30 Apr Air Serv Flight Plan Volume 3, Issue 1 Apr 2005
AIR SERV RESPONDS TO DEVASTATING TSUNAMI DISASTER
Within days of hearing about the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in southeast Asia, Air Serv was setting up programs in Sri Lanka and Sumatra to facilitate the massive response of the humanitarian community. Air Serv provided flights for assessment teams, project managers and relief teams throughout the affected region.
With a grant from the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), a King Air 300 and a Puma helicopter were sent to Colombo, Sri Lanka, to provide air transport for OFDA and other relief agency assessment teams and high value cargo in Sri Lanka, southeast India and the Maldives. Air Serv provided emergency assistance for four weeks before completing our emergency mission and focusing on the ongoing response in Sumatra.
Two heavy transport planes (IL-76) and three Bell 407 helicopters were sent to Banda Aceh on the Indonesian island of Sumatra to airlift relief workers and supplies throughout the island area. The IL-76 flights were made possible by a donation from the Republic of South Africa’s Disaster Management Center. A second lift AN-124 from Billings, Montana brought an additional two Huey helicopters in January.
“Most people assume that relief supplies are the only element of a response,” said Air Serv President Stuart Willcuts, who spent two months onsite in Sri Lanka and Banda Aceh. “However, the people who plan, manage and evaluate these operations are equally important. Without them, there are no supplies sent out and none distributed.”
Air Serv will continue operations in Indonesia until air transport is no longer a critical need.