Leipzig/Halle Airport – working with the Volga-Dnepr Group and the Akkon University of Human Sciences – organised a specialist international conference on humanitarian logistics yesterday (21 May).
About 60 representatives from research institutes, government and non-government organisations, logistics companies, airports as well as airlines attended the event. It was held in Leipzig on the fringes of the OECD’s International Transport Forum.
Workshops were organised at Leipzig/Halle Airport as part of the conference and they were designed to promote an active exchange of knowledge and experience.
The workshops dealt with topics like the specific requirements that global disaster operations place on all those involved in supply chains. This includes aid organisations, logistics companies, airports and airlines as well as the general political and social conditions to an equal degree.
The international participants also exchanged ideas on logistics processes and challenges when combatting epidemics like ebola.
Another major emphasis at one workshop was civil protection in Germany and the question of how to effectively make use of aircraft, helicopters and drones if any national disasters occur.
If there is for instance going to be another very dry summer, there are various stipulations related to obtaining fire-fighting aircraft to combat forest fires more efficiently. These aircraft could be purchased with the help of the European Union, for example.
During the remainder of the event, the participants had the opportunity of observing typical loading procedures on board aircraft from the Volga-Dnepr Group (Antonov 124 and IL76-TD-90VD planes).
Because of their technical specifications, these types of aircraft are particularly suitable for aid flights to disaster areas. They can transport huge amounts of cargo to sites without hard-surfaced runways and do not require any special equipment for loading and unloading at the local site.
Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG CEO and Leipzig/Halle and Dresden Airports chairman of the board, Götz Ahmelmann said: “Leipzig/Halle Airport offers excellent conditions for aid flights to anywhere in the world. We’re therefore delighted to be able to host this kind of special international conference for the second time, after doing so in 2017.
“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.”
Volga-Dnepr Group director of global humanitarian, Stuart Smith added: “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 difference loading and preparation methods for medical and disaster response cargo.
“Our strengthened engagement with the humanitarian sector under our “Proactive reactivity” approach aims to make access to our special air cargo services easier and more efficient. 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 x urgent flights.”
Leipzig/Halle handled about 1.22 million tonnes of air freight in 2018 and is Germany’s second-largest cargo airport.