Philippines: Aid flight operations pick up pace
International response to the typhoon in the Philippines is still underway and aid flights are arriving in the Philippines from around the world.
Chapman Freeborn Airchartering’s global network and charter expertise have been extensively utilised by worldwide NGOs and aid agencies to deploy air cargo and logistics support. Chapman Freeborn’s worldwide offices are currently working around the clock to deliver humanitarian cargo from North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia.
So far over 2000 tons of aid cargo has been delivered on behalf of Chapman Freeborn’s clients on aircraft types including Antonov AN-12s, Airbus A300s, Ilyushin IL-76s and Boeing B747 and B777 freighters. The relief supplies being rushed into the Philippines include tents, water purifiers, generators, medicines, medical equipment and even megaphones (loud hailers).
In the latest update on the Philippines ground situation, the leading aircraft charter specialist’s flight operations subsidiary Wings 24 advises that Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) is still heavily congested. However, the situation is improving; there is news that more equipment and supplies are getting through now that the aid agencies are establishing themselves in the region – coordinating relief supplies out of the airport and into the areas where people are in need of aid.
With limited space and main-deck handling capacity in Cebu, Manila International Airport (MNL) is increasingly being used as a hub for incoming wide-body aircraft and other flights until the backlog can be cleared.
In common with other large scale aid operations, Chapman Freeborn is looking at hub and spoke operations – utilising wide-body aircraft like Boeing B747 freighters to bring in 100 ton consignments which can then be broken down and moved to smaller regional airfields.
It is sometimes the case that smaller and more versatile aircraft can be utilised to good effect during aid operations of this kind – for example chartered L 100 Hercules (the civilian variant of the C 130 military transporter) or its Russian-built equivalent the Antonov AN-12.
Chris Vandenplas, country manager at Chapman Freeborn Belgium, shares:
“In a time like this, our teams around the world are operating on high-alert. Taking various factors into consideration – documentation, customs, slots, fuel, and ground handling etc. – we tap into our global network to deliver the best air charter solution that can deliver relief supplies to the Philippines.“
Since the disaster, the United Nations has launched an urgent aid appeal for funds to help the Philippines recover from the ravages of Typhoon Haiyan; many governments around the world have already pledged contributions toward relief efforts. It is reported that The World Bank is to extend a $500 million emergency loan to support reconstruction of buildings that can withstand winds of 250 kph (150 mph) to 280 kph and resist severe flooding.
About Chapman Freeborn Airchartering
Chapman Freeborn was established in the UK in 1973 and the group now comprises of over 30 offices around the world.
The company specialises in the charter and lease of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft for a wide ranging client base including major international organisations, NGOs, multinational corporations, governments, and a host of industries around the globe.
Nearly every emergency airlift mission in the last 30 plus years has involved Chapman Freeborn chartered aircraft. Major operations have included supporting the response to the Asian Tsunami, earthquakes in Pakistan and Haiti, floods in Burma, and famines in East Africa.