A critical shortage of these items has developed in areas of high demand throughout the world. PPE, formerly ubiquitous and disposable in the hospital environment, is now a scarce and precious commodity. An increase in PPE supply in response to this new demand will require a large increase in PPE manufacturing; this will take time and resources but namely, manpower, that many health-care systems do not have at this moment in time. The urgent need was considered a call to action and established a pandemic response plan that dedicates resources to alleviate and help during the global pandemic. Put into action by the private aviation industry without delay or consideration for the costs. Luckily many companies have extensive experience in disaster relief, evacuations, and humanitarian aid.
These companies have pooled resources together with several partner companies in the cargo space to be able to move shipments across the globe in a timely manner with as many supplies as aircraft can possibly carry getting to their destination on time.
Cargo and executive charter
Taking up the mantle, private aviation and executive jet charter services are operating without delay within the continental United States as well as internationally and are working with the world’s best-handling agents to ensure that all flights are getting the proper permits and required time-slots. Priority is given to both hospitals and the government in the manufacturing and sourcing of face masks, ventilators, gloves, and, of course, hand sanitizer. The demand is not relenting and is only likely to continue until a vaccine has been located.
Quite understandably private aviation charter priorities go to hospital staff, air ambulance crew, supply chain, and to infrastructure project management along with executives and families traveling for urgent COVID-19 related matters.
Practical Safety Measures
Business travelers, in particular, looking to minimize risk to themselves and others, are taking to private aviation services as a way to maintain critical parts of their operations without the perceived risks. Passengers and essential staff are able to avoid crowds in airports as they go through a separate terminal for private jets. Security controls at private jet terminals are also faster than in commercial terminals and there are no queues.
All airlines are taking extra sanitary measures to be applied to the aircraft and crew; more so in private aviation. Certified private jet operators are following the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s recommendations of protection. These measures are stringent and are put in place for the protection of passengers and crew. Followed through to the letter the risk has been significantly minimized.
What Does This Mean for the Future?
While there are no crystal balls to give us the answers, we should always look to history for clues and know this: pandemics have always come in waves, and COVID-19 is no exception. The 2009 swine flu pandemic started in spring and, in the temperate northern hemisphere, was followed by a second, larger wave in the autumn. So rather than halting the rate of growth felt by the private aviation industry this actually makes the need for private air travel even more pertinent, as the threat of a second wave is ever-present.
There is no doubt we are in unprecedented times, an ‘all hands on deck’ situation during and immediately after this debilitating virus has peeked. There is also no doubt that the private aviation industry can look back in the days and years ahead, feeling confident in the knowledge they did everything possible that could be done to assist and for the good of the industry and welfare of others. So for this alone, we salute you.