Helping the humanitarian community reach those furthest behind

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 UNHAS aircraft’s reflection in calm post-hurricane waters of the Caribbean. Photo: UN/Rick Bajornas

 

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.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres arrives in Barbuda to inspect the damage wreaked by Hurricane Irma. Photo: UN/Rick Bajournas

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.

A UNHAS aircraft used for the Ebola response is disinfected in DRC. Photo: WFP/Photo Library

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.

UNHAS is critical for providing the humanitarian community access to difficult-to-reach destinations in Chad. Photo: WFP/Nathalie Magnien

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 plays an invaluable role in medical emergencies — this helicopter is in DRC during the Ebola response. Photo: WFP/Photo Library

DONOR SUPPORT

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.

Hrijoy Bhattacharjee


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.

STOP THE LIE – UPDATE THE ACT: DICK SMITH

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.”

Watch the presentation video below:

 


This article from the AOPA Australia website – view more here.

A and R Aviation is a proud supporter of General Aviation Reform in Australia. Please visit the AOPA website, show your support and contact your local member to voice your concern!

 

Curti To Take Wraps Off New Light Turbine Helicopter

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.

Click here for more information on A&R Aviation’s Helicopter Maintenance Services.

Bye Aerospace Announces First Flight of Sun Flyer 2

Bye Aerospace announced the prototype Sun Flyer 2 aircraft had its first flight April 10.

The prototype aircraft flight test program, which began in late March, is being conducted at Centennial Airport (KAPA), south of Denver, Colorado, and are now progressing to increased speed, altitude and endurance capabilities.

George Bye, Founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, thanked and congratulated the Bye Aerospace team for the successful transition to the next test phase. “We are excited about the future and the potential the Sun Flyer family of aircraft has to revolutionize general aviation, providing improved affordability and accessibility,” Bye said. “Lower operating costs are key to solving the student pilot drop-out rate, which is curtailing the successful attainment of badly needed airline pilots. The Sun Flyer 2’s $3 hourly operating costs are 10 times lower than traditional piston-engine flight trainers, with no carbon emissions and significantly reduced noise.”

EP Systems provided the energy storage system for the Sun Flyer 2 prototype aircraft being flight tested, including battery modules (packs), battery management unit and power distribution unit. The battery cells are LG Chem “MJ1” lithium-ion battery cells with a 260 Wh/kg energy density. Bye Aerospace will soon announce who its electric motor partner will be for the family of FAA-certified Sun Flyer aircraft.

Charlie Johnson, Bye Aerospace President, said he was extremely pleased to launch the test flight phase for the Sun Flyer 2 program. “We had a fantastic first flight,” he said.

The Sun Flyer family of aircraft, including the Sun Flyer 2 and the 4-seat “Sun Flyer 4,” will be the first FAA-certified, U.S.-sponsored, practical, all-electric airplanes to serve the flight training and general aviation markets.

Press Release – Bye Aerospace
www.byeaerospace.com

 

MCCORMACK FACES AVIATION DOGFIGHT

Australia’s general aviation ­industry will campaign against Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack in his electorate, potentially even standing a candidate against him, if he fails to endorse regulatory reform.The Aircraft Owners and ­Pilots Association yesterday told The Australian it would set up a campaign office in Wagga Wagga, in Mr McCormack’s Riverina electorate, and consider running a candidate, if he failed to commit to changes to the Civil Aviation Act.

“The general aviation industry is in a perilous situation,” AOPA chief executive Ben Morgan said. “For the minister to come out and say he needs time (to consider reform) … is almost laughable. The Nationals have had carriage of the transport portfolio for many years.

“If our minister is not going to listen, I wonder if the people of Wagga would be prepared to have a conversation. We may even need to consider putting candidates forward (in Riverina and other electorates) … to see that these issues are resolved.”

AOPA, which represents thousands of pilots and business owners in general aviation across the country, is backing changes to the act negotiated by former civil aviation safety chief Dick Smith. Mr Smith in February revealed he had found consensus on amendments that then-deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and Labor’s ­Anthony Albanese both indicated they could support.

These would require the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to ­operate in a manner that recognised the need for “an efficient and sustainable Australian aviation industry”, as well as the “highest level of safety in air navigation”. Many in general aviation, which includes charter, air emergency, pilot training and agricultural operations, believe the act’s current requirement on CASA to “regard safety as the most important consideration” has led to a tangle of costly, needless regulation.

Mr McCormack, who succeeded Mr Joyce on February 26, this week declined to endorse the Smith changes.

But yesterday Mr McCormack said he was happy to meet AOPA to discuss its concerns and reform ideas. “The deputy PM is certainly open to reform, after due consideration is given to any proposals put forward,” his spokesman said. “Reform such as this takes time to ensure everyone’s views are considered and to ensure there are no unintended consequences.”

CASA argues it already considers the financial impact of its regulations, but the issue is gaining traction nationally, with a Senate inquiry taking evidence about the impact of regulation on regional aviation costs.

Inquiry member XNT senator Rex Patrick called for urgent action to tackle the “cost of CASA” and produced CASA data showing revenue from its regulatory service fees rose from $2.9m in 2000 to $13.9m in 2017.

CASA’s staff ballooned from 621 in 2007 to 830 in 2017, while its operating budget rose from $129m to $180m over the same period. “Something has to change,’’ Senator Patrick said.

Mr Morgan said the decline in general aviation was undeniable, with 25 per cent of the fleet of 2993 aircraft not in use.

The Australian, 12th April 2018

A&R Aviation are great supporters of general aviation legislation reform in Australia.
We constantly see first hand what this over-regulation and cost burdening is doing to the industry that we know and love.
The industry is already facing a critical shortage of Engineers & Pilots, we urge the federal government to hear AOPA and actually start to implement change!