What is Public Benefit Flying?
Simply put, Public Benefit Flying is flying to help others.
Every day, volunteer pilots do just that.
Using their own aircraft, and donating their time, hard-earned skills, and all flight expenses, they assist the health and well being of others.
Cited as the third most common barrier to care, transportation is a considerable problem for all patients. Children and adults with advanced cancers, rare illnesses, pre- and post- transplant needs, and other serious maladies, often require medical treatment they simply cannot access where they live. This is especially true of rural areas. Without being able to access free transportation, many of these patients would be forced to forego life-saving treatment.
Fortunately, Air Care Alliance member groups throughout the United States arrange free air transportation for patients and others in need. Volunteer pilots for these organizations provide free, private air transportation to ensure patients can access the care they need.
All across the United States volunteer pilots assist with the rescue of animals that have narrowly escaped euthanasia at high-kill shelters by flying them to new homes or no-kill shelters where they have a much higher chance of adoption. Volunteer pilots also assist in cases where injured wildlife need to be moved for treatment, or to assist our veterans with transport of service animals.
Volunteer pilots across the country donate their time, talent and airplanes to greatly enhance environmental causes and conservation work.
Pilots who volunteer for environmental organizations provide survey flights to collect scientific data of local eco-systems, assess environmental damage, and participate in scientific studies and wildlife counts. The information gathered on these flights is instrumental in educating policy makers, community leaders, and the media on all sorts of environmental issues. It also helps to foster a dialog and promote informed decision making among conservation partners.
General aviation can be a lifeline in times of natural or national disaster. Volunteer pilots can help with search & rescue efforts or aerial assessment of damage. They may transport medical and emergency relief staff, deliver critical medical and relief supplies to affected areas, or relocate survivors or evacuees.
While some organizations solely focus on disaster relief, most PBF organizations will mobilize in times of need, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent hurricane relief efforts.
Many volunteer pilots and organizations are committed to serving our nation’s heroes. They provide free transportation to military personnel and veterans to and from medical treatment; they reunite veterans and families; fly families to visit patients recovering at medical centers; and provide lift for morale-boosting experiences for veterans.
Volunteer pilots can introduce others to the wonders of flight in various unique ways. There are organizations that provide introduction flights for children, STEM education, flights for grief support, or experiential flights for kids with disabilities.
The services of volunteer pilots are often needed for the delivery of precious cargo including blood and tissue.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteer pilots transported critical medical supplies to underserved areas; rapidly transported testing kits, and even transported vaccines to communities in need.