Direct hurricane hits on Florida FBOs are rare, but all of them prepare.
Atlantic hurricane season
For U.S. Gulf Coast residents history repeated itself at the end of August when Hurricane Isaac struck, seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina roared ashore and nearly drowned New Orleans. The storm caused the temporary closure of several area airports and forced others to declare “ATC-zero” status due to tower shutdowns or other lapses in contact with ATC.
The first NBAA business aviation regional forum in 2012 was held in New Orleans on Thursday, marking “a triumphant return to the Crescent City” six years after Hurricane Katrina forced the association to move its annual convention from the flood-damaged region. “NBAA is pleased with the results of the New Orleans forum,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
AERObridge is an organization easy to understand. Formerly known as Corporate Aviation Responding in Emergencies (C.A.R.E.), AERObridge has been endorsed by NBAA to coordinate assets, such as business aircraft, during catastrophes when traditional institutions require help. That means the organization is good at funneling help to the center of one global mess after another for NGOs and local governments.
Soon after the magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, killing more than 200,000 people and displacing more than a million more, relief began arriving by air. Toussaint L’Ouverture International Airport–the main gateway to
the island nation’s ruined capital, Port-au-Prince–re-opened two days later as
humanitarian flights began streaming in.
Odyssey Aviation broke ground in May for its new FBO at New Orleans Lakefront Airport. The facility, which is expected to open by year-end, will include hangars big enough to house GV-size aircraft, overflow parking for jets and cars, a conference room with LCD projector system, a flight-planning room with WSI weather access and a pilot lounge.
Three days before the start of this year’s Republican National Convention (RNC) in Saint Paul, one of the Minnesota Twin Cities’ biggest fly-ins of transient business aircraft, Key Air opened the doors to its brand-new FBO on 25 acres on the northwest corner of Anoka County Airport.
Helicopters again played a critical role in providing safe evacuations and critical rescues before and after twin hurricanes that pounded the U.S. Gulf Coast between September 1 and September 13. But unlike when Hurricane Katrina laid waste to New Orleans and parts of coastal Mississippi and Alabama in 2005, this time authorities were ready, with detailed plans in place for Gustav and Ike.
The aviation industry took a hit last month from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The back-to-back storms affected more than a dozen airports along the Gulf Coast, resulting in temporary flight restrictions, numerous airport closures and short-term loss of ATC services.
Houston-based Universal Weather & Aviation (Booth No. 219) is recovering from infrastructure damage from Hurricane Ike, which pummeled the Texas Gulf Coast on September 13. Despite the loss of commercial power, the facility remained open throughout the storm, which passed almost directly over Universal’s Houston headquarters.
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