JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act was recently signed, which included a measure that will allow fully-disabled veterans the ability to utilize Space-Available travel.
Under the Disabled Veterans Access to Space-A Travel Act, veterans with a service-connected, permanent disability rating of 100 percent will be able to travel in the Continental United States (CONUS) or directly between the CONUS and Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa (Guam and American Samoa travelers may transit Hawaii or Alaska); or traveling within Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands on flights operated by Air Mobility Command.
Prior to this authorization, only military retirees, meaning those with a blue DD Form 2, and current service members were entitled to this benefit. This particular piece of legislations was originally introduced by the House Veterans Affairs Committee in 2016.
According to lawmakers, this proposal will allow travel on Space-A at no additional cost to the Department of Defense and without aircraft modifications. Additionally, data from the Government Accountability Office noted that roughly 77 percent of space-available seats in 2011 were occupied by only 2.3 percent of the 8.4 million eligible individuals for the program.
Travelers should contact their local passenger terminal for further details and review travel information found www.amc.af.mil/amctravel for specific details on the Space A travel program.
There are two locations in northern Utah to obtain Space-A travel: the 75th Air Base Wing at Hill Air Force Base and the 151st Air Refueling Wing at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
For available flight information, Hill AFB provides two avenues: the “Hill AFB Passenger Terminal” Facebook page or a telephone call-in number at 801-777-3088. For the Salt Lake City International Airport, the 151st Air Refueling Wing’s telephone call-in number is 801-245-2415.
Contact the aerial port passenger terminals or visit the Facebook page for updated flight information and question and answer sessions. Additionally, there are many nonmilitary affiliated Space-A sites that provide tips and tricks to traveling Space-A from seasoned veterans available through various web search engines.
(75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs contributed to this article.)