By AOPA ePublishing staff
In the wake of the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, general aviation pilots immediately sprung into action. According to disaster relief coordination officials, GA comprises 40 percent of the relief flights operating at Port-au-Prince, while 30 percent are military and 30 percent international. However, untold numbers of GA flights are operating from smaller airports, grass strips, and roads in Haiti.
If you are interested in getting involved in the relief efforts, here are some tips to help you get started.
Sign up through the National Business Aviation Association’s volunteer form
Information collected through the form will be shared with the Critical Incident Management Group (CIMG) at the Department of Homeland Security, and government agencies will contact you directly when your assistance is needed.
Contact groups facilitating relief flights to Haiti
- Bahamas Habitat
- Corporate Aircraft Responding in Emergencies (CARE)
- Jim Parker of Caribbean Flying Adventures
Parker is offering to answer AOPA members’ questions about relief flights in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Fly relief supplies to drop-off locations in Florida
- Doctors, nurses take off on medical mission of mercy
- Volunteers fly supplies into hard-to-reach areas
- BizAv relief flights to flow into Haiti
- ‘God’s Air Force’ delivers food, supplies to Haiti
- Area pilot flies surgeons, supplies to Haiti
- Flights from Florida take aid to Haiti, bring back evacuees
- Local aviator coordinates rescue out of Haiti
Pilots who are not able to fly supplies to Haiti might consider donating the cost of a flight to Haiti in their GA aircraft to an established organization that is helping with the relief efforts. However, pilots should thoroughly research any organization before donating money.
Plan your flight: eAPIS requirements
When planning your flight to Haiti or the Dominican Republic to aid in the relief efforts, be sure that you understand and follow the requirements of the Customs and Border Protection’s Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS). Customs has updated its travel requirements in the Caribbean because of the Haiti crisis. Download the updates.
If you’ve never used eAPIS before, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation offers a free online course, Understanding eAPIS – A Pilot’s Guide to Online Customs Reporting , to familiarize you with the procedures.