NBAA participation after the storm
Sensitive to a perception that it was slow to take a leadership role in business aviation’s Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, NBAA outlined for AIN its actions in the aftermath of the storm:
• Right after the hurricane hit, senior v-p of operations Steve Brown and v-p of
safety and regulation Doug Carr began working to coordinate assets with needs. Four NBAA staff began providing the communications support needed.
• Brown and Carr contacted relief organizations and government agencies, with Brown taking the ball on the government (FEMA, the FAA and so on) and Carr working the charities, starting with the Red Cross.
• The data collection effort: NBAA members outlined their available assets to Brown and Carr by phone and e-mail. Carr kept a record of everything members provided–aircraft, people, hangars and other facilities–and both he and Brown regularly briefed their agency contacts about what was available. They also passed on the agencies’ instructions that NBAA members should register with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) database.
• On its Air Mail Web site, NBAA listed links to DHS and FAA Sitreps (situation reports), the American Red Cross, DHS and FEMA to help members provide money, volunteers and company assets. Each organization promised NBAA that the association would be listed internally as an organization that should receive notice when people and aircraft were needed for relief efforts.
• NBAA staff worked through the Labor Day weekend, including three senior staff who, among other tasks, separately responded to a posting by volunteer organizer Carrie Walegir, who had some specific asset/need coordination requests. Carr made dozens of phone calls to operators he’d spoken with earlier in the week to help get Walegir’s missions off the ground.
• After Labor Day, NBAA continued to maintain the information resource; created a Katrina-specific Air Mail list for relief efforts; kept supplying the database to government and relief workers and NBAA relief coordinators; and became more deeply involved in mission support, making dozens upon dozens of calls to help put relief flights together.