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Aviation groups want to help fight coronavirusAviation groups want to help fight coronavirus

When it comes to serving the public in troubled times, general aviation pilots don’t need to be asked to pitch in.

Phoenix Air medical employees are inside a containerized biocontainment system designed to contain viruses that is temporarily installed inside a Kalitta Air Boeing 747-400 cargo aircraft during a drill at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. Photo courtesy of Phoenix Air.

With the threat of the coronavirus pandemic continuing to spread, AOPA and four other aviation organizations have announced that they stand ready to bring their resources into the fight to help mitigate the many challenges posed by the public-health threat that has spread disease worldwide and ground the largest economies to a virtual halt.

As the United States responds to the pandemic, the five aviation-industry groups made known their availability “to assist in any way possible” in a March 16 letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

The general and business aviation industries are composed of “a diverse fleet, capable of rapidly responding to needs in every part of the country and transporting time sensitive supplies, medical and testing equipment, organ transplants, and key personnel and patients to over 5,000 general aviation airports,” they wrote.

In addition to AOPA, the groups signing the letter included the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, the National Air Transportation Association, and the National Business Aviation Association.

The letter informed Chao that entities the five associations represent have actively participated in past disaster relief, carrying out missions including evacuation flights, delivering supplies, and surveying damage—the efforts facilitated by their “considerable experience operating during emergencies.”

In the current crisis, they wrote, the general aviation industry has been proactive, distributing key information about coronavirus response needs to members, disseminating best practices, and making subject-matter experts available for consultation.

They noted their willingness to “be available and fully utilized as a critical component of our nation’s response to this challenge.”

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Advocacy, AOPA, Aviation Industry

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