I'm from the Army Outreach Division and I'm here to help you master the art of the Flyover Approval Process!
Flyovers in the public domain are one of your biggest tools in reaching the public. Be strategic in your outreach and communications efforts and plan in advance. Research the college games, pro-sports, airshows, festivals, state fairs, patriotic holiday celebrations and other events in your area where you may want to highlight the Army and your unit's capabilities. Magnify your flyover with Army speakers, recruiters, bands, color guards or reenlistment ceremonies.
Not everyone can be an expert on everything in the Army. I'm here to help you through the process of executing a flyover that is safe, legal and in accordance with all Army and Department of Defense (DOD) policy.
Let's go over a few rules of the road from the Secretary of Army, as outlined in Advanced Directive 2018-05:
• All flyovers must be completed during daylight hours and be comprised of no more than four aircraft;
• The expected audience at the event must be over 5,000 (actually at the event, not just on social media) and the event sponsor must formally recognize the unit and crewmembers during the event;
• Your aircraft may not at any time attach flags, banners, streamers or any other type of external load;
• And, finally you must be able to get your COMPLETED package to the OCPA 30 days in advance of the event.
In addition to the Secretary's Directive be sure you're in accordance with the Army's Public Affairs policy, AR 360-1, Chapter 3 with regard to selective benefit, endorsement and other limitations and restrictions. Ok, that seems simple enough, now put the most high speed/low drag Major or NCO you have to work on the package.
• First, have the event sponsor completely fill out a DD2535 (https://go.usa.gov/xP7Kx), and make sure they've gotten FAA approval. If it doesn't have an FAA approval, I cannot process it here at the Pentagon.
• Get a legal opinion from your SJA.
• Develop a cost estimate according the formulas and rates on the Aviation Smart Card (https://go.usa.gov/xP7Kx).
• Finally, have your Senior Commander sign a letter certifying that you are in accordance with all Army and DOD policy and are executing the flight with training hours.
We don't need to recreate the wheel here, so we've posted a sample letter and package along with the Aviation Smart Card on the PA Portal (https://go.usa.gov/xP7Kx).
Here are some other helpful tips.
• FRIES/SPIES and aerial demonstrations require a VCSA approval, this lengthens the process, plan accordingly.
• Static displays of aircraft may be approved by your commander, they are also great recruitment tools!
• Leave a smart book, so the next PAO with your job doesn't have to recreate the wheel.
Got any questions? I'm here to answer them, Gail.T.Moore.firstname.lastname@example.org and (703) 697 5756 or (703) 697-6903.