Aviation Safety Inspector, Principal Operations Inspector


The Principal Operations Inspector is the liaison between commercial air carriers and the FAA. The Inspector is responsible for ensuring legal compliance of the carriers with FAA rules and regulations. The Inspector has the authority to instigate surveillance, inspections, and work programs to monitor and evaluate a carrier’s compliance, provided such actions are acceptable for department budgets and policies. Duties also include researching, preparing, and writing detailed investigative and accident reports.


A Principal Operations Inspector may have to deal with frustrated or angry individuals. The job can entail long hours of boredom punctuated by moments of high stress or frustration. Because Inspectors often have to travel as part of their job, they may be away from home for days at a time.


Applicants should have a thorough knowledge and understanding of Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR’s) as well as FAA procedures and policies. Because this job entails working in the private as well as commercial sectors, an understanding of reciprocating and turbine powered multiengine aircraft is necessary.


Applicants must be United States citizens. Candidates for the position of Supervisory Aviation Safety Inspector must have a thorough understanding of FAA rules, regulations, facilities, and aviation operations. A minimum of 1,500 total flight hours logged as Pilot in Command, in addition to having a Commercial Pilot Certificate with instrument airplane rating or an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. No more than two flying accidents in the last five years is acceptable.


The FAA will provide some training on the job.


Inspectors must travel often and will sometimes be required to work irregular hours.

Salary and Benefits

Benefits include health and life insurance, personal leave days, ten paid holidays per year, flexible spending accounts, a uniform allowance, family medical leave plan, retirement plan, transportation subsidies, and paid training.

$91,671.00 – $119,172.00

Aviation Safety Inspector