Business aviation insights, resources and stories

 Back to Journey

Supporting Disaster Relief and Expanding Business: A Texas CJ Jet Story

Simon Elliott is no stranger to disaster. He’s walked with those on the ground after Hurricane Katrina providing personal hygiene equipment and trailers. He’s talked with those attempting to restore communities and provided shelter to misplaced Americans. Now, he and his company, Active Deployment Systems (ADS), are doing what they can to support those on the front lines of COVID-19.

“With COVID-19, it’s as if a hurricane has hit 50 states. Normally it’s just two or three,” Elliott said.

Despite the overwhelming pandemic, this is what his teams are trained for. Elliott says while the virus is new, the needs after any kind of disaster are often the same. Large tent systems, large showers, restrooms, generators, fuel and human shelter are almost always necessary. His team’s focus now is getting to where they can be most helpful and providing the vital equipment to continue to treat those affected by COVID-19.

“Hospital beds can’t be set up without restrooms, generators and fuel and showers and everything else. You have to have all the support services to go along with it,” Elliott said, and that’s what ADS supplies and services. Utilizing the company’s CESSNA CITATION CJ2+ aircraft has made the process much smoother.

“From a disaster standpoint, I can move people anywhere and anytime I need almost immediately and that’s critical in this current marketplace,” Elliott said.

Currently, ADS has support services in more than half a dozen states and its government contracts are increasing as reach expands. The expansion has a lot to do with the use of his aircraft.

“The aircraft are to move employees around, especially now with travel restrictions as much as they are. We’re able to go whenever we want. From a business aspect, as the owner of a company, I use it heavily for meetings. I could do three meetings in a day,” he said.

The increased meetings, and therefore networking, have helped his business flourish and allowed him to get to meetings he otherwise would have turned down. Not only can he attend, but he can still make it home for dinner with his family. He said that’s partly why he went with a product in the CJ family. He likes the speed and the reliability.

“I’ve said many times over, it was an invaluable tool to opening up my business. It’s paid for itself multiple times over. I think people underappreciate the opportunities it could open if your time is really valuable,” Elliott said.

As a businessowner, Elliott says he’s pleased with how his aircraft has allowed him to expand and take on new challenges. As a disaster responder, he says he’s happy he can provide help faster and more effectively. 

It’s very rewarding,” he said. “We’re supporting a lot of hospital operations. We’re doing shower trailers, laundry trailers. We’re doing a lot of wash and fold laundry, things that people don’t think about. It does feel really good.”