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15th October 2015
Airlec Air Espace receives the Baltic Air Charter Association Humanitarian Award for their outstanding action during the Ebola Crisis
Airlec, France’s oldest business aviation company, has been awarded the Baltic Air Charter Association’s (BACA) Humanitarian Award. The Award is presented each year to an individual or company who have been judged to have contributed significant and valuable efforts to an emergency air operation, disaster relief or charitable activities during the previous 12 months. The Award was presented by BACA Chairman Tony Coe at the Baltic Air Charter Association Awards lunch which was held at London Guildhall on 14th October. Airlec Managing Director & Pilot, Paul Tiba, flew over from France to accept the Award.
During the Ebola crisis, Airlec was the first European company to evacuate aid workers suffering from the virus, this was totally against global advice not to enter the region but according to approved precise plans/process coordinated with the French government. The first repatriation took place on October the 6th, 2014. The whole mission lasted only 42 hours, between the alert from the NGO (non-governmental organization) and the return of the patient from Sierra Leone to Norway. The flight was conducted on Airlec’s Citation Super IIXR Aircraft, (fitted with a cargo door) with most flying taking place at night. The most challenging part of the mission was to obtain landing permits for technical stops (refuelling). In total, Airlec safely performed 8 repatriations of aid workers who were suspected or infected by the Ebola virus.
Speaking about his acceptance of the Award Paul said “I am both delighted and honoured to receive this prestigious Award from the Baltic Air Charter Association. During the Ebola crisis we instinctively knew we had to act and were confident that our aircraft and team were equipped to carry out the flights. I would like to thank the BACA committee for this Award but feel that the true reward is in helping the aid workers in their time of need.”
BACA Chairman Tony Coe added “Paul and his team at Airlec demonstrated courage above and beyond the call of duty. In spite of the risks, and official advice to avoid the area, Paul flew in and evacuated the patient back to Norway. Then they went back and did it again, in all a total of 8 times. The outstanding courage of Airlec immediately identified them as a deserving recipient for the 2015 BACA Humanitarian Award. Airlec has demonstrated courage and conviction in carrying out an incredible number of evacuations. I am sure that everyone will join us in congratulating Paul and his team at Airlec on an outstanding achievement.”