Thursday 7 May was an significant day for our Disaster Response Team in Nepal as they have been able to complete and sign a contract with a Nepali company – Fishtail Air – to have two helicopters (AS350B2 and B3) on lease from them for the next month and extendible for one or two more months.
This means MAF can set up the urgently needed helicopter response facility to enable humanitarian and relief workers to reach those most isolated communities in Nepal to bring hope and healing.
World's highest rescue service
Fishtail Air, named after the second most important mountain in Nepal, has already been a vital partner in our relief effort so far, with vital experience operating in Nepal's dramatic landscape,
'That's exactly why MAF is facilitating the local flight team that does it best,' said Dave Forney of MAF's Disaster Response Team.
'These are the ones that routinely fly people into the highest, most rugged mountains in the world. They've done the highest-altitude mountain rescue in the world. They're the only ones here certified for sling loads and long line ops. With their reputation and long-time experience in operating helicopters into these toughest of locations, combined with MAF's reputation and long-time experience in coordinating transportation logistics efficiently and effectively in disaster relief efforts throughout the world, we're able to provide the crucial transportation link that's been missing—that will allow the aid and relief workers to bring help to the most desperate, and most isolated in the entire Nepali Earthquake relief effort.'
We're able to provide the crucial transportation link that's been missing—that will allow the aid and relief workers to bring help to the most desperate, and most isolated in the entire Nepali Earthquake relief effort.
Flights bookings flood in
The NGO community in Nepal has been informed about the service we are offering and there has been a lot of positive interest. Many are now making contact to discuss bookings.
The team are planning to be fully operational with subsidised flights starting Saturday 9 May 2015.
They have already facilitated about 30 hours of flying over the last week for various agencies to a number of remote communities, many of which have been cut off from the outside world since the earthquake.
MAF's Disaster Response team is very thankful for all the prayer, help and support they have received to literally get this project off the ground.
So much more to do
Our team continues to hear stories of people walking many miles off the mountains into the valleys saying that their villages have been destroyed and that they need help.
We are appealing for donations to make this flight service possible.