1011s with Rich International supplementing the service. The route was moved to Baltimore when the Philadelphia AMC operation was shut down. By 2000 the service was being operated by Miami Air 737-800s from BWI to KEF. All charter flights were ended in 2005 and all US Forces are scheduled to leave the Keflavik NATO base by 30 Sep 2006.
Noteworthy disasters involving a military charter flight include:
March 15, 1962: A Flying Tiger Line Constellation crashed while enroute from Guam to the Philippines, killing all 107 aboard. The cause was not determined. It remains the worst single Constellation accident to date.
November 27, 1970: A Capitol International Airways DC-8 crashed at Anchorage, Alaska when its brakes locked and caught fire; 47 out of 229 were killed.
December 12, 1985: A DC-8, Arrow Air Flight 1285, crashed at Gander, Newfoundland killing all 256 aboard.
Since 1990, scheduled military passenger services have been operated by ATA,
World Airways, Evergreen International, Northwest Airlines, Rich International, Sun Country, Tower Air, TWA, ATI, and Carnival Air Lines.
United States cargo operations
The government relies on a number of cargo operators to supplement its own airlift fleet. Contractors include
Airlift International, World Airways, and Evergreen International Aviation. On March 23, 1974an Airlift International DC-8-63 burned at Travis Air Force Base when fuel caught fire during maintenance.
By the 1990s, government contract services for freight were operated by American International,
Burlington Air Express, ABX Air, Emery Worldwide, Evergreen International, FedEx, Northwest Airlines, Rich International, Southern Air Transport, Tower Air, TWA, ATI, United Parcel Service, and World Airways.
Civil Reserve Air Fleet
* [http://www.transcom.mil www.transcom.mil] - United States Transportation Command
* [https://josac.transcom.mil/ josac.transcom.mil] - Joint Operational Support Airlift Center
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Flight data recorder — An example of a flight data recorder; the underwater locator beacon is the small cylinder on the far right. (English translation of warning message: FLIGHT RECORDER DO NOT OPEN) … Wikipedia
Government Flight Representative — A Government Flight Representative (GFR) is a US Military Officer or similarly qualified US Government Civilian with the responsibility for aircraft operations conducted by commercial contractors using Department of Defense (DoD)… … Wikipedia
flight, history of — ▪ aviation Introduction development of heavier than air flying machines. Important landmarks and events along the way to the invention of the airplane include an understanding of the dynamic reaction of lifting surfaces (or wings), building… … Universalium
Red-eye flight — A red eye flight is any flight departing late at night and arriving early the next morning. The term red eye derives from the fatigue symptom of having red eyes, which can be caused or aggravated by late night travel. A red eye flight typically… … Wikipedia
Helios Airways Flight 522 — Artist s depiction of 5B DBY being met by two F 16s of the Hellenic Air Force at 34000 ft Accident summary Date … Wikipedia
Adam Air Flight 574 — Flight Route Accident summary Date 1 January 2007 … Wikipedia
Awards and decorations of the United States government — are civilian awards of the U.S. federal government which are typically issued for sustained meritorious service, in a civilian capacity, while serving in the U.S. federal government. Certain U.S. government awards may also be issued to military… … Wikipedia
United States government role in civil aviation — Governments have played an important part in shaping air transportation. This role began as early as 1783, when the king of France summoned the Montgolfier brothers to demonstrate their balloon. In 1892, the French War Ministry backed an attempt… … Wikipedia
Investigation into the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 — The investigation into the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 began at 19:03 on December 21, 1988 when Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The investigatorsIn Scotland, responsibility for the investigation… … Wikipedia
List of space flight simulator games — Part of a series on … Wikipedia