Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight the need for an entity to manage airborne relief when a nation’s civil aviation authorities are overwhelmed or incapacitated due to a major rapid-onset disaster. Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines why relief airflow management was so vital during the 2010 Haiti earthquake and how this management was accomplished. The author uses a case study methodology that includes interviews with logistics and aviation experts within the humanitarian and military communities involved in the Haiti relief effort. Findings – The research highlighted an airflow management capability gap within the humanitarian community. The author sets forth several possible alternatives for resolving this gap. Research limitations/implications – The research is a single case study of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. While performing a multiple case study may have provided more widely applicable conclusions, this case study provides in-depth information applicable to the worst of disasters, where an airflow management capability is most likely to be needed. Practical implications – While host nation civil aviation authorities retain responsibility for airspace/airflow management after a disaster, these can oft be overwhelmed by the volume of airborne relief flooding the area. Without an entity to assist the affected nation with airflow management, smooth logistical flow of relief goods to those in need can be catastrophically impeded. Originality/value – Little research exists on disaster relief airflow management or the legitimate need for this capability to be developed within the humanitarian community.
Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 7, 2015
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