CRAFting a New Structure

Orlando, Fla.—The Air Force will soon unveil a new way of doing business with commercial air freight carriers who participate in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, or CRAF, according to service leaders. Participation in CRAF allows the Air Force to “draft” a carrier’s cargo aircraft in time of all-out war, in return for those carriers receiving preferential contracts during peacetime or during periods of less than full mobilization, such as the last 12 years in Afghanistan and Iraq. As the flow of freight to and from Afghanistan steadily diminishes, far less money will be available to sustain those commercial contracts. During a meeting of Air Mobility Command leaders and representatives of the carriers on Jan. 31, carrier reps had a chance to comment on AMC’s new CRAF concept. After notifications to Congress, the plan will be revealed sometime in March. Among the changes: AMC will book partial space on a commercial aircraft, rather than an entire aircraft, which may be flying less than half-full.