HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Owners and pilots of business airplanes along with managers at community
airports, Fixed Base Operators, and a small army of other
aviation-industry professionals are mobilizing to gather, transport, and
distribute essential supplies for Hurricane Harvey victims in the
greater Houston area, and areas affected by the catastrophic storm.
These people are all a part of what is known as “business aviation” –
the manufacture and use of mostly small airplanes for business
transportation purposes. These airplanes are especially suited for
disaster relief because of their flexibility: they often can reach
locations adversely impacted by natural disasters, when airliners and
many vehicles cannot; they often operate on short notice; and they are
able to land in outlying airports with small runways, on unpaved
airstrips, and, sometimes, even onto roads. Many of the professionals in
this industry exceed at logistical coordination of the aircraft, making
their expertise particularly applicable to multi-party collaboration on
Example: Two Texas Aircraft Brokers Among Many
Involved with Harvey Relief Efforts
Janine Iannarelli, founder and president of Houston-based Par
Avion Ltd., and Robin Eissler, chief operating officer of
are working together to coordinate Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
“Through a newly formed arrangement, Patient
Airlift Services (PALS) and Sky Hope Network have joined forces and
resources for a response to both the Houston flooding and Hurricane
Harvey damage along the Texas coast,” said Eissler, a co-founder of Sky
Hope Network, in an interview earlier this week. “The need for relief is
going to be unprecedented. 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 now that the rain has stopped.”
Those wanting to support this joint effort are invited to submit a brief
application through PALS by calling 631-694-7257 or emailing 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
collective 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.
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.
Local Action, National Support
The work being done by Eissler, Iannarelli, and countless others is
receiving support from the National
Business Aviation Association (NBAA), which represents more than
11,000 entrepreneurs and companies that rely on business aviation to
meet at least part of their transportation needs.
Since Hurricane Harvey descended upon Texas as a Category 4 storm on
Friday, Aug. 25, the NBAA’s members, the association’s regional
representatives, and the organization’s Washington, DC-based staff have
offered a resource for gathering information about available aircraft,
volunteers and other assets for relief assistance, in the form of NBAA’s
Humanitarian Emergency Response Operator (HERO) database. The
information in this database is updated in real time and provided for
initiatives like those underway in Texas. Learn more about NBAA’s
Over the past several years, NBAA members have volunteered their skills
and resources to aid victims of other natural disasters such as the
earthquake in Haiti, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and Super Storm Sandy.
To date, more than 60 aircraft and more than 50 business aviation
professionals are enlisted in the database for Hurricane Harvey relief
efforts, with more becoming involved daily.
Iannarelli noted that Eissler and the NBAA, supported in part by the
HERO database, have been effectively coordinating on airlift and ground
operations for Harvey relief.
“I’m very active in the aviation community and have built a lifetime of
contacts and a broad network,” said Iannarelli, who has worked in the
business aviation industry for 34 years. She also chairs the Texas
Governor’s Aerospace & Aviation Advisory Committee. “It occurred to me
that I could draw on my network to help contribute to the relief effort
in Houston. I am also reaching out to people in a variety of industry
sectors that may be able to support our efforts.”
Among the supplies in focus for air-and-ground delivery as flood waters
recede include, but are not limited to, non-perishable food items; baby
formula, and diapers; cleaning products; personal hygiene products for
men, women and children; adult and children’s undergarments and socks;
linens and bedding; and gift cards for access to fuel, super stores, and
home improvement stores operated by national providers or Texas-based
providers. Pet supplies are also welcome. Items in smaller, flexible
packaging are better suited for transporting on business airplanes due
to cabin and cargo space limitations.
Some of the many supporters of the business aviation community’s
Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts include, but are not limited
to: Conroe North Houston Regional Airport; Chennault International
Airport in Lake Charles, La.; Houston Executive Airport; and Gary
Greene/Better Homes and Gardens realtors branch office in the Clear Lake
area (south of downtown Houston and north of Galveston) of Houston).
Tremendous support is growing daily for this critical relief effort.