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:
- Smaller aircraft can reach challenging locations that have been impacted by a crisis when airliners and sometimes automobiles cannot;
- These aircraft can operate on short notices;
- 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.” https://nbaa.org/aircraft-operations/hero-database/. 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: https://nbaa.org/aircraft-operations/hero-database/humanitarian-groups/
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:
- Fly with two experienced pilots;
- Stay up-to-date on airport and airspace conditions;
- Operate aircraft with TCAS – traffic collision avoidance systems;
- Plan for fuel and maintenance difficulties;
- Prepare for uncertain ground circumstances;
- Know when the mission is complete and avoid unnecessary flights.
Two forms are provided on the NBAA website:
- Aircraft registration for available aircraft that can assist relief efforts; https://nbaa.org/aircraft-operations/hero-database/aircraft-registration-form/
- Aviation volunteers registration, including pilots, flight attendants, technicians, ground support personnel, and other skill-sets to support relief efforts.