America’s Most Secret Airline Now Accepting Pilot Applications

A Janet Boeing 737-200 taking off from McCarran International Airport. The -200s were eventually replaced by -600s.

If you’ve heard of Area 51, the Air Force’s top secret highly-guarded facility out in the Nevada desert, chances are you’ve also heard of Janet. And as it turns out, Janet is hiring.

If you don’t have a clue who Janet is (for starters, it’s not a who, it’s a what), that’s exactly the way the US Air Force and AECOM, a private defense contractor, likes things. Janet (Just Another Non Existent Terminal) is the unofficial name given to a shuttle service operated by AECOM on behalf of the US Air Force, ferrying civilian and military personnel between Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport and a handful of extremely vital military bases used for research and development, such as Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Plant 42 in Palmdale CA, and, of course, Area 51 at Groom Lake, Nevada.

Janet Airlines operates a fleet of Boeing 737-600s, formerly belonging to Air China and China Southwest Airlines, along with a few smaller Beech 1900s and King Airs. Aside from military aircraft with proper clearance, Janet flights are the only aircraft in the United States, let alone the rest of the world, allowed to access Restricted Area 4808 North, the airspace above and around Groom Lake. As you can imagine, flying for Janet, while probably not terribly exciting, is a hell of a cool job, and recruiting tends to be very selective and exclusive.

AECOM listed the job posting for a First Officer based out of Las Vegas very recently on their official careers website, adding in the listing that there is a requirement for a background check and the ability to hold a Top Secret clearance from the US government. Aside from that, prospective pilots have to be deemed medically fit and have to have logged time in the Boeing 737, preferably the 737 Next Generation (737NG) family of jet airliners. A candidate applying for the First Officer’s position with Janet should also apparently have a minimum of 2000 hours generated in fixed wing aircraft, of which at least 1000 hours have to be in turbine-powered (jet) aircraft. It’s also preferable for the candidate to possess high-performance aircraft experience, though apparently not a strict requirement. This potentially gives former military pilots a competitive edge over civilian counterparts. Previous experience as pilot-in-command (PIC) of an alien spaceship or the Millennium Falcon not required either.

So if you qualify, and you can find them… maybe you can join, the Janet team.


Janet 737-600 taking off from McCarran International Airport. Public Domain/Picture by Twistedpictures1.

About Ian D'Costa (240 Articles)
Ian is the editor-in-chief of the Tactical Air Network. His work has been republished and quoted in a number of publications, including The Toronto Star, Airsoc, Business Insider and The Aviationist. You can reach him at

3 Comments on America’s Most Secret Airline Now Accepting Pilot Applications

  1. Troy Gottfredson // December 1, 2015 at 17:28 // Reply

    How is a Ford pickup truck a Jeep?


  2. Jimmy Honeycutt // December 1, 2015 at 21:11 // Reply

    The first picture is of a 737 200……formerly belonging to Western Airlines. I know this because I was there for the “handover.” Citing extreme economic hardship…..Western “sold” several 737s to this outfit. I remember at least 3, maybe 5. I flew the LAX–LAS route for years and these planes were heavily used daily on their shuttle service. The only thing they did was to paint out the big W on the front and extend the stripe. They flew ( the 200s) for years with the Western “N” numbers, changing the numbers later.
    Nice to revisit that part of Western’s history.


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