Seaplanes are sometimes a great necessity in disaster zones, especially those communities that are close to the seashore. Take the unfortunate massive Earth Quake that struck Haiti recently. The amount of aid pouring in, through conventional Aircraft, is huge. But, since the Airport facilities are small, only a certain number of Aircraft can operate in and out at any given time. This is hampering bringing in massive aid that is required urgently. The quake destroyed the control tower also and that compounded issues. The US Air Force has taken over the Airport now I have heard. They know what they are doing. President Obama's immediate actions have helped a lot and it needed someone with his command to get the machinery moving quickly. Can't say the same for his clueless predecessor.
I am happy to report that the Seaplane Pilot Association of the United States has stepped in to help. They are appealing to the Seaplane community to bring in small medical supplies, water purifying tablets and other essential supplies. Seaplanes will be able to land in certain designated sea lanes near the shore and deliver aid to communities that are nearby. This may help mitigate the problem to a certain extent and in any case, be able to distribute aid to far flung places. I commend the Seaplane owners and pilots who are pitching in to help in this time of need in Haiti and that they are volunteering their Aircraft and services for this.
Now, the same solutions can be applied in other areas. Remember the far flung ocean communities that suffered Earth Quakes recently and Tsunami before that in Indonesia? Remember the Cyclone that struck Myanmar and SE Asia? Remember the annual cyclones and tropical storms in Asia and other parts of the World? Coastal communities were worst hit. These are the area, that a seaplane/amphibious Aircraft can operate and hence would be an ideal platform for disaster management agencies to consider. Of course, not all times can seaplanes operate especially is there is a lot of floating debris but the airplanes can be used for dropping supplies and even jettisoning life rafts to those who had been swept out to Sea.
Let's hope Haiti comes out of this trauma although it may take a dozen years for mental scars to heal, what with the tremendous loss of life. Let's support the International Communities efforts to help Haiti. We know this all too well in Asia, this author among those who was in the middle of the Tsunami on Gan Island in the Republic of Maldives at that time.