Help For Aviators Helping In Japan

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Relief organizations and business aircraft operators working in the aftermath of Japan's earthquake and tsunami need to navigate a maze of airspace restrictions and airport closures, a challenge that is made a little easier with a list of resources and updates compiled this week by the National Business Aviation Association. Tokyo International Airport is closed to general aviation traffic until Friday, but many other airports are open, NBAA said. Rumors that Japan plans to close all of its airports "have not been confirmed with Japanese authorities," the FAA told NBAA on Tuesday. Aerobridge, an NBAA-sponsored volunteer aviation group that coordinates disaster response, is working to make space available on GA passenger and cargo jets to Japan. The group is also assisting with transportation of small search-and-rescue teams and medical assessment teams.

NBAA asked any member flight departments traveling to Japan with empty seats to contact them and consider donating those seats to personnel who need to reach the disaster area. In addition, there is a need to transport relief workers to Los Angeles, Seattle, and Phoenix to take advantage of transport offers from airlines. Any aviators planning to fly to Japan should plan carefully. "Conditions on the ground are changing quickly and operators are reminded to contact their international service provider for the most current information," NBAA said.