Glossary of Aviation Terms | Indirect Air Carrier
Indirect Air Carrier | Paramount Business Jets
An indirect air carrier is defined as any person, organization, or business operating within the United States' national air system who does not hold a Federal Aviation Administration-issued air carrier operation certificate but uses the services of licensed air carriers to transport cargo from one location to another. Air carriers, leasing and sometimes even selling space on their aircraft, provide these services to companies for the purpose of shipping items. Examples of an indirect air carrier could be a charter vendor, the postal service, or freight forwarder.
An airfreight forwarder is a service organization that serves the role of a shipper but does not actually operate the planes on which cargo is being shipped. They usually provide pick-up and delivery from the airport terminals, as well as handle all the necessary paperwork needed for the transportation of that cargo. In order for a freight forwarder to be an indirect air carrier, they cannot be in operation of their aircraft. Thus, there are some freight forwarders that are not indirect air carriers. Indirect air carriers operate under the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in its own division called the Indirect Air Carrier Management System (IACMS). Under this system, all indirect air carriers operate according to the rules and regulations put forth in chapter 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, PART 1548 (49 C.F.R. PART 1548). This management system ensures that all indirect air carries have at least the minimum security requirements for the transportation of cargo and goods within the United States, as well as establishing a system of application for freight forwarders wishing to operate under an Indirect Air Carrier certificate. While IACMS is not intended for the use of individuals wishing to ship cargo, it is used by companies employed by individuals for the shipment of cargo or goods.
If you have ever gone on vacation with a large pet needing to be stowed away or needed the services of a company to ship an animal via air cargo, then you would have employed the services of an indirect air carrier. In today’s global world, FedEx or UPS are the most convenient ways to ship goods. They come to your doorstep, pick up whatever it is that’s being shipped, and deliver it to you. However, this can be costly and sometimes very inconvenient. Most indirect air carriers are located at airports, which makes them less appealing to people looking to ship goods, but they often offer better prices than their better-known competitors and operate on a more one-on-one basis. Factors such as size, shape, weight, type, and locations of delivery for cargo will determine if the employment of an indirect air carrier is best suited for your shipment.
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