Mount Pleasant Regional Airport (LRO) is proud to be the central command for a local Operation Airdrop effort to bring relief to victims of Hurricane Florence.
Retired Air Force Col. Julie Grundahl is spearheading the relief effort along with local volunteer pilots and community help. She is also a flight instructor for Mount Pleasant Flight Training.
“We will fly a couple of times a day to small general aviation airports as long as there is a need,” Grundahl said.
In addition, general aviation pilots from Florida will stop at LRO to refuel and pick up relief supplies for transport.
Operation Airdrop is a Texas nonprofit formed after 2017’s Hurricane Harvey. The organization coordinates volunteer aircraft owners and pilots to deliver essential supplies to disaster areas quickly. Grundahl called in help from people she knows. Mount Pleasant town councilman and local pilot Joe Bustos, who owns Mount Pleasant Flight Training, and pilots Sebastian Castro and Mike Zimmer are helping.
Mount Pleasant Regional Airport will serve as a drop off location for items the pilots will deliver. The airport is open for donations from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Hangar space has been donated to store relief supplies.
The relief effort will accept the following items: baby items like diapers, clean and useable clothing, batteries, toiletries, dry food goods, non-perishable food and bleach. Due to its weight, the pilots, who are flying small general aviation planes, cannot transport bottled water. Donations are tax deductible.
Mount Pleasant Regional Airport is owned and operated by the Charleston County Aviation Authority, which also owns and operates Charleston International Airport.
“It is with great pride that LRO join in the effort to help fellow South Carolinians as well as our neighbors in North Carolina,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the Aviation Authority.
“As a coastal state, we know all too well the devastation a hurricane can do. This is just one small way to lend support," Campbell said. "Our neighbors in North and South Carolina would be there for us. We will be there for them.”