Oct. 31, 2017

Van Nuys Airport (VNY), Pegasus Elite Aviation, Van Nuys Airport Association and Operation Gratitude recently concluded a relief drive to benefit victims of hurricane-affected areas in Florida.

More than 8,000 items were collected for Foundation 37, a non-profit group out of Port Orange, FL, which worked to identify the needs of the community. Donations covered a variety of essential items, water and more than 1,000 articles of clothing.

On Oct. 24, the donations were loaded onto an aircraft donated by Pegasus Elite Aviation and flown to Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), where Foundation 37 coordinated receipt and transport to communities surrounding Port Orange and areas within the Florida Keys.

“The aircraft is traveling over 2,000 miles in less than four hours, so Foundation 37 will have these items in their hands by morning,” said Curt Castagna, president of the Van Nuys Airport Association.

“When tragedy strikes, we know that our airport community will step up and help out, and that is just what they did for this recent donation drive to help those impacted by the Florida hurricanes,” said Diana Sanchez, Van Nuys Airport public and community relations director.

“Van Nuys Airport, Pegasus Elite Aviation, Van Nuys Airport Association and Operation Gratitude have each given back in their own unique way, drawing from their resources and engaging their people to make this drive a success,” she added. “We are so thankful to all who donated to help those in need.”

Business aviation has been at the forefront of relief efforts for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate since August. The industry was honored with NBAA’s Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership at the recent NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition for these efforts.

“Business aviation, and the airports serving it, continue to be critical players in relief efforts long after the stories disappear from front-page news,’ said Stacy Howard, NBAA’s Western regional representative. “Our nation’s airport and airspace system are key to long-term recovery and the rebuilding of community life and local economies.”