Idaho is not immune to the busy domestic and international air traffic often associated with the high risks of criminal and terrorist activity that Federal Air Marshals work to deter.
The major airports throughout Idaho include:
- Boise Airport is a joint civil-military airport and the largest airport in the state, servicing some 2,805,692 passengers in 2010. On the commercial side, it serves international and domestic flights from seven major airlines.
- Idaho Falls Regional Airport serves domestic flights from four major airlines
- Friedman Memorial Airport offers domestic flights from two major airlines
These airports handle tens of thousands of travelers annually and need the added safety and security that Federal Air Marshals can provide.
Requirements for Federal Air Marshal Employment
The Federal Air Marshal Service offers an extensive 16-week training program to qualified job candidates. Individuals interested in becoming Federal Air Marshals in Idaho must be between the ages of 21 and 36 or who have prior law enforcement experience.
In addition, candidates must meet the following requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited university; OR
- 3 years of progressive general experience that includes demonstrated skills in problem solving, planning and organizing, and effective communication; OR
- A combination of education and experience in these areas
Candidates who meet these minimum qualifications and who are selected for pre-screening can expect a variety of assessments. This includes an extensive background check to obtain top level security clearance, as well as a physical and psychological evaluation.
Candidates will also submit to a panel interview and will be required to take the Federal Air Marshal Service Battery Test. The Federal Air Marshal Service Battery Test assesses candidates in the following areas:
- Logic-based reasoning
- Situational Judgment
Small Airports with Large Security Concerns for Federal Air Marshals
It would be reasonable to assume that Federal Air Marshals meet their biggest challenges in major airports with heavy international traffic, but this isn’t always the case. In 2013, TSA screeners at Boise Airport discovered loaded firearms in carry-on luggage on six different occasions throughout the year. Two of these firearms were discovered within a week of one another.
While all of these firearms were confiscated by screening agents, this level of threat only further highlights the need for Federal Air Marshals in smaller airports like Boise Airport. Federal Air Marshals provide protection to passengers and crew not only on aircraft while in flight but in airport concourses and terminals as well.
Sometimes these smaller airports in America’s heartland have the greatest need for the added protection that Federal Air Marshals provide to ensure public safety and national security.