ARLINGTON, VA. – National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster last week announced a new strategic partnership with Airlink, an organization that facilitates low-cost or no cost air transportation to support humanitarian aid.
James R. McGowan – Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives – made the announcement Oct. 24 during National VOAD’s 2013 Fall Members’ Meeting. The meeting provided a forum for National VOAD Members, Partners and other stakeholders to network and learn about progress made in the nationwide VOAD movement.
Daniel L. Stoecker, President and CEO of National VOAD, said, “It is with great pleasure that we announce this strategic partnership between Airlink and the members of National VOAD.”
Stoecker said, “Our member organizations will benefit from this relationship by being able to receive discounted or no-cost flights into disaster-affected areas. This will help disaster survivors receive relief and recovery services in a more timely and organized fashion.”
Under the terms of the partnership, National VOAD agreed to assist Airlink by coordinating air transportation requests from Members seeking passage for individuals or cargo to help disaster-impacted communities.
Airlink agreed to aggregate a list of flight needs from the group of National VOAD organizations requesting transport for disaster relief/response. Then, Airlink would make the list available to its network of more than 20 airliners that could help provide cargo space or seats on flights.
The process of matching disaster relief and recovery organizations to airliners is facilitated by Airlink using an online Web portal, through which flight requests can be input.
Steve Smith, Executive Director of Airlink, said, “Airlink and National VOAD will work together to understand and communicate air transportation needs during times of disaster – essentially generating a single demand signal that Airlink can communicate to its partner base.”
He added, “This partnership will allow Airlink to get closer to the situation on the ground more expeditiously, which will enable us to work with our airline partners to anticipate and to respond to the demands of developing disasters.”
National VOAD was founded in 1970 as a solution to the challenges that disaster relief organizations faced when trying to coordinate response for communities affected by Hurricane Camille – a category 5 storm that hit the Gulf Coast in August 1969.
National VOAD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership-based organization that serves as a forum where 110 Member organizations share knowledge and resources to help communities prepare for and recover from disasters.
Member organizations include 55 of the nation’s most reputable faith-based, community-based and other non-governmental organizations, and 55 State/Territory VOAD coalitions representing Local/Regional VOADs and hundreds of additional Member organizations across the nation.