Aviation Incentive Pay and Bonus Programs

Updated: December 22, 2022
In this Article
    Current Aviation incentive and bonus payments

    These are the current payment tables for aviation bonus, aviation incentive pay and critical skill incentive pay programs, according to the most recent updates.

    Eligible active-duty and reserve component officers may receive aviation incentive pay and aviation bonuses for continued service.

    Eligible regular and reserve component enlisted service members may receive critical skill incentive pay for continued aviation service when they serve in an aeronautical career field or a critical skill area.

    These payments and bonuses are generally added to any other pay or allowance the service member receives. Some exceptions apply.

    Find the current 2023 military pay rates here.

    Maximum Officer Aviation Incentive Pay (AvIP) Rates (Formerly Aviator Retention Pay)

    (effective Oct. 1, 2017)

    Years of Aviation ServiceMonthly Amount
    Two years or fewer$150
    More than two years$250
    More than six years$800
    More than 10 years$1,000
    More than 22 years$700
    More than 24 years$450

    Source: Defense Accounting and Finance Service

    The listed AvIP are the maximums allowed by the Department of Defense. Each branch of service establishes its own payment tables that will not exceed these amounts.

    Pilots of remotely piloted aircraft can receive up to $1,000 AvIP effective Jan. 1, 2016.

    Monthly Critical Skill Incentive Pay (CSIP) Rates for Air Force Enlisted Flyers (formerly Career Enlisted Flyer Incentive Pay, CEFIP)

    (effective Oct. 1, 2017)

    Years of Aviation Service

    Monthly Amount

    Four years or fewer$225
    More than four years$350
    More than eight years$500
    More than 14 years$600

    Aviation Bonus (AvB) Payments

    According to paragraph 200402 of the DoD’s “Military Pay Policy – Active Duty and Reserve Pay,” the maximum aviation bonus payments are as follows:

    • $35,000 per year for regular component officers or Reserve component active Guard and Reserve officers performing qualified flying duty
    • $35,000 per year for regular component officers or Reserve component active Guard and Reserve officers performing qualified flying duty related to unmanned aerial system (UAS) operators
    • $18,000 per year for all other Reserve component officers performing qualified flying duty, to include UAS operators

    The listed AvB amounts are the maximums allowed by the DOD. Each branch of service will establish its own payment tables that will not exceed these amounts.


    Air Force Aviation and Bonus Pay Programs

    Air Force Aviation Bonus Program

    (according to numbers published by the Air Force Association)

    PILOT TYPEBONUS ELIGIBILITYMAX BONUS
    Bomber/fighter/mobility/special operations/combat search-and-rescue fixed-wing pilotsEight- to 12-year contracts 

     

    Eligible to opt in for upfront payment

    $35,000

     

     

    $200,000

    Bomber/mobility/special operations/combat search-and-rescue fixed-wing pilotsFive-to seven-year contracts

     

    Eligible to opt in for upfront payment

    $25,000

     

     

    $100,000

    Combat search-and-rescue rotary-wing pilots
    Eight- to 12-year contracts 
    Eight- to 12-year contracts $25,000
    Eight- to 12-year contracts 
    Surveillance/combat search- and-rescue rotary-wing pilotsFive- to seven-year contracts$15,000
    Remotely piloted aircraft pilotsEight- to 12-year contracts

     

    Eligible to opt in for upfront payment

    $35,000

     

     

    $100,000

    Remotely piloted aircraft pilotsFive- to seven-year contracts$25,000
    Combat systems officers/air battle managersEight- to 12-year contracts$25,000
    Combat systems officers/air battle managersFive- to seven-year contracts$15,000

    Non-contracted pilots, including remote aircraft (RPA) pilots, and those whose aviation bonus contracts expired before FY 2021 may receive annual bonuses of $25,000 for eight to 12-year contracts and $15,000 for five- to seven-year contracts. They can only re-sign for up to 24 years of aviation service.

    Air Force Monthly Aviation Incentive Pay Rates

    (effective Oct. 1, 2017)

    Years of Aviation Service

    Monthly Amount

    Four years or fewer $225
    More than four years $350
    More than eight years $500
    More than 14 years $600

    Source: DFAS


    Monthly Army Officer Aviation Incentive Pay Rates

    (effective Jan. 1, 2020)

    Years of Aviation Service

    Monthly Amount

    Two years or fewer $125
    More than two years $200
    More than six years $700
    More than 10 years $1,000
    More than 22 years $700
    More than 24 years $400

    Source: DFAS


    Monthly Navy Aviation Incentive Pay Rates

    (effective Oct. 17, 1998)

    Years of Aviation Service

    Monthly Amount

    Two years or fewer$125
    More than two years$200
    More than three years$188
    More than four years$206
    More than six years$650
    More than 14 years$840
    More than 22 years$585
    More than 23 years$495
    More than 24 years$385

    Source: DFAS

    Monthly Navy Aviation Incentive Pay Rates for Officers in Administrative Milestone Billets

    (effective April 1, 2018)

    Years of Aviation Service

    Monthly Amount

    Two years or fewer$125
    More than two years$156
    More than three years$188
    More than four years$206
    More than six years$650
    More than 10 years$1,000
    More than 22 years$700
    More than 24 years$450

    Source: DFAS

    Administrative milestone billets include department head, commander command and major command or their equivalents.


    Monthly Marine Corps Officer Aviation Incentive Pay Rates

    (effective March 1, 2018)

    Years of Aviation Service

    Monthly Amount

    Two years or fewer$125
    More than two years$156
    More than three years$188
    More than four years$206
    More than six years$650
    More than eight years$800
    More than 10 years$1,000
    More than 17 years$840
    More than 22 years$585
    More than 23 years$495
    More than 24 years$385
    More than 25 years$250

    Source: DFAS


    Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay (HDIP) for Flying

    HDIP

    Amount not to exceed

    Aircrew members$250
    Non-Aircrew members$150

    Source: DFAS


    AvIP, AvB or CSIP Limitations and Restrictions (not a complete list)

    • Officers receiving AvIP may not receive hazardous duty pay or skill incentive pay or proficiency bonuses for the same skill and period of service.
    • Enlisted service members receiving CSIP may not also receive HDIP for the same period of service in the same career field or skill.
    • Officers receiving AvBs may not receive payment for the same period of service in the same career field or skill.
    • Enlisted service members may receive only one skill incentive payment in any given month for the same skill and period of service enlisted service members may not receive CSIPs and proficiency bonuses for the same skills and periods of service.
    • Officers are not eligible for CSIP.

    DoD Glossary

    Here is a glossary of terms related to aviation incentive and bonus pay according to DOD Instruction 7730.67, “Aviation Incentive Pays Bonus Program.”

    Aviation Incentive Pay (AvIP): Additional pay, issued by the military departments, that is designed to encourage officers to continue to perform duties in operational flying duties (OFD) or proficiency flying duties (PFD) or other aviation assignments designated by the secretaries of the military departments concerned.

    Aviation Bonus: A bonus payment selectively offered to aviation officers who agree to remain on active duty for specified periods of time.

    Aviation Service Date: The effective date of the first aeronautical order to perform flight duties. For rated officers, this date is set when the service member first reports to the aviation activity in which he or she will receive flight training in a specific aircraft leading to an aeronautical rating and is placed on aeronautical orders, or the date of commission, whichever is later. This date may be adjusted for breaks in military service or periods of nonpermanent disqualification. Also referred to as “aviation entry service date” by the Navy and Marine Corps.

    Critical Aviation Occupational Specialty or Rating: The designation by the secretary of a military department of a military occupational specialty, designation, or aeronautical rating, which the service member holds, or is in training toward, as critical for mission success of the military service. This provision is applicable to both officers and enlisted service members.

    Critical Skills Incentive Pay (CSIP): Monthly incentive pay used by the DOD to attract and encourage enlisted service members in the regular or Reserve component of a military service to serve in an aviation career field or skill designated as critical by the secretary of the military department concerned.

    Officer Aviation Services and Skills: The services performed and skills utilized by officers in the regular or Reserve components who hold an aeronautical rating or designation or are in training to receive an aeronautical rating or designation and who meet the requirements of this issuance and such additional regulations as the secretary of the military department concerned may prescribe.

    Officer Service: All service creditable pursuant to Section 205 of Title 37, U.S.C., as a commissioned officer, warrant officer or flight officer.

    Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS): A remotely piloted, controlled or programmed autonomous aircraft used for surveillance or strike missions, which may also be described as an “unmanned aerial vehicle” or a “remotely piloted aircraft.”

    Years of Aviation Service (YAS): Service computed beginning with the effective date of the initial order to perform aviation service. It may be adjusted for breaks in military service or periods of non-permanent disqualification, as defined by the secretary of the military department concerned.


    Written by Veteran.com Team

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