California Department of Transportation
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Clark Paulsen, Division Chief

Agency Rented Aircraft

References: SAM Sections 0742, 0745, 0746 and 0748, California Code of Regulations (CCR), Administration, Title 2, Sections 599.628 and 599.628.1, Government Code Section 14120 and 14121, and STD Form 265.


An aircraft may be rented, leased, or chartered for official state business when it is the least costly means of travel and in the best interest of the State. Advance approval is required from the Director and, if applicable, the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency Secretary and the Cabinet Section of the Governor's Office. The Governor's Office has granted exemption from the required approval when an emergency arises in which public safety is a concern.

State rented aircraft may be used when the total cost is less than the cost of commercial transportation. In selecting the least costly means of travel, consideration must be given to direct expense and employee time away from the office. Consider the following to determine if the use of a state rented aircraft is in the best interest of the State:

  • Accessibility and/or urgency of the situation.
  • Added per diem costs.
  • Commercial airline services and schedules between points of origin and destination including any intermediate stops or layovers.
  • Driving time to location would exceed two hours one way.
  • Scheduling demand and limitations.
  • The cost of personnel hours lost in travel.
  • Total commercial travel costs (airlines, rental vehicle, taxi, etc.).

Employees renting, leasing, or chartering an aircraft must report the use to the Division of Accounting's Travel Policy Section by completing a Trip Cost Analysis Spreadsheet. The completed spreadsheet must be forwarded by e-mail to Rajesh Rai of the Travel Policy Section within five (5) working days of the completion of the trip.

If an employee is to act as pilot and carry passengers, he or she must comply with the requirements detailed in this chapter. See Pilot Qualifications and Insurance Requirements for more information.

Approval Process

Director's Approval

(required for all aircraft)

Submit an internal issue memorandum to the Director for approval in advance of the proposed flight. The memorandum should include:

  • Date(s) and itinerary of requested flight(s).
  • Purpose of the trip.
  • Passenger name(s) (include titles and organization), if applicable.
  • Justification for the rental, including the advantage to the State.
  • Type of aircraft required.
  • A statement indicating the aircraft is rented with a pilot (for chartered flights).
  • Cost of rental, including estimated pilot and operational costs per hour.
  • Certification that requirements of SAM Sections 0742, 0745, 0746 and 0748 have been met.
  • Name of the aircraft firm
  • Name of the insurance carrier
  • The insurance policy number
  • The amount of insurance coverage. Note: The rental or charter service is responsible for necessary insurance coverage as a part of its licensing requirements.

Business, Transportation & Housing Agency and Governor's Office Approval

Additional approval by the Business, Transportation and Housing (BT&H) Agency Secretary and the Cabinet Section of the Governor's Office is required when an aircraft is any of the following:

  • Multi-engine.
  • Single-engine with power in excess of 250 h.p.
  • A special type of aircraft such as helicopter, seaplane, etc.
  • Rented with a pilot (chartered flight).

When an aircraft requires BT&H and Governor's Office Approval, the following steps must be taken:

  • Submit an internal issue memorandum to the Director as soon as the circumstances are known. See Director's Approval for criteria to be included in the memorandum.
  • Upon approval from the Director, prepare a Governor's Action Request (GAR).

The Director, the Agency Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing, and the Cabinet Secretary for the Governor's Office must approve the GAR before an aircraft can be rented, leased or chartered.


The Governor's Office has granted exemption from the required approval when an emergency arises in which public safety is a concern. Private, leased or chartered aircraft may be utilized to fly expert personnel to the emergency location. Employees chartering a flight for emergencies are responsible to ensure that the required licensing and minimum insurance coverage are met.

Reimbursement Claims

Reimbursement for the use of a rented aircraft will be for actual and necessary costs when substantiated by a receipt and the appropriate approvals. Reimbursement will be authorized only for the size and type of aircraft necessary to complete the assignment.

The travel expense claim (TEC) must include the following:

  • A copy of the approved STD Form 265 if the airplane was piloted by the employee.
  • A copy of the Trip Cost Analysis Spreadsheet.
  • An additional approving signature on line #18 (Signature and Title of Authority for Business Expenses Exceeding $25.00) by the Division Chief or designee.
  • Supervisor's signature on line #17 of the TEC.
  • The approval memorandum from the Director's Office or if applicable, the approved Governor's Action Request (GAR).
  • The cost of the aircraft in the "Cost of Transportation" field of the TEC.
  • The original plus one (1) copy of the receipt.

Agency Object Code 035 is used to claim rental of an aircraft.


When the Department is invoiced for renting aircraft, the following action should be taken:

Questions regarding payment should be directed to the Service Payables Branch. Using the contact list, select the individual assigned the alpha character associated with the vendor name.

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