In the event of a disaster such as a major earthquake, flood, fire, or other disasters, local general aviation airports can play a large role in providing air transportation services of personnel or supplies. CalDART prepares pilots and ground personnel to perform specific duties to carry out the mission.
“Small General Aviation airports like ours have the ability to make huge impacts in supporting major disasters all over the state and surrounding areas," said Nevada County Airport Manager Kevin Edwards. "Bringing this program to Nevada County will expand the reach for CalDART and allows ways for the community volunteers and local pilots to help out during these events.”
In a DART, volunteer pilots do what they already know how to do – fly from one airport to another and give people or things a ride. A variety of other DART volunteers guided by a DART Incident Commander, a Flight Operations Manager, a Materiel Manager, a Ramp Manager, and a Recruitment Manager assemble the team, take in-flight requests, weigh the cargo, assign materiel and passengers to be transported on specific aircraft, maintain safety, help pilots load, and so on. Air transportation services can include:
- Air commute services between homes and places of work for disaster workers
- Movement of emergency workers, medical staff, and medicines into the area
- Large scale food airlift into the area
- Transfer of displaced individuals and families to distant locations where they have family or friends who can care for them
- Movement of ambulatory medical patients to out-of-area facilities
- Relocation of nursing home residents to out-of-area facilities who can care for them
- Reservoir and levee reconnaissance, search and rescue, aerial photography (backup to Civil Air Patrol)
There will be a recruiting meeting on August 4th at 6:30pm in an aircraft hangar at 12836 Madrone Forest Dr. Nevada City, CA 95959. If you are interested and would like more information, please contact Airport@co.nevada.ca.us.