In this case, Airlec Air Ambulance was approached by a client to support them on an evacuation of a European citizen out of Kabul, Afghanistan. Due to the political situation in Kabul and the non-controlled Airspace, this mission became very challenging for the whole team at Airlec.
It was a normal day at Airlec’s Headquarter in Bordeaux, France, when the team received a phone call from a client with an urgent request. A European citizen was in need, as the medical care in Kabul is insufficient due to the political and medical situation. The international medical teams have left Kabul which leaves the hospitals without qualified medical staff. Even though the European citizen received good medical care in Swan International Center, Airlec’s client wanted further in-depth investigation in a European hospital. This started a highly challenging evacuation process for the team at Airlec, as all other air ambulances denied the mission.
Operating in and out of Kabul is a highly complex task, however, Airlec recognised the necessity of evacuating the patient out of Kabul.
Since Kabul, Afghanistan, does not provide a controlled airspace the captain in charge – Airlec’s owner Paul Tiba – first had to assure that the mission could be performed without putting crew and Airlec’s aircraft Falcon 900EX at risk. With limited official documents of the airspace available, the team had to investigate flight routes, weather charts and routings while waiting for the insurance extension and the French MOFA and Civil Aviation Authority to grant exceptional coverage and permission for such a critical evacuation. In addition, multiple overflights permits from Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkmenistan had to be granted. After checking all necessary parameters to assure that the flight could indeed be performed with minimal risk for the staff and that the patient was stable enough to take the flight, Airlec finally got the green light from all parties involved.
The patient was brought directly to the aircraft because Airlec’s flight crew was not permitted to leave the airport. Moreover, the insurance extension only covered a turnaround of two hours on the ground.
Airlec arranged a ground ambulance transport with one of their renown partners. An armed convoy picked up the female European patient and brought her safely to the airport of Kabul. From pick up to drop off at Airlec’s aircraft Falcon 900EX, the patient was under constant observation by the medical director of Swan International Hospital. She was handed over to the medical staff of Airlec which took care of her during the flight to Europe. Airlec’s medical staff is always prepared for the worst-case scenario by being equipped with the best and most modern medical technology.
Seven hours later, the aircraft, Falcon 900EX, landed safely in Europe and handed the patient over to the treating doctor in a stable condition. The flight remained without any security or medical issues and the whole team at Airlec was relieved to arrive back in Bordeaux at their Headquarters.
By taking on a case that all other providers had refused due to the critical environment, Airlec has once again demonstrated that with honest commitment to patient safety and care, due diligence and a strong sense of liability, people can be helped no matter where they are.
An almost impossible mission for everyone at Airlec which – thanks to great teamwork and thorough preparation – ended with great success.
Airlec, at all times, made sure that everyone involved never faced any hazards and mitigated all risk.
We are looking forward to many more challenging missions!