Aug. 30, 2017
Two Texas aircraft brokers are teaming up to recruit business aircraft operators nationwide to help get needed supplies to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Janine Iannarelli, president of Par Avion Ltd., and Robin Eissler, COO of jetAVIVA, are working together to coordinate relief efforts.
“Through a newly formed arrangement, Patient Airlift Services (PALS) and Sky Hope have joined forces and resources for a response to both the Houston flooding and Hurricane Harvey damage along the Texas coast,” said Eissler. “The need for relief is going to be unprecedented. At this time, we are ready to run immediate flights to the Corpus Christi area, and we expect that we will be ready to run flights to Houston as soon as the rain stops.”
Those wanting to support the joint effort can fill out a brief application through PALS, or contact the organization by phone at (631)-694-7257, or email, RELIEF@PALServices.org.
“In addition to creating a bridge to cover the gap between aid from the Red Cross and that of FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency], the effort is to deliver essentials to the smaller agencies and charitable institutions that are offering shelter and ultimately a way for people to rebuild their lives,” explained Iannarelli.
For example, relief efforts include working with non-profit organizations such as Clean the World and Keller Williams KW Cares program to provide supplies and ground volunteers to support the airlift.
Business aviation has long served as a lifeline to people and communities in crisis, because business aircraft can reach locations affected by natural disasters when airliners and sometimes even cars can’t. To that end, NBAA maintains a Humanitarian Emergency Response Operator (HERO) Database – a list of people in the business aviation community who are part of disaster-response mobilization efforts. In the aftermath of major crises, basic information from the database is provided to organizations coordinating relief efforts.
Iannarelli said that Eissler and the NBAA, through the HERO database, are more responsible for spearheading the airlift operation, while she is networking among her own group of operators to encourage contributions, but ultimately will coordinate that with Eissler. “I am turning my attention to the ground operation at this time,” Iannarelli said.
“I’m very active in the aviation community and have a lifetime of contacts,” said Iannarelli, who has worked in the general aviation industry for 34 years. “It occurred to me that I could draw on my network to help contribute to the relief effort in Houston.” Iannarelli also is reaching out to people with trucking networks that could help.
Ed Bolen, NBAA president and CEO, praised these humanitarian efforts. “At times like this, it’s heartening to see people rally to help each other, and we are especially grateful to see these wonderful members of the business aviation community contributing to the effort in such a profound and meaningful way.”