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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Airport Escort Screening Courtesies

Under the Office of Foreign Missions’ Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program, qualifying foreign officials can be assigned a Department of State escort officer who is authorized to assist dignitaries with their departure(s) from certain airports in the United States.

Foreign officials who are the functional equivalents of members of the Cabinet of the United States are eligible for the services provided under the Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program, when they are not escorted by United States Secret Service, Department of State Diplomatic Security Service or other recognized USG official protective details. The dignitary’s spouse and their children under the age of twelve may also receive services under the Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program when accompanying the dignitary. Members of the delegation accompanying the escorted official will be subject to customary screening.

The Department of State’s escort officer will contact the departing dignitary’s designated point of contact(s) to coordinate the departure from a domestic airport. The escort officer will set up a meeting point at the airport and proceed to escort the VIP through the security screening process. Usually, the escort officer will remain until the VIP is on the plane and it has taken off. It is important to alert OFM of any changes to travel plans as soon as possible.

The Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program addresses only departures from designated U.S. Airports and is completely separate from the Courtesies of the Port Program for arriving dignitaries which is administered by the Department of State’s Office of the Chief of Protocol with requests submitted in e-Gov.

Missions requesting a United States Secret Service or Diplomatic Security Service protective detail for a foreign dignitary through the Courtesies of the Port Program should not also request Airport Escort Screening Courtesies.

If the dignitary is traveling with armed security, contact the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Protective Liaison Division at (202)895-3600. Do not submit a request for assistance under the Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program.

For a head of state traveling under the protection of the U.S. Secret Service do not request assistance under the Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program.

Questions concerning escort screening should be directed to the Office of Foreign Missions at or (202) 895-3500 x 4.

                                                                                                                                                                                   (content revision date 03/12/2013)


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