Great People...Doing Great Things
The aviation industry is full of great people, doing great things.
I might not have coined that phrase, but until someone comes forward and does, I will keep saying it. Even during these uncertain times…maybe more true today than ever before.
Sure. People in the industry are hurting. Many have been furloughed or laid-off or "encouraged" to retire. Planes are being retired to the deserts of Arizona and California. They don’t go there to “retire”, they go there to die. A sad site indeed. The future is cloudy at best. The wizards of smart are claiming that 2020 is the worst year in aviation history.
Maybe, but maybe this is also the best moment in aviation history.
Where would we be today if man had not mastered the mystery of flight and without the dedicated members of a vast and diverse extended family keeping these magnificent flying machines working? In bad shape, I recon. The Wright Brothers or John Stringfellow or Alberto Santos-Dumont in their wildest dreams would have never imagined the events of today and how aviation’s role would play in it. Moving vital life-saving material and medicines from one country to another in a matter of hours, not weeks or months.
How many tons of pharmaceuticals and PPE have been shipped to various hot spots around the globe? How many medical personnel have been transported from point A to point B? Many times, free-of-charge. Airlines have been forced to pivot on a dime. Making decisions, not based on what is right for shareholders, but what is right for humanity.
These stories are well documented throughout social media. The men and women of the aviation industry – their futures in doubt, working tirelessly to help people they will probably never meet. Pilots hauling goods to all four corners of this planet. With little or no turn-around time, quickly heading off to new destinations. Airlines finding themselves landing in places they had never served before. Engineers re-configuring aircraft and keeping fleets reading to move when called upon. A multi-day task for sure. Pulling seats out. Adding straps and braces. Ground crews having to load and unload, by hand, tons and tons of boxes. Cabin crews jumping in to help – volunteering for repatriation and medical charter flights. DHL, FedEx, UPS and the like doing what they do best and more. Way more. Airports rolling out, in record time, new screening technology and procedures to help passengers feel safe and secure as they slowly return to the skies.
During these past few months, it feels as if we are building a plane while it rolls down the runway. Our lives certainly feel like that and yet we move forward. We continue to have faith in our profession and our fellow man. To dream big. As Di Vinci once said: Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward. For there you have been, and there you will always long to return…and so too, shall we all return to the skies.
We’ve always viewed our small not-for-profit as an Aviation Organization that works in the Conservation sector. Focusing our efforts helping the most vulnerable creatures on our planet and the men and women who help protect them on the ground. We like to pretend we can make as big a difference in the world as the major carriers do and maybe in a small way we will. We’re slowly getting there. Watching the aviation industry respond to this global crisis has been nothing less than inspiring. The support we continue to receive from aviation professionals, airlines and aviation enthusiasts during 2020 has made us proud to say we are a part of it.
Like I often say: The aviation industry is full of great people, doing great things….more true today than ever before.
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