CABA recently partnered with Angel Flight West, Denver International Airport, and CDOT Aeronautics Division to distribute 3.2 million cloth masks around the state of Colorado. The masks were provided by FEMA for airports to use in their terminals for staff and the traveling public. Denver International retained about 2.5 million for their use, and some were delivered by DIA personnel to Colorado Springs Municipal.
Dave Ulane, Aeronautics Director, aware of our extensive experience coordinating the holiday VFW airlift, reached out to us during the last week of July to request our participation in the airlift. Because of our significant list of previous airlift volunteers, we were able to recruit over 20 pilots for this important medical relief mission. Angel Flight West provided the balance of the pilots.
Eighteen pallets of masks in boxes containing 500 each, were delivered by DIA personnel to Signature Flight Support at Centennial Airport on Thursday August 6, and on Friday several board members sorted them into separate loads for each destination. The medical relief flights were conducted the next day.
Aircraft began arriving to Signature at about 6:30 am on Saturday. Early flights were planned due to the forecast of high temperatures in the mid- to upper 90s. So for safety, pilots wanted to complete their missions before the afternoon to avoid flying in high density altitude conditions.
A wide variety of aircraft participated: Cessna 182, several Bonanza models, Mooney, several Grumman models, Cherokee 6, PC-12, and a Falcon 2000. CABA was responsible for coordinating the delivery of 800,000 masks to 30 mostly rural airports in Colorado, and the vast majority of them were flown on Saturday August 7. Two additional missions were flown on Sunday and Monday, and about a full pallet remains to be delivered to Grand Junction, which received the largest number of masks behind Denver International and Colorado Springs.
Overall it was a very hectic weekend but a very successful airlift to assist airports around the state during the covid pandemic.