May 28 - Following the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, Air Charter Service (ACS) has completed over 50 charter flights into and out of Kathmandu transporting relief goods as well as search and rescue teams.
"Initially it was difficult for anyone to fly aid into the region straight after the disaster. Kathmandu is the only international airport in Nepal and is relatively small, meaning that only a few aircraft could fly in at any one time," said ACS commercial director Justin Lancaster.
"Scheduled passenger flights, emergency rescue flights and military operations were being allocated top priority and landing permits and overflight permissions were taking up to four days to be processed. These problems were gradually overcome," Lancaster went on.
He explained that ACS sent in staff members on the first few aircraft that were able to get into Kathmandu, who helped coordinate the company's relief efforts from the ground. The company has now flown aid in from the UK, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Scandinavia, India, China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Canada and the Middle East.
"We have been involved in coordinating mass relief efforts before, such as the aftermath of the Asian tsunami, the Haiti earthquake and, most recently, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, but the logistical challenges trying to help victims of the Nepalese earthquake were some of the most difficult that we have ever had to overcome.
"Such is the complexity of the situation that, more than a month after the first earthquake struck, we still have someone on the ground over there helping us coordinate the charters."