Freight DogsFinally a forum for those midnight prowler types who utilise the unglamorous parts of airports that many of us never get to see. Freight Dogs is for pilots and crew who operate mostly without SLF.
I don't know if there were any airlines who've been selling tickets to public to fly on freighter (we not talking about combi aircraft, aren't we?). Normally it is all about non-rev passengers, like cargo attendants, deadheading crew, sometimes company presonnel or contractors (GSA, handling, etc) staff. And these things became much more restrictive after 9/11.
We just found out a few weeks ago that, even though we've put in the reinforced doors, only company employees will be allowed to ride our freighters. The TSA has SPOKEN. This of course means no more family tagging along.
Think yourself lucky. Our freighters all have the new doors too but only US employees can ride on the jets. Myself, being based in the UK, and who can sign both the airworthiness release and the aircraft security check (should the nosegear security tape be missing) cannot, and probably never will again. Gone are the days when you could fly around on charter flights as a flight mechanic/mx rep. Now i have to lug my toolbox around airports on commercial flights chasing our own aircraft.
Foreign carriers who are permitted to operate to the US must submit a full and complete Master Crew List to the TSA/DHS in a specified format to maintain acreditation by the US. Once accepted and approved carriers must submit individual crewlists at least 24 hours in advance of arrival into the US (maybe arrival into US Airspace). The list is checked against the MCL. If there is a discrepancy the flight will not be accepted. FAA will not approve routing. To my knowledge in the case of a Cargo aircraft. No other persons are permitted on the aircraft including charter representatives, ground staff, family and friends of crew. Depending on the nature of the cargo, it maybe necessary to carry a specialist cargo attendant. However, the TSA will need to be given time and probaly require alot of documentation and good reason as to why such a person is required to be onboard before approval is given. In addition I believe carriers have to make crewlist submissions via APIS.
Things change so I may not be entirely correct but I am sure the US DOT / FAA / Customs and Immigration websites will give good guidance. Otherwise, my advice would be to invest in a good US aviation lawyer.