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Air Interdiction Agent Application Process

An Air and Marine Operations AS350 helicopter crew conducts operations.

Being an Air Interdiction Agent can be both mentally and physically challenging. As a result, our law enforcement training is intentionally rigorous to ensure that those selected can carryout the duties that are expected of them.


Due to the impacts of COVID-19, AMO is experiencing delays in the hiring process for all Agent positions. For more information, contact

Expand Basic Eligibility

In order to be eligible for employment with the CBP, applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Have a valid driver's license.
  • Have resided in the U.S. for the last 3 years.
  • Be eligible to carry a firearm.
  • Referred for selection prior to your 40th birthday (waiver for veterans' preference eligible or those that have previously served in a federal civilian law enforcement position).
  • Be willing to travel; you will be required to travel frequently. This job may require extended domestic and foreign Temporary Duty (TDY) assignments.
  • Pass the application process (see details below).

Common Disqualifiers

You may be rated unsuitable for the Air Interdiction Agent position if your background includes:

  • Use of illegal drugs, and/or the sale and distribution of illegal drugs. View our FAQ on prior illegal drug use.
  • Convictions (including misdemeanor domestic violence charges)
  • Intentional harboring or concealment of an illegal alien

Expand Specific Air Interdiction Agent Qualifications

You qualify for the GS-11 grade level (starting salary $61,218 up to $79,586 with potential overtime) if you possess one year of specialized work experience that demonstrates the ability to:

  • 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

National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience) 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.

Certificates, Ratings and Flight Experience:

You must possess and provide proof of the following, at time of application in order to meet the basic requirements of this position:

  • A current FAA Commercial or ATP Pilot Certification with the following ratings:
    • Dual Rated: Airplane (Single-engine land or multi-engine land) with instrument rating AND Rotorcraft Helicopter with instrument rating; OR
    • Airplane Rated: Airplane (Single-engine land or multi-engine land) with instrument; OR
    • Helicopter Rated: Rotorcraft Helicopter with instrument rating.
  • An FAA Medical Certificate First or Second Class. Either one must be dated within the last 12 calendar months and valid through the closing date of this announcement. However, at the time of your Flight Assessment you MUST have an FAA 1st Class Medical Certificate dated within the previous 12 calendar months. Military flight medicals cannot be used - you must possess an FAA 1st or 2nd class Medical certificate.
  • Submit the last page of your documented flight log reflecting a minimum of 1500 flight hours; apply at 750 flight hours*
    • 250 Pilot-in-Command hours and
    • 75 Instrument hours
    • 75 Night hours

Applicants may include UAS Predator A (MQ-1), Predator B (MQ-9), or Global Hawk (RQ-4) flight hours. Your full flight log will be required at time of your Flight Assessment for verification.

*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. Must meet the required 250 PIC, 75 instrument and 75 night hours.

You must meet all qualification requirements, by the closing date of this announcement. Qualifications are subject to verification at any stage of the application process.

Flight Hour Waiver:

The experience you use to request consideration for the Flight Hour Waiver (FHW) must be submitted at time of application. Please list all of your FHW experience on a sheet titled ‘Flight Hour Waiver Request'. Your request should include all of the following items: dates of experience, hours per week, title and a detailed description of experience. NOTE: The 250 PIC, 75 instrument and 75 night hours cannot be waived.

9 steps in the process to employment. Note that several steps occur at the same time or may occur in a different order

Expand 1. Apply

Apply to be an Air Interdiction Agent (pilot)
To begin your application process, send your aviation resume to an AMO recruiter. An AMO Recruiter will review your qualifications, provide you with additional forms to complete, and may also request other documents if you are a veteran. If you are not ready to apply at this time, but would like to learn more about the Air Interdiction Agent (pilot) position, please contact an AMO recruiter

Expand 2. Qualifications Review

An AMO Recruiter will forward your application package to Human Resources Specialists, who will review your resume and other documentation to make a qualification determination.


Expand 3. Background Investigation

Air Interdiction applicants undergo a thorough background investigation
All selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a background investigation as a condition of placement into a CBP position. The SF-86 or SF-85 (e-QIP) must be completed to initiate the background investigation. The background investigation process consists of four key elements: the preliminary vetting checks, the polygraph examination, the investigation (the field portion and OPM’s National Agency Checks) and the final adjudication. The results produced from the vetting checks, the polygraph exam, and the investigation are analyzed for the purpose of making a final adjudicative determination. Learn more about the background investigation.

View the detailed overview of CBP’s suitability process

Expand 4. Medical Exam

General Medical Requirements:
Individuals in this position must be medically and physically capable of performing the essential job functions and duties of the position safely and efficiently without aggravating existing health problems or endangering the health and safety of the individual, others, or national security. After tentative selection, candidates must undergo a pre-employment medical examination and be found medically qualified to perform the position's full range of duties safely and efficiently. Any disease or condition that may potentially interfere with the safe and efficient performance of the job's duties or training may result in medical disqualification. No condition is automatically disqualifying; each determination is made on a case-by-case basis. The medical determination may involve recommendations for additional information and/or testing. If medical information is recommended beyond that provided by the initial medical examination, it is provided at the expense of the candidate.

Specific Medical Requirements:

  • Near vision, corrected or uncorrected, must be sufficient to read Jaeger type 2 at 14 inches.
  • Normal depth perception
  • Normal peripheral vision
  • Ability to distinguish shades of color by color plate tests
  • Refractive surgery/LASIK – minimum of 90 day recovery period following procedure, free from significant untoward side effects of surgery, e.g., glare, contrast sensitivity
  • Uncorrected distant vision must test 20/200 in each eye
  • Corrected distant vision must test 20/20 in one eye and 20/30 in the other
  • Hearing loss must not exceed 30 dB in either ear in the 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz ranges. Applicants must be able to hear the whispered voice at 15 feet with each ear without the use of a hearing aid.

Expand 5. Fitness test

To ensure you are physically fit for the job, you are required to undergo the AIA Physical Fitness Test (PFT)

The PFT is required to ensure you are able to carry out the critical tasks of the job, such as use force. The test includes pushups, sit-ups and a step test. View the Current Applicant Resources Webpage to access the frequently asked questions regarding the fitness test.

Physical Fitness Test Minimum Requirements
TestRepetitionsTime Frame
Sit-Ups201 minute
Push-Ups121 minute
12" Step120 steps per minute5 minutes

Expand 6. Drug Test

Air Interdiction Agents have direct responsibility and involvement with the interdiction of illegal narcotics, and are routinely exposed to illegal substances. During the application process you will be required to submit to a random drug test. Applicants that test positively are disqualified. View Current Applicant Resources for frequently asked questions regarding the drug test.

Expand 7. Polygraph Exam

The polygraph exam is a standardized polygraph exam, required by the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010. This is a 4-6 hour interview that requires you to respond to a series of questions typically relating to national security issues and answers you provide on your background investigations forms. The polygraph measures your physiological response when answering questions and results are subject to a quality control review for accuracy. Learn more about the polygraph exam.

Polygraph Examination: The Aviation Enforcement Agent (AEA) position is a polygraph-required position. You must undergo a polygraph exam with 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.

Expand 8. Three Part Flight Assessment

You will be required to pass a three part assessment that consists of a 1) Oral evaluation, 2) Flight evaluation, and 3) Interview. The assessments will be conducted in Oklahoma City, OK and take approximately 1 full day beginning at 8:00am. Round trip travel and lodging will be reimbursed by Air and Marine Operations (AMO). Once selectees are scheduled for the assessment, detailed travel information will be provided.

Part 1) Applicants must complete and pass an oral evaluation.
This evaluation will test your pilot knowledge based on published part 91 regulations. Questions are derived from the Federal Aviation Regulation, parts 61 and 91. Airman’s information Manual and Flight Information Publications to include U.S. Terminal Procedures, IFR EnRoute/Sectional Aeronautical Charts.

Part 2) Applicants must complete and pass a flight evaluation.
You will be required to demonstrate your flight proficiency in an AMO aircraft with a flight instructor. You will be evaluated based on Federal Aviation Administration commercial pilot standards.

Part 3) Applicants must complete and pass a structured interview.
You must be able to answer scenario based interview questions to demonstrate your possession of core competencies, which include Judgment/Decision Making, Teamwork/Interpersonal Skills, Flexibility, Integrity and Oral Communication.

For more information, view the AIA 3 Part Flight Assessment page.

Expand 9. Completion of the Air and Marine Basic Training Program

Trainees are required to complete a 15-week Air and Marine Basic Training Program (AMBTP) at the Air and Marine Operations Academy (AMOA), located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Georgia. Requirements include: a 1.5 mile run/walk within 16 minutes and 30 seconds or less; 24 push-ups within one minute or less; 220 yard sprint in 60 seconds or less; and a five minute tread/float. Additionally, candidates must successfully exit a simulated downed aircraft in the water while wearing blacked out goggles; followed by self-rescue into a life raft. Firearms proficiency must be achieved for the duty-issued handgun, M-4 rifle, and 12-gauge shotgun. During AMBTP, trainees will be provided training in arrest techniques, investigative skills, survival skills, defensive tactics, criminal law, customs law, immigration law, law enforcement driving, and tactics specific to aviation and maritime law enforcement. Failure to successfully complete all the above training may be grounds for mandatory removal from the position.

Air and Marine Basic Spanish Training Program: During Air and Marine Basic Spanish Training Program (AMBTSP), trainees will be given a Spanish language proficiency test. If a passing score is not achieved, agents will immediately attend the AMBSTP following their graduation from AMBTP. AMBSTP is a four-week law enforcement Spanish dialogue-based course taught at the AMOA. Failure to successfully complete AMBSTP may be grounds for mandatory removal from the position. Agents who have successfully completed the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Basic Training Program or the U.S. Border Patrol Academy’s Spanish training program will not be required to attend AMBSTP.

Air Interdiction Agents: After successfully completing AMBTP and AMBSTP, Air Interdiction Agents (AIAs) will:

  • Receive initial vendor training from the National Air Training Center (NATC) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, or a NATC-approved vendor for the aircraft they will operate at their respective location
  • Successfully complete specific local area Tactical Team Member training at their respective location 

Failure to successfully complete all the above training within one year may be grounds for mandatory removal from the position.

Last modified: 
November 9, 2020