When dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster, good communication between different departments helps make delivering aid much easier.
This year, Air Charter Service (ACS) has been busy helping out around the world, having arranged charters in Indonesia following the earthquake and tsunami, a lot of work in Guam following typhoons as well as missions in other parts of the world.
Group cargo director Dan Morgan-Evans says ACS’s different offices and departments all work together to make sure it works in the most effective way.
There are things to consider when flying in aid, Morgan-Evans tells Air Cargo Week: “You need to make sure the airport is fully functional, there’s no point sending staff in if not. You need to find out if infrastructure is available to move cargo from the airport and whether there is functioning ground support when you get there.”
Immediately after a crisis, the commercial team will send an aircraft with search and rescue crew, and someone from the cargo division will go with them to assess the situation and make contacts.
Morgan-Evans says keeping communication channels open between the different offices is very important, and between departments in the same office.
He says: “The head of commercial jets is next door to me and private jets are on the floor below me. We meet regularly to discuss how to work together.” As for arranging the charter, the basic process is still the same but the ever-changing situation means ACS needs to be flexible.
Morgan-Evans says: “With a normal charter the customer comes to us with the exact amount of cargo and where it needs to be and we come up with a solution. For aid, we get a tentative agreement to move something but they need to look for funding. The situation is always changing so we need to make sure we are quick and proactive. The process is the same but you have to be more flexible.”
Aid flights often continue for some time after the event; ACS is still doing flights to Indonesia. Morgan-Evans says: “It depends how quickly you can get ships to the area. When ships come in with aid then there is less need for long-haul charter transport.”