MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will be closing at 1:45 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 6 and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Dec. 9.
May 11, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
Harnessing the tremendous support resources that general aviation can provide in times of crisis will be one component of a planned disaster exercise to be run by the Department of Homeland Security May 13 through 17.
As part of the National Level Exercise, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on May 16 will run a simulation in which GA pilots respond to requests for aid after a mock earthquake along the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which touches eight states in the central United States.
AOPA will participate in the exercise by simulating contact with members and identifying those who could provide assistance in the form of GA aircraft, pilots, or supplies.
The simulated information would be forwarded to another exercise participant, AERObridge, an organization of aviation specialists who coordinate aviation responses by assisting governments and non-governmental organizations in the movement of personnel during disasters.
Acting in the role of aviation subject matter expert for the exercise from a master control room in Washington, D.C., will be Marianne Stevenson, president of AERObridge.
“Several AERObridge volunteers will coordinate with the Missouri FEMA Regional Response Coordination Center in Kansas City to provide general aviation insight and capability simulation,” said an announcement on the organization’s home page.
During the exercise, “AERObridge will be testing its internal processes and procedures,” the message said.
“Whenever disasters strike, AOPA members call in and ask how they can help with providing their own GA resources. There will now be a mechanism in place for GA to respond to the call for help,” said Tom Zecha, AOPA manager of aviation security.
Members can register their aircraft with AERObridge as available for actual emergency service in the future on the AERObridge website by clicking the “Join Us” tab.
Future of GA,
Advocacy and Legislation,
Pilot Safety and Skills,
A House bill that would force FAA to go through the rulemaking process before imposing new policies for sleep disorders has passed a key committee.
The House has passed a bill requiring the TSA to consult stakeholders, including general aviation representatives, before making major changes to security policy.
Senators are demanding a written response from the Department of Homeland Security about unwarranted stops of general aviation aircraft by DHS and Customs and Border Protection.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.