T-DART is the Torrance Disaster Airlift Response Team, made up of volunteers from the Torrance Municipal Airport community. T-DART has established working procedures to serve as an Airborne Transport Team (Fixed Wing) using Aircraft Resources Type 3 and 4 during Level 1, 2, and 3 Incidents that involve the Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, and San Bernardino County areas.
Our goal is to significantly enhance disaster response operations through prior planning and exercises designed to integrate aviation resources fully into the overall response. In seeking and accepting mission assignments, our local level organization will assign priorities, allocate participating pilots, aircraft, resources and in general direct our activities to provide the maximum effectiveness. We will provide our aviation resources during emergencies in support of:
In response to a local, regional or national emergency which disrupts or overtaxes regional surface transportation, DART will:
T-DART flight operations will be limited to 14 CFR (FAA) Part 91 rules and regulations. These missions are effectively Good Samaritan humanitarian relief and/or reconnaissance sorties to and from numerous local General Aviation (GA) airports, delivering emergency items in cooperation with relief agencies that require time-sensitive assistance.
After conducting a successful large-scale disaster drill, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) concluded that general aviation pilots, aircraft, and airports (such as Torrance Airport) are key resources in event of a national or regional disaster emergency. A May 2013 report by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) identified the critical role of airports in disaster recovery, including:
California Pilots Association (CalPilots) has formed a state-wide organization, California Disaster Airlift Response Team (CalDART) to organize and utilize California's General Aviation airports, pilots and airplanes to play crucial roles in immediate relief and recovery from local and regional disasters. By organizing local operators, such as Torrance Disaster Airlift Response Team (T-DART) into a connected network, CalDART is building on experiences with previous disasters:
Many studies have shown the critical value of local airports and civilian aviation resources in disaster response and recovery. The Torrance Airport Association is leading local efforts to include our airport resources in the local, regional, and state disaster response and recovery planning activities and to organize our local pilots and aircraft to support those activities. In a serious regional emergency, TAA's Disaster Airlift Response Team (T-DART) is ready to respond.
The Employee Community Fund of Boeing has provided a generous grant to establish the DART program at Torrance Airport.