Leipzig/Halle Airport, Volga-Dnepr Group and the Akkon University of Human Sciences ran an international conference on humanitarian logistics on May 21. The event took place on the fringes of the OECD’s International Transport Forum in Germany.
Götz Ahmelmann, chief executive of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen and chairman of the board at Leipzig/Halle and Dresden airports, said: “We’re happy to share our wealth of experience in handling cargo flights for disaster and aid missions so that we can continue to develop processes with all those involved in order to be able to act more quickly and efficiently in an emergency.”
The conference covered topics including the demands that global disaster operations place on the supply chain. Delegates also discussed logistics processes and the challenges relating to epidemics such as ebola.
Timo Ulrichs, head of the International Emergency and Disaster Aid BA and Global Health MSc courses at Akkon University of Human Sciences, observed: “The ebola epidemic in West Africa has shown how important it is to enable active civil and military cooperation for these kinds of missions. Without the air bridge maintained by the German Armed Forces, it would not have been possible to guarantee continual supplies of consumables or the safety of the personnel if they caught ebola.”
Conference participants learnt about Volga-Dnepr Group’s An-124 and IL-76-TD-90VD aircraft – which can carry large quantities of cargo to locations that lack hard-surfaced runways or special equipment for loading and unloading, making them ideally suited for disaster relief operations.
Stuart Smith, director global humanitarian at Volga-Dnepr Group, said: “We were able to demonstrate the unique ramp loading features of our An-124-100 and IL-76TD-90VD fleet as well as the access possibilities into our wider group partners with Boeing 747 and 737 freighters. The aircraft tours at our Leipzig operational base were also able to show the different loading and preparation methods for medical and disaster response cargo.
“We are often among the first responders to disaster events, such as recently in Cyclone Idai where we performed over 350 tonnes of cargo across 10 urgent flights,” Smith added.