Editor’s comment: Dorian disaster relief

Regional Gateway editor Chloë Greenbank summarises the latest happenings across airports serving business, regional and low-fare routes.

Hurricane Dorian may have spun itself out but the devastation and destruction it caused will be long-lasting, particularly in the island nation of the Bahamas. In response to the humanitarian crisis left in the wake of Dorian, the business aviation community is offering its support through aviation relief efforts.

According to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), volunteers at airports across Florida and elsewhere have rallied to fly supplies and offer relief missions to the Bahamas. Airport staff, FBOs and regional aviation groups are working alongside humanitarian organisations in co-ordinating help, suggesting drop-off locations for supplies and advising on airports that are volunteering aircraft and crew.

The South Florida Business Aviation Association has organised multiple drop-off locations, listing the most needed supplies and providing links to airports and FBOs that are offering fuel discounts and waiving fees. At Boca Raton Airport, the airport administration office is serving as a collection site for donations and the airport is suspending all customs clearing fees until 18 September.

Signature Flight Support at Palm Beach International Airport has also been co-ordinating relief efforts saying that supplies can be dropped off at any of its FBO facilities within Florida. Meanwhile, the Palm Beach Department of Airports, alongside other local companies, have donated food, water and other essentials.

An airspace flow programme has also been helping to manage the amount of traffic into Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau (pictured above), which remained open during the hurricane. As the main gateway to the island nation, a statement on the airport’s website read: “We received an outpouring of love this week. We stand amazed and stronger.”

It’s a message that is echoed by Bahamas Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Dionisio D’Aguilar as he highlighted that airports throughout Northern, Central and Southern Bahamas are open and operating.

“Maintaining a robust tourism industry will be vital in helping the country to recover and rebuild,” he said. “We are grateful for the outpouring of support and love for our islands, and we would like everyone to know that the best thing they can do for us right now is visit Nassau, Paradise Island and the Out Islands. Our beautiful island nation is ready to welcome you.”

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