The National Park Service Branch of Aviation provides leadership at the national, regional, and park levels to ensure safe and efficient use of aviation resources.

Aviation is one of the many programs in the National Park Service (NPS) that supports multiple areas and disciplines. Some of the programs supported by NPS Aviation include fire, law enforcement, search and rescue, resource management, backcountry patrol, and transport of personnel and cargo. In providing this support, the NPS uses helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from contract and rental services, as well as government-owned fleet aircraft. Learn where the NPS has fleet or contract aircraft throughout the country.

Organizationally, the NPS Aviation Program is part of the Visitor and Resource Protection Associateship under the Division of Fire and Aviation Management. The branch works closely with the Wildland Fire and Structural Fire programs.

Read the Aviation Fact Sheet and visit the Aviation subject site to learn more about history and other facets of aviation.

A pilot and co-pilot fly in an aircraft above an obscured landscape.
Flying for the National Park Service

Do you dream of flying for the NPS? Learn about skills and experience you need to become a pilot working in America's treasured landscapes.

Two women stand in the door of a helicopter with a device used to ignite prescribed fires.
Aviation Careers in the National Parks

There are many aviation-related job opportunities in addition to pilot positions, see the latest job announcements from the national parks.

A man in a helmet carries a UAS on a road.
Unmanned Aircraft in the National Parks

Learn more about administrative uses of unmanned aircraft in the national parks as well as about the current prohibition on public use.

Last updated: April 10, 2024