Air Charter Service was recently one of the first air charter brokers to get civilian flights into Goma carrying 88 tons of emergency aid. The company was approached to find a solution to deliver the aid to the 250,000 people that had fled their homes to avoid violent clashes between rebel forces and the government, as quickly as possible.
The fastest solution was to use two Ilyuhsin 76’s to take plastic sheets, buckets, blankets and two pallets of water purification tablets in bulk to Entebbe (Uganda) from Fujairah International Airport (UAE), to then be ferried on aircraft capable of landing at Goma airport. The two largest aircraft able to land in Goma due to its restricted runway are the AN-12 and L-100 Hercules. Using AN-12’s, which are usually banned from DRC, would have caused a delay due to having to wait for the exemption permits. An L-100 Hercules aircraft was used which could get permits quickly, therefore no delays were encountered the aircraft operated 6 rotations from Entebbe to Goma, which ensured that the aid was delivered in the quickest possible time.
To ensure the efficiency of this operation ACS committed to having a representative from its Dubai office to oversee the loading of the IL-76’s at Fujairah, as well as a representative of its operations department, who went on the first aircraft down to Entebbe. On arrival in Entebbe the aircraft was met by a French speaking ACS account manager. A flight manager went on each of the 6 rotations to Goma with the French speaker going on the first aircraft to make any up front arrangements. Having a bilingual flight manager, who is on site, broke down any communication barriers ensuring maximum speed in making all of the necessary arrangements.
Dan Morgan-Evans said
“The number one priority was to get the relief cargo to the people that needed it most as quickly as possible. Having a representative from our Dubai office and two flight managers, one of them a French speaker, ensured the smooth and time efficient running of this operation, with no time being wasted”