Help Is On The Way: Business Aircraft Fly Supplies Into Areas Raveged By Sandy
Nov 03, 2012
Millions of people throughout the northeastern United States
are still without shelter, basic utilities, and access to food and medical care
in the devastating aftermath from 'Superstorm' Sandy. As federal agencies and
charitable organizations work to reach those cut off from emergency relief, the
business aviation community has stepped in to provide urgently needed
"We have between 25-30 aircraft, ranging from PC-12s to
the Global Express, ready to assist with the relief effort in New Jersey and
New York," said Douglas Schultz, board member of AERObridge and a founding
member of Corporate Aviation Responding in Emergencies (CARE), a group of
volunteers from the business aviation community who coordinate donated aircraft
for critical transport during disasters.
As of Saturday evening, AERObridge had coordinated 32
flights, and been involved in over 18 additional flights to five collection
sites. Schultz estimated the organization had assisted in the delivery of
94,000 lbs. of relief supplies, adding "the momentum is increasing.
“Operators have donated these aircraft and crews, and they
are prepared to fly wherever and whenever they are needed,” Schultz added.
“Most came from the NBAA HERO
Database and through NBAA's Air
Mail forum, while others reached out to us directly with offers
Offers to assist with the relief effort have come from
across the country, with discussions about specific needs and methods of
transporting supplies to stricken areas dominating Airmail and other aviation
"There's a huge community of people in this area that
need help," said New Jersey resident, Sky Hope Network board member and
NBAA Director of Educational Development & Strategy, Jo Damato. "And,
we've put the call out to operators planning to fly into the area for any space
onboard. If they have empty seats, we want to fill that space with dry food,
drinkable water, and personal toiletries. Gift cards are also appreciated.
“Many local NBAA Members in the greater-New Jersey area have
reached out to me personally, wondering how they can help and they are starting
their own grassroots efforts to have food drives in their neighborhoods and
places of business/airports, for transport to New Jersey shelters,” she added.
New York’s five boroughs were also hit by the storm.
AERObridge has received PPR (prior permission required) approval for corporate
humanitarian flights into Farmingdale’s Republic Airport (FRG) - and JFK
International Airport for larger aircraft - bringing supplies into Lower Manhattan
and other areas. "We’ve had urgent and specific requests from two large
evacuation centers - one in Staten Island, and another in Brooklyn,” Schultz
noted. “Those centers are completely cut off from any relief due to conditions
on the ground.”
Other organizations throughout the business aviation
community are also finding ways to assist with relief efforts. Showalter Flying
Service, host facility for the static aircraft display at the
recently-concluded 2012 NBAA Meeting and Convention in Orlando, FL., found good
use for bottled water left over from the event.
"We had about 15 cases of water remaining, that had
been donated by Universal Weather and Aviation for our crew during the
show," said Brad Elliott, Director of New Business at Showalter. "As we
were making plans to send those cases to the Northeast, [company president] Kim
Showalter walked by and said that [static display sponsor] TAC Air had another
four pallets of water as well. We loaded everything we could onto a Lear 40
that landed Thursday night at Teterboro.”
Schultz said AERObridge believes these private efforts will
be most beneficial throughout the weekend and into early next week, assisting
as a “stopgap” until federal and other relief channels have been established.
“We need supplies,” he added. “AERObridge has several
pre-staged storage facilities throughout the lower 48; however, we have
completely used all of our stocked supplies in Jacksonville, FL,
Charleston, SC and Stewart, NY. We are now trying to find a constant pipeline
For the latest information about Sandy, including ways your
operation may assist in relief efforts, visit www.aerobridge.org, www.sky-hope.org, and www.nbaa.org/news/2012/sandy/.
No Plane No Gain: Sampling of 2010 Coverage
Since the launch of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, a concerted effort has been made to deliver the message about the importance of business aviation through national and local news outlets. This sampling of national and local television coverage in 2010, highlights the campaign's effectiveness in communicating the industry's importance.
NBAA's Bolen on Fox Business Network
Click here to see Ed Bolen, President and CEO of NBAA, in an interview on Fox Business Network
NBAA's Bolen on DC's Newschannel 8
In an interview with Newschannel 8, Bolen explains that "... business aviation is prudent, cost-effective, and oftentimes, the only way to get where you're going."