SWA Evacs Houston; ACA Coordinating Relief
Volunteer pilots wanting to lend a hand to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey are encouraged to offer their services through the Air Care Alliance (ACA) or other established public-benefit flying organizations. Pilots are needed to fly supplies in and to fly people and animals out from areas that have been cut off from assistance by post-hurricane flooding. However, the ACA cautions “that during an emergency FEMA and other relief groups tend to be overloaded with offers of help. Most who are actually asked to fly missions do so through the various flying organizations in the ACA, or for local agencies and social service organizations. Thus we urge you to volunteer and fly with them.” Persons needing assistance flights or wishing to volunteer can both submit inquiries to the ACA here.
Meanwhile, Houston Airport will remain closed through Thursday and major disruptions are expected as the stubborn storm finally begins moving away from Texas eastward. The aviation stories are many and will filter out over the next few days but early in the unfolding disaster, Southwest Airlines flew 500 people stranded at Houston Hobby Airport to safety at Dallas Love Field. Flooding from Hurricane Harvey forced the FAA to shut down Houston Hobby Airport over the weekend, along with roads in and out of the airport, leaving hundreds stranded inside. Southwest is reported to have received special authorization from the FAA to evacuate five 737s worth of stranded fliers and airport employees.