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NBAA Prepares for Hurricane Season Relief

Disasters are a reminder of how people (and animals) who are experiencing the aftermath of a natural disaster need aid and a lifeline from outside sources.  Business aviation has always played a role in supporting communities and countries struggling to survive natural disasters. 

Business and private aircraft are uniquely suited to responding to emergencies for several reasons: 

  1. Smaller aircraft can reach challenging locations that have been impacted by a crisis when airliners and sometimes automobiles cannot;
  2. These aircraft can operate on short notices;
  3. They can fly into outlying airports with small runways, unpaved airstrips, or even onto roads.

“The NBAA Humanitarian Emergency Response Operator (HERO) Database is a list of people in the business aviation community who are part of disaster-response mobilization efforts.”  This database provides information to organizations coordinating relief efforts with business airplanes and other assets for humanitarian purposes.  A list of humanitarian groups can be found at:

Due to circumstances on the ground that may be evolving and with often limited resources, the Patient AirLift Services (PALS) Sky Hope Disaster Relief Program has developed a ‘best practices’ source for pilots and volunteers who are preparing to fly to these disaster-relief mission sites.  Careful planning and preparation ensures efforts will be effective and safe.  The best practices include:

  1. Fly with two experienced pilots;
  2. Stay up-to-date on airport and airspace conditions;
  3. Operate aircraft with TCAS – traffic collision avoidance systems;
  4. Plan for fuel and maintenance difficulties;
  5. Prepare for uncertain ground circumstances;
  6. Know when the mission is complete and avoid unnecessary flights.

Two forms are provided on the NBAA website:

  1. Aircraft registration for available aircraft that can assist relief efforts;
  2. Aviation volunteers registration, including pilots, flight attendants, technicians, ground support personnel, and other skill-sets to support relief efforts.