Disaster Airlift Response Team

The DART Operator is a resident who is certified in CERT, has taken additional FEMA IS training in ICS, and participates in mobilization exercises at least once per year. DART consists of pilots and land based crews who together organize and provide free air transportation during an emergency under Part 91 flight rules.

In 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)

For a wonderful 6-minute summary of how general aviation fit into the total disaster response after the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, watch this 6 minute video documentary. Some of DART’s original developers participated in this airlift: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSpT0p4XY_A