State, Local, Tribal, Territorial (non-Federal) Law Enforcement Agencies—State of Mississippi

RE: Law Enforcement Officers Flying Armed Aboard Commercial Aircraft

Change to Flying Armed Procedure

On November 15, 2008, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began transition to a National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS) authorization code being issued by the Federal Air Marshal (FAM) Service to state and local officers flying armed aboard commercial aircraft. The authorization code was issued as a result of a state or local law enforcement agency sending a NLETS administrative message (a message generated through that agency’s NCIC terminal) to the FAM Service detailing information concerning the officer flying armed, the agency represented, contact information for the individual and their department, itinerary information and confirmation that the officer flying armed had taken the LEO Flying Armed training program. Once the information in the NLETS administrative message was vetted by the FAM Service, the FAM Service would respond with a return administrative message that included a NLETS authorization code for the LEO to fly armed.

From November 15, 2008 to July 15, 2009, the LEO is to provide the original letter of authority required by 49 CFR Part 1544.219, signed by the chief or agency head authorizing them to fly armed, and production of the NLETS authorization code to fly armed is optional.

Effective July 15, 2009, TSA and airport law enforcement personnel at LEO Lanes and/or Exit Lanes that allow access to sterile areas of the airport, will no longer accept a non-Federal law enforcement agency’s original letter of authority to fly armed while on board a commercial aircraft in lieu of a National Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (NLETS) authorization code.

On July 15, 2009, the NLETS authorization code, in addition to the LEO presenting a badge, credential, second form of photo ID, and the aircraft operator-provided Notice of LEO Flying Armed document, will be the materials needed to successfully process through the screening checkpoint. The requirement to have an original letter of authority signed by the chief or agency head will no longer be applicable.

If you have any questions or concerns about the new procedure, or its effect on your agency, please contact TSA Assistant Federal Security Director for Law Enforcement (AFSD-LE) Kent Banks, as shown below.


Kent Banks
Jackson, MS
601-936-1703 (desk)
601-966-0644 (cell)

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