Business aviation gives a “lift” to Sandy relief work

in Aviation & Charity

Aviation Disaster ReliefEven before Hurricane Sandy made landfall this past Monday evening, companies and aviators were organizing relief efforts.

All thanks to their caring spirit and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

Specifically, companies and operators participating in NBAA’s Humanitarian Emergency Response Operator (HERO) database were working with national emergency agencies and personnel to assist with post-storm relief efforts using business aircraft.

The HERO database (by NBAA) is a list of people and companies from the business aviation community who have volunteered to help with disaster-response mobilization efforts. Aircraft are often uniquely suited for first response to natural disasters and other emergencies.

As stated in the NBAA press release, “Business aircraft are often able to reach locations impacted by natural disasters when airliners and sometimes even automobiles cannot – operating on short notice into outlying airports with small runways, unpaved airstrips or even onto roads.

These relief efforts are nothing new. A prominent recent example is the pivotal role business and private aviation played  during the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

And in fact NBAA Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that includes:

Corporate Angel Network (CAN) – eases burden of travel for cancer patients with free flights to treatment centers

Air Charity Network (ACN) – provides access for people in need seeking free air transportation to specialized health care facilities or distant destinations due to family, community or national crisis

Veterans Airlift Command – free air transportation to wounded veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes

In addition there are numerous nonprofits that utilize “public benefit flying” to carry out their mission.

Yes, aviation, charity and disaster relief all work together to help thousands of people each year. Do you know anyone who has been helped by aviation in a time of need?

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Photo credit: TheNationalGuard on Flickr via PhotoPin.com