Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between rates for Department of Defense (DoD), Non-DoD, and Non-US Government Channel Rates?
The DoD rate is developed using a commercial benchmark. The Non-DoD rate is the DoD rate plus recovery of salaries of the civilian and military aircrew supporting the aircraft. The Non-US Government rate is the Non-DoD rate plus certain civilian labor costs (fringe benefit costs for unfunded civilian retirement, post-retirement health benefit and post-retirement life insurance costs) and an asset use charge.

Can a Non-DoD customer get the DoD rate?
Yes, 10 U.S.C. §2642 authorizes the SECDEF to approve the use of DoD Transportation Working Capital Fund (TWCF) rates to Non-DoD federal customers, Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers, and DoD contractors transporting goods or supplies for DoD, when the practice promotes the improved use of airlift capacity without any negative effect on national security objectives. The request for DoD airlift services must promote the improved use of the Defense Transportation System (DTS) airlift capacity by increasing the utilization of military airlift or commercial civil reserve air fleet capacity assigned to existing air traffic routes and through introducing new, unbudgeted transportation requirements into the DTS. Here are a few examples: transportation of materiel supporting Overseas Contingency Operations, humanitarian/disaster relief efforts, or the transportation of other federal cargos currently moving through Non-DoD means.

The template for this request can be found at

Can I get a discount for shipping more volume or scheduling early?
Yes, for channel cargo, there are five weight breaks so the heavier the shipment, the less per pound is charged. For charter missions, there is a scheduling 10% incentive (discount) for missions validated 30 days or more prior to the operating date without any significant user changes. For commercial airlift, the discount is applied to the airlift contract cost prior to any miscellaneous or administrative service fees. Excluded from this incentive are domestic commercial airlift and presidential (POTUS, PHOENIX Banner, PHOENIX Silver) flights.

Are there fees associated with cancelling a scheduled Special Assignment Airlift Mission (SAAM)?
Yes. For organic aircraft: if a SAAM mission is canceled at the user’s request within 24 hours of operation, a 2-hour Minimum Activity Rate (2 hours of flying time) may be charged. If the mission was launched from a positioning station prior to cancellation, all hours flown will be charged (minimum of 2 hours). Charges are not levied for cancellation made greater than 24 hours before mission operation.

For commercial aircraft: if a mission is cancelled at the user’s request, a cancellation or suspension fee may be charged to the user for that mission. Cancellation fees are calculated per the Uniform Rates and Rules for International Service.

What is the difference between Channel Air and SAAMs?
Channel Air is regularly scheduled airlift for movement of passengers and sustainment cargo, depending on volume of workload, between designated routes over validated contingency or distribution channel routes. These services are either billed per pound or per passenger, without regard to the aircraft providing the lift.

Further details regarding these types of missions can be found on the USTRANSCOM rates website (; reference the Channel Guidance.

SAAMs are airlift requirements utilizing organic or commercial aircraft for special pickup or delivery by AMC, usually at points other than established AMC routes. SAAMs require special consideration because of the location, number of passengers involved, the weight or size of the cargo, the urgency or sensitivity of movement. These services are billed by flying hour for organic aircraft. For commercial aircraft, the services are billed to recover the commercial contract cost plus a 10% cost recovery rate.

Further details regarding these types of missions can be found on the USTRANSCOM rates website (; reference the SAAM/Joint Exercise Transportation Program (JETP)/Contingency Guidance.

If I need an Air Cost Estimate where do I send the request?
Email required information listed below to Information needed for a less than planeload Channel estimate includes: rate type (DoD, Non-DoD, Non-US Government, or FMS), to/from locations, weight and dimensions (length, width, height) or number of passengers. Information needed for an entire aircraft SAAM/JETP/Contingency estimate includes: rate type (DoD, Non-DoD, Non-US Government, or FMS), to/from locations, size of shipment to determine aircraft size (further contact may be needed for clarification).

If a Channel rate exists, does that mean there is a valid Channel for that selected route?
No, rates are available for many zone to zone combinations, but only certain channels are available within those zones. To locate the current channels, refer to the AMC Air Channel Sequence listing which incorporates all current validated airlift channel routes available throughout the year. The Air Channel Sequence listing can be downloaded from the TACC website at: (must have permissions) or call commercial 618-256-3614 (DSN 576) to request a current copy. If assistance is needed on the rate, please submit a request via email to the

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