U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Air Operations (IAO) is ICE’s primary air transportation division. IAO facilitates the transfer and removal of noncitizens via commercial airlines and chartered flights in support of ICE field offices and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiatives.
IAO conducts the transfer and removal of detained noncitizens via charter and commercial air transportation:
- Air Charter Operations transports detained noncitizens ordered removed from the United States to their countries of origin, and transfers detained noncitizens domestically throughout the United States to various ICE-managed detention facilities and staging areas via charter aircraft.
- Commercial Air Operations is the commercial air transportation entity that coordinates all escorted and unescorted commercial removal travel requests received from the 25 ERO field offices.
IAO also conducts Special High-Risk Charter flights. These flights are scheduled to countries or regions on an as-needed basis to repatriate noncitizens subject to final orders of removal to locations worldwide and may include noncitizens who have failed to comply with final orders of removal, security risks, or other risk factors.
IAO Charter Operational Locations
IAO stages a total of 12 aircraft at its operational locations in Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.