GA Bahamas Relief Coordination Stands Down

GA Bahamas Relief Coordination Stands Down

After a week of heroic efforts by the business and general aviation sectors staging and flying vital initial relief missions to the parts of the Bahamas shattered by Hurricane Dorian, governmental and international aid organizations have mobilized to the point that those coordinating general aviation activities there have begun to stand down. Business aviation emergency response organization AERObridge noted that it will cease its Dorian disaster response airlift at the end of today.

“Our purpose in creating a supply chain to include donations, transportation, and distribution has been fulfilled,” said Marianne Stevenson, the group’s founder and president. “Government agencies are now shipping supplies and providing aid on a large scale.”

The Bahamas Relief Air Coordination group on Facebook, organized by Opsgroup founder Mark Zee on Thursday night to serve as a clearinghouse of information to pilots, announced yesterday morning that it will also stop posting situational updates after helping hundreds of flights navigate the uncertain and potentially dangerous airways.

Many of those flights ended up at the Odyssey Aviation FBO on Nassau, which was designated as a base of operations by the Bahamian government and its National Emergency Management Agency, complete with a makeshift triage center to assist with evacuees arriving needing immediate medical attention, food, or water. It has thus far processed more than 2,000 individuals displaced by the storm and has set up a charity fund for those wishing to help.

In addition to receiving aircraft packed with food, water, medicine and other vital supplies, the FBO, in the days following the storm, was used as a triage center, with evacuees receiving immediate medical attention in addition to food and fluids, before being entered into a database to further assist those displaced by the hurricane.

While it deals with the tragedy, the tourism-dependent Bahamas noted that while the Northern islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco were heavily impacted by Dorian, its 14 remaining commonly visited islands—including Nassau and Paradise Island, Bimini, Inagua, Eleuthera, Andros, and the Exumas—were largely unaffected and remain open to welcome guests.

(See related blog, “Reflections on the Bahamas.”)

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