UNHAS supports humanitarian response in a slew of emergencies worldwide
Managed by the World Food Programme (WFP) and funded by donors including the European Commission’s European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the UN Humanitarian Air Service enables humanitarian access in the most difficult contexts.
A rapid response to humanitarian emergencies can save lives, and air transport is often the only way to quickly move humanitarian supplies and personnel to hard-to-reach areas.
The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), managed by the World Food Programme (WFP), does just that — connecting the humanitarian community to those in need who would otherwise be difficult to reach by land due to vast distances, limited infrastructure and insecurity.
UNHAS works in various contexts around the world. As each emergency is different, so is each UNHAS response; aircrafts, number of destinations and frequency of flights are all tailored to meet the needs on the ground.
RESPONDING TO NATURAL DISASTERS
In September 2017, Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, caused catastrophic damage to many Caribbean islands. Within 24 hours, UNHAS deployed a helicopter — and within a few days, two additional aircraft — to provide the humanitarian community with air services to the Dominican Republic, Antigua, Barbuda and other islands in the region. By the end of the emergency response, UNHAS had transported 476 people and 191 metric tons of cargo.
SCALING UP FOR HEALTH CRISES
UNHAS was already active in the Democratic Republic of Congo when an Ebola outbreak occurred in April 2017 and could therefore quickly increase its fleet and expand its coverage to include the Ebola-affected communities. Besides the movement of humanitarian staff, UNHAS also provided dedicated flights to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for transporting vital medical equipment.
Thanks to a fast and decisive response from the humanitarian community, the outbreak was swiftly contained, leading WHO to declare an end to the outbreak on 1 July 2017.
REMAINING AGILE IN COMPLEX EMERGENCIES
Protracted conflict in north-eastern Nigeria has severely constrained access to vulnerable communities. UNHAS ensures safe and reliable air transport services, providing a lifeline to isolated communities.
UNHAS responses evolve over time and adapt constantly to the context and needs on the ground. Since its inception in 2015, UNHAS has gone from serving five destinations to serving 18. The fleet was adjusted not only to enable the scale-up of humanitarian efforts in 2016, but also to improve access. Four helicopters were added to expand the coverage to destinations inaccessible by fixed-wing aircraft. From the start of UNHAS operations in August 2015 to the end of November 2017,UNHAS provided access to a total of 92 organizations, transported 60,866 passengers and moved 213 metric tons of cargo.
VAST DISTANCES, LIMITED INFRASTUCTURE AND EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS
Chad presents a challenging environment with its vast distances and limited infrastructure, coupled with extreme weather conditions. This means that UNHAS services are vital for the humanitarian community. The extreme weather conditions range from the “Harmattan”, a dusty wind that passes through in January and February, to the hot season from March to June when temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius. The rainy season, accompanied by tropical storms, usually occurs between June and September, and can completely cut off some communities from aid workers. With its expertise, UNHAS is able to navigate these rough conditions, thereby offering humanitarians quick and safe access to their destinations.
ON STANDBY FOR EVACUATIONS
UNHAS not only enables access to beneficiaries and implementation sites, but also provides a lifeline for humanitarian staff. Many of the locations are too remote or do not have facilities to handle medical emergencies, putting staff at further risk. The medical — as well as security — evacuations are a vital safety net for staff who already work in difficult and insecure conditions.
UNHAS provides humanitarian passenger services in 14 operations around the world.
While some costs are covered through cost-recovery mechanisms and nominal booking fees wherever possible, this is not sufficient to sustain activities. Therefore UNHAS relies on donor contributions to fund its operations.
UNHAS is grafeful for the support of donors including the European Commission’s European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), who helped fund UNHAS operations in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen.
To ensure UNHAS is able to continue serving the humanitarian community, it requires approximately USD 193.4 million for its 2018 budget.
This article is reproduced in it’s entirety and taken from the UN WFP Insight news stream. A&R Aviation Australia are proud supporters of all humanitarian providers worldwide and especially the world food program. Using these aircraft to do amazing things and make a incredible difference! Follow the WFP online and show your support! – R.
A&R Aviation has on the ground experience in many humanitarian outposts, including Indonesia, Tanzania, South Sudan, Kenya, DRC & PNG. We have completed several aircraft re-configurations and/or modifications to assist with aid drops, medical assistance, medevac and patient transport services. We hope to continue our support with Aid organisations, wherever they may need us.
Electroair has earned installation approval from the FAA of its EIS-61000-5M Electronic Ignition Kit on aircraft powered by turbo-charged Lycoming engines. Engine series include the TIO-540, TIO-541, TIGO-540, and the non-turbo’d IO-580 and AEIO-580.
Beyond the addition of the Lycoming high performance engines, Electroair has also been granted installation approval for the Continental O-300, GO-300, E-165, E-185 and E-225 series of engines. These engines are found on classic and legacy aircraft, which are often overlooked by many aircraft system modification companies, company officials noted.
“This latest expansion to our six-cylinder STC rounds out our Approved Model List, making the Electroair electronic ignition system available to a tremendous number of different aircraft,” said Michael Kobylik, Electroair president. “Electroair electronic ignition systems are now FAA approved for well over 400 aircraft models.”
Australia’s Matt Hall has stolen the show – and the championship lead – at the third stop of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Chiba, Japan, beating home America’s Michael Goulian and Czech pilot Martin Šonka in the process.
The Aussie had his back against the wall at the beginning of the day, with his opponent in the first knockout stage being local hero and two-time defending Japanese race winner Yoshihide Muroya. However, a blistering time 55.529 had Hall more than half a second ahead of the field, vaulting him into favouritism for the remainder of the race.
Meanwhile reigning world champion Muroya exceeded the maximum G-force limit on his run and was subsequently disqualified from the opening round.
Today’s victory makes it two on the trot for Hall, who won the inaugural French race in Cannes last month. Now Hall is well and truly on track to hunt down a maiden world title in 2018 and said that the difficulty of today’s triumph made it just that bit sweeter than France.
“It feels good to win today, it feels a little bit better than the last race in Cannes. That race was fantastic because we won for the first time with this plane – it was a breakthrough. But this one was just really hard fought,” Hall said.
“We had a poor qualifying yesterday and went to bed knowing that our first task today was to race Yoshi, who’s the reigning world champion and the guy who has won this race the last two times in a row. He was also the crowd favourite.
“That made it a tough morning for us, but I am proud of how the team pulled it all together. There wasn’t a single error from anybody in the team. No matter what people see out there, this is a team sport, and everyone nailed it.”
Matt Hall Racing Team celebrate after the finals at the third round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Chiba, Japan on May 27, 2018. Pic: Matt Hall Racing
Following his Round of 14 win, Hall then fended off a challenge from Spaniard Juan Velarde in the second knockout stage, before progressing to the Final 4 and a shootout for the top spot.
When it came to the Final 4, Goulian was the first contender out and he put down a clean and consistent run. Šonka followed, but a two second penalty for flying through a gate at an incorrect level dashed his hopes of victory. It was a similar story for Canadian Pete McLeod who incurred the same penalty and finished fourth.
That left Hall as the only genuine chance to beat Goulian, and the Aussie delivered when it mattered most.
With a second victory under his belt, Hall moves into equal first on the world championship leader board with Goulian (36 points apiece). Due to Hall’s two victories compared the American’s one, it is the Aussie who now tops the standings.
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship will next stop in Budapest, Hungary on the weekend of June 23-24.
Australia’s general aviation industry converges on Wagga Wagga to send a clear message of reform to Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack MP.
The Dick Smith presentation in Wagga Wagga on Thursday 26th April 2018 was a great success and it was fantastic to see so many AOPA Australia members along with local Riverina constituents in attendance.
The venue was at capacity with only standing room available, clearly demonstrating the importance and genuine interest in the issues presented.Many thanks must go to the local media, who turned out en-masse to document and report.
AOPA Pilot Magazine Journalist Paul Southwick had the opportunity to speak with a number of newspaper and television reporters, who were all very eager to communicate our industry’s concerns.
A big thank you must go to Dick Smith, who clearly and passionately communicated our industry’s frustration regarding the lack of action and reforms from our political representatives.
The presentation exposed nearly three decades of inaction and neglect, along with explaining the damage to regional townships and communities. Utilising a range of key data, including charts provided by AOPA Australia, Dick highlighted that declines in general aviation flight training and maintenance, which are the result of government and political neglect, have now manifested themselves into an airline pilot and maintenance employment crisis.
For the first time in the history of Australian aviation, our general aviation industry is unable to meet the employment demands of the airline sector, struggling under the enormous weight of regulatory burden, which has rendered general aviation uncompetitive and unsustainable – should the current regulatory framework continue.
The outcome now is that the airlines are desperately seeking to bypass general aviation in Australia by importing foreign pilots and maintenance crews under 457 VISAs.
The AOPA Australia is deeply concerned for the future of our general aviation community and stands fully opposed to the wholesale granting of 457 VISAs for pilots and maintainers, which we regard as a bandage to cover the open wound of regulatory and political failure.
The AOPA Australia believes that Australians want the assurance that comes from being flown by Australian trained pilots, whom have earned the reputation as being the safest in the world, the source of these pilots is general aviation.
Dick has called on the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, to take positive action by reforming the Civil Aviation Act. The Deputy Prime Minister responded through local media stating;
“I’ve had a number of discussions with Dick Smith, and I appreciate that the industry wants to see changes made as soon as possible, but what I won’t do for anyone is rush policy change, especially when there might be safety implications”
“It’s all well and good to bind me to the Barnaby Joyce agreement, but the fact is Barnaby is not transport Minister anymore and, while I appreciate that he had discussions with Anthony Albanese, I was not in on those discussions.”
Italy’s Curti Aerospace will officially make the commercial launch of its two-seat turbine Zefhir helicopter later this week at the Aero Friedrichshafen show in Germany. Zefhir was formerly known as the “Disrupt” project that was funded by a European Commission initiative to benefit small and medium enterprises and made its public design debut in 2016.
The Zefhir helicopter was designed to serve both the recreational and commercial markets as a trainer. It was developed as a partnership between Curti and Czech engine maker PBS Velká Bíteš (PBSVB) and Junkers Profly, which developed the whole-aircraft ballistic parachute recovery system. According to Curti, the aircraft features crashworthy seats.
Its custom-designed maximum continuous 241-shp engine is derated to 141 shp. Curti said it developed the helicopter to meet the market need for a better designed light helicopter with a more powerful engine.
For more than 40 years, Curti has made sub assemblies and components for aerospace and defense companies such as Leonardo. Company products include design and manufacture of equipment for the production of parts and assemblies for helicopters, trainer aircraft, and vehicles for transporting troops and heavy artillery.