Sept. 8, 2021

Well before Hurricane Ida posed a major threat to the U.S. Gulf Coast, Operation Airdrop volunteers were planning their response if it was needed.

“We were ready to jump into action once it was safe to fly,” said Robert Johnson, a volunteer with the Texas-based nonprofit organization was founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and now specializes in post-hurricane flooding recovery, when air access is the only way to bring in life-saving essentials and supplies.

Hurricane Ida Operation Airdrop“Unlike with Harvey, the roads after Ida were still largely intact, but general aviation aircraft still played a vital role in helping Gulf Coast residents,” said Johnson. From Sept. 1-6, Airdrop – in coordination with Operation BBQ Relief and the Cajun Navy – transported 21,500 meals to residents in southern Louisiana.

The volunteer pilot organization has also been flying cargo flights. The Friday after Ida struck, Airdrop partnered with Houma, LA-based Operation Full Pantry, a local food pantry, to bring in critically needed supplies from generous donors in the Dallas, TX area.

According to Airdrop’s website, the organization has flown missions utilizing a wide range of aircraft, from an Aeronca Champ to a Bombardier CRJ-700.

“Ida is showing once again that business and general aviation can provide invaluable assets to communities in need through the generosity of pilots, owners and charities such as Operation Airdrop,” said Johnson.

Learn more about Operation Airdrop.

Hurricane Ida damage