Disaster Airlift Response Teams (DART)


The California DART Network

A New CalPilots subsidiary:

CalPilots is building a statewide network of local Disaster Airlift Response Teams (DARTs) through its wholly owned subsidiary, The California DART Network. The DARTs utilize a common operating model, are located at airports around the state, and are a program of the affiliated CalPilots organization at the airport. CalPilots thanks its sub chapter The South County Airport Pilot Association (SCAPA) for originating the detailed plans and materials, including the Disaster Airlift Response Plan (DARP). CalPilots also thanks the Half Moon Bay Airport Pilots Association for turning that plan into a template that new DARTs can quickly tailor to the particular details of their airport and organization. CalPilots is investing its time and efforts in the California DART Network because it helps to make California a safer place during disasters, provides pilots one more way to engage in their love of flying, and helps make communities become more attached to their airports.

Mission Statement:

In response to a cataclysmic event which degrades regional surface transportation, California pilots and their aircraft will provide volunteer emergency airlift services to benefit their surrounding communities through their local DART Operator with assistance from volunteers throughout the California DART Network.

Concept of Operations:

The Disaster Airlift Reponse Team (DART) is a volunteer air transportation resource available to help communities and emergency responders cope with a local disaster. Pilots do what they already know how to do – fly from one airport to another in appropriate weather conditions and give people or things a ride. The DART chairperson and his or her assistants organize the operation, connect the DART to the community and arrange individual missions for the pilots. The DART schedules a practice mobilization once per year and invites local city and county emergency managers and other people and organizations active in disaster to participate. If a real disaster comes along, everyone already knows what can be done and who to call. Disaster operations can proceed at higher volume, scale up faster, and with greater safety because the DART has worked on its skills for many years. DART air transportation services can include:

a)      transfer of displaced individuals and families to distant locations where they have family or friends who can care for them,

b)      large scale food airlift into the area,

c)      movement of emergency workers into or out of the area,

d)      reservoir reconnaissance,

e)      movement of ambulatory medical patients to out-of-area facilities,

f)       relocation of nursing home residents to out-of-area facilities who can care for them,

g)    other air transportation needs as requested by individuals or organizations

Should DART service needs outstrip local capacity, the local DART Operator or Supporter will seek to call in mutual aid from other DART Operators and DART Supporters within the California DART Network.

The California DART Network helps local DART Operators and Supporters form, maintains and distributes the California DART Network Contact List, and deals with common DART issues. DARTs which have had a practice exercise, have declared themselves operational, and have been accepted into the California DART Network are termed DART Operators. Pilots and ground volunteers who support DART Operators at other airports but are not a part of a DART at their airport are termed DART Supporters.

For More Information:

Simply visit the CalDART website at caldart.org, or email  DART@calpilots.org . You may also click on any of the documents or links listed below:





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