Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

1025.00 Police Operations at TSA-Governed Airport Facilities

1025.00, Police Operations at TSA-Governed Airport Facilities

Refer:    

  • 49 CFR 1542.215; 1542.217 (Transportation Security Administration -TSA/Federal Air Marshal Service)
  • 49 CFR 1544.217; 1544.219; 1544.221
  • TSA Special Procedures for Law Enforcement Flying Armed (located at TSA.gov)
  • Federal Air Marshal Service AM message
  • Notice to Armed Individuals form (Airlines)
  • Detective Division SOP 

Definitions:

  • Checked: A term referring to checking luggage in at the main ticket counter to be loaded aboard the aircraft by airline employees. 
  • Gate security checkpoints: Those areas containing metal detectors and x-ray devices that are used to scan passengers and their carry-on luggage for contraband. 

Policy:

1. The purpose of this directive is to establish rules and guidelines for Portland Police Bureau members when traveling while armed or in an official capacity. 

2. It is the Portland Police Bureau’s expectation that any member who conducts official business at the Portland International Airport (PDX) or any stateside airport comply with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations and adhere to policies and practices established by personnel, airport police, and airline officials.  Security regulations at airports are strictly enforced and members are not exempt from following them. 

Procedure:

1. Conducting Official Business at PDX.

1.1.   Sworn members should notify the Port of Portland (Port) Police in advance of pending trips to the airport for official business, when feasible. 

1.2.   On-duty sworn members, uniformed and in plainclothes assignments, who have official business at the airport, may move freely about the area outside the gate security checkpoints (GSC). 

1.3.   Sworn members conducting official business beyond GSC shall:

1.3.1.      Coordinate as far in advance as practicable with Port Police.  This official business may include, but is not limited to: surveillance of passengers; escorting passengers; meeting incoming passengers; conducting interviews of persons with everyday access beyond the GSC; and other police functions within the scope of their employment by the Bureau as required.  Members must conform to the same TSA requirements imposed on Port Police for pre-planned operations and business matters.

1.3.2.      Be escorted by Port Police.  Members working with Port Police on pre-planned operations will abide by PDX security requirements. If the pre-planned operation is a clandestine surveillance operation, members will work within the Port Police and TSA requirements to allow for area observation, which should be managed or coordinated through uniformed Port Police officers.

1.4.   Sworn members issued PDX Security Badges (Black Star) shall conduct their business in accordance with PDX security policies regarding armed law enforcement in secure areas. 

2. Emergency Situations.

2.1.   Members engaged in immediate police action under emergency circumstances (such as hot pursuit or emergency cover of other officers to include Port Police) will coordinate all actions on airport grounds through the Port of Portland dispatch and Port Police.  The physical barriers and GSC should preclude any suspect(s) and member(s) from accessing areas of the terminal beyond the GSC.  All breaches of secured areas on airport property require the intervention of the Port Police.  Members shall cooperate with Port Police when they arrive.

3. Traveling on Official Business.

3.1.    Authorized sworn members have occasion to travel on official business.  Members must abide by TSA regulations for law enforcement officers traveling while armed.  Prior to traveling while armed, members will contact the Training Division to complete the TSA’s Law Enforcement Officer’s Flying Armed training class.  Permissible reasons for traveling armed are listed on the TSA.gov website. 

3.2.   Members must have the following documentation when flying on official business while armed:

3.2.1.      Members will obtain a National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS) number, via WebLEDS with command approval (Lt. or above), and submit to TSA at least 24 hours prior to travel.  A copy of this NLETS number and teletype is simultaneously sent to the originating airport on the member’s day of travel; however, members must have either an electronic copy or the paper print out of the teletype sent by the Federal Air Marshal Service to present to TSA to enter areas beyond the GSC.  

3.2.1.1.   Members having an authorized change in their travel itinerary will contact PPB Records teletype desk, by phone, to obtain an NLETS number authorizing travel on the re-scheduled flight prior to checking in for that flight.  Members will request that a copy of the teletype containing the NLETS number be forwarded to their email.

3.2.2.      Members will present their State issued driver’s license and Bureau issued identification when requested by airline and TSA personnel.

3.2.3.      Members will complete a Notice to Armed Individuals form per airline standard affirming that they have completed the appropriate training to travel armed.

3.2.3.1.   If the member’s itinerary requires more than one Notice to Armed Individuals form, per travel day, the member will complete the additional forms prior to departure.

3.2.4.      Members will present their boarding pass, when requested. 

3.3.   Members will notify their chain of command if any problems prevent them from proceeding past a GSC or traveling on their scheduled flight.

3.4.   Members will travel in appropriate civilian attire and shall conceal their weapon from public view. 

3.5.   Process Through GSCs While Armed.

3.5.1.      Members will not attempt to access the area beyond the GSC through the normal screening lanes when traveling armed, as this can cause a shutdown of all airport gate screening and airport flight operations.

3.5.2.      At PDX, members will proceed to their gate via the terminal exit adjacent to the GSC and will have their badges visibly displayed for TSA personnel to see.  Members will check-in with TSA by completing the required entry in the TSA log and presenting identification listed in Section 3.2.

3.5.3.      Members returning to PDX from other stateside airports may encounter different procedures; members should contact airport police or TSA personnel for assistance or escort beyond GSCs if they are unsure of airport protocols. 

3.6.   Boarding.

3.6.1.      Members should arrive to their gate earlier than the listed boarding time and check-in with gate agents.  Members will present their identification, a completed Notice to Armed Individuals form, and boarding pass and remain available for pre-board with flight personnel, if authorized by gate agents. 

3.6.1.1.   Members should be aware that airlines are not required to allow members to board a flight if they are armed.  Members encountering any administrative or procedural problems will follow all instructions given by TSA, Air Marshal(s) and airline personnel, and not assert law enforcement authority.

3.6.1.2.   Members should be aware that many cockpit crew members are now authorized to carry firearms and will advise the Bureau member if they are armed.  Members should also be aware that other armed law enforcement officers (LEOs) may be present on the same flight and that their identity will be shared among other armed personnel by flight crew members.  Members should avoid publicly initiating contact with Air Marshals. 

3.7.   During the Flight.

3.7.1.      Members shall carry their weapon(s) throughout the flight; no weapons shall be placed in the overhead bins.

3.7.2.      Members shall not consume alcohol while traveling armed. 

3.8.   Prisoner Transport.

3.8.1.      Members conducting prisoner transport(s) will organize travel in accordance with their Flying While Armed training.  Members will notify and coordinate, in advance, with local airport police, TSA and airline personnel throughout their movement while on airport grounds. 

3.8.2.      Members will provide TSA and airline personnel documentation authorizing the transportation of a prisoner when requested.

3.8.3.      The decision to allow a member to board a flight with a prisoner resides with the crew pilots; members should be aware that they may not be allowed to board.  Members encountering problems will follow instructions given by TSA, Air Marshal(s), and airline personnel, and will not assert law enforcement authority. 

4. Non-Official Business.

4.1.   Off-duty members are subject to the same regulations as the general public in regard to firearm(s) and ammunition while at the airport.   

4.2.   Members traveling with firearms and/or ammunition will comply with the guidelines located on the TSA.gov website. 

5. Non-Commercial/Private Aircraft Companies Located at Airports.

5.1.   Non-commercial companies (e.g., Flightcraft, UPS) conduct operations on airport property but away from the main terminal. Although they are governed by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, they control their own security.  Members soliciting entry to these areas or who have questions should contact the company directly. 

History:

  • Originating Directive Effective: 01/20/06
  • Last Revision Effective: 06/06/17
    • Title change from Firearms at Portland International Airport
  • Next Review Date: 06/06/19