Haiti Crisis: Business Aviation Responds

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Washington Meetings Illustrate That Business Aviation Cares

Volunteers in DC to Highlight Industry’s Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts

In recent weeks, business aircraft have made over 700 relief flights, carried 3,800 passengers (including doctors and other medical personnel), and delivered about 1.4 million pounds of food, emergency supplies and medical equipment to help those impacted by the January 12 quake that struck the island nation.

Corporate Aviation Responding in Emergencies, an all-volunteer group, has been pivotal in coordinating those missions. Corporate Aviation Responding in Emergencies was formed in recent years with NBAA’s support, and the group’s leaders, Marianne Stevenson and Robin Eissler, were in the nation’s capital, telling political leaders and others how business aviation gave so generously. “It’s one of the few times you’ll ever ask for a business jet and the company will give you the keys,” explained Eissler. “Companies just asked where we wanted their business aircraft for the relief effort, when should they fly and how much they should fly.”

“The business aviation community has a long tradition of helping people and communities in times of crisis, and in the depth of the Haiti crisis, companies with business aircraft responded overwhelmingly and without question,” said Lisa Piccione, NBAA Senior VP, Government Affairs. “This week, Marianne and Robin met with several Members of Congress, Administration officials and others to provide an inside look at how business aviation provided a helping hand to the victims of this terrible natural disaster.”

“Our message is the value of business aviation in disaster relief efforts,” said Eissler, “and how it delivered supplies, saved lives and provided transport when there were no other ways out of Haiti. Marianne and I spent a lot of time coordinating, but it was the generous donations from NBAA Member Companies and others that really made this operation work.”

"Our relief efforts in Haiti would not have been nearly as successful without the support of NBAA, said Corporate Aviation Responding in Emergencies president Stevenson. “Our immediate access to assets as well as the instantaneous credibility lent to us were invaluable."

Eissler said she could easily list of hundreds of companies and individuals who supported Corporate Aviation Responding in Emergencies during the crisis, but mentioned just a few who provided special equipment or support, including the Pilatus Owners and Pilots Association, non-governmental organizations Clean the World and Go Ministries, and companies like Tradewind Aviation, Banyan Air Service and Windsor Jet.

NBAA organized the three-day Washington trip for Stevenson and Eissler.