MetroAir Sends 757s to Southern Hemisphere in Partnership with NOAA, USGS

PORT MORSEBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA – United States based virtual airline MetroAir Virtual is teaming up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association as well as the United States Geological Survey this summer to help perform research and maintenance with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center will be performing research and installation of new Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami buoys (DART), which help detect early signs of tsunamis and report data back to the PTWC. By distributing a network of these bouys around the world, the speed and severity of tsunamis can be detected in real time, allowing warnings to be broadcast for evacuations in tsunami prone areas.

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MetroAir has been contracted to provide air support for equipment, material, and crew transport to help build and distribute a new network of DART buoys. The buoys will be built and flown from the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Newport, OR to this summer’s temporary PTWC research bases in Port Morseby, PNG and Broome, WA, Australia.

Crews will utilize two MetroAir 757-200s to explore and research potential deployment sites throughout Melanesia, Micronesia, and the South Indian Ocean. While a network of 39 early detection buoys have been deployed off the coasts of Japan, Russia, and the United States, additional coverage is needed for full protection off the coasts of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Indonesia.

In addition, USGS will be collaborating with NOAA to perform earthquake research throughout the Pacific Ocean, as well as the Arctic. Ad-hoc missions in the Arctic region will be performed on an on demand basis out of the PTWC center in Palmer, Alaska.

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Potential DART Buoy deployment sites.