Hundreds of business aircraft are assisting in the ongoing hurricane relief efforts in the Florida Keys and Puerto Rico, according to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
AERObridge, a nonprofit organization that coordinates relief flights, has been working in the Florida Keys. NBAA reported that a spokesperson said he thinks the organization “literally kept the residents of Summerland Key alive” by coordinating flights carrying supplies. NBAA said that more than 80 tons of supplies were flown to Florida after the hurricane. Participating aircraft ranged from the Mooney 252 to Bombardier Global Express jets. According to NBAA, the AERObridge spokesperson claimed that at one point, there were 45 aircraft getting staged on the ground at Lakeland Linder Airport.
NBAA said that according to AERObridge, aviation relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands could last three more months. After Hurricane Maria, larger business jets Pilatus PC-12s and Cessna Caravans transported supplies to the areas and also people back to the continental U.S.
Limited air traffic control services are currently functioning, NBAA said. Before that, aircraft were flying to the islands under VFR during approach and landing.