Air coordinator – delivering efficiently in big disasters
In bigger disasters, an air coordinator may be needed as the air group grows. He or she helps the whole air group work most effectively.
When things start, you must improvise
When the response starts, you need to be quick. Everything is responsive. The issue is life saving. Everyone wants to help. People can be dying. So you just get on with it.
See how few aircraft are behind Adrian Nance (our CEO) and Mercy Air pilot Joel Bartschi? This was very early in the disaster response. Our committed donors make this early response possible. Why not join them? Donate now.
But as things settle…. you need an air coordinator!
As the number of helicopters grows, so does the coordination task. The amount of information increases. The headquarters grows. The number of clusters increases. Then you must get organised. Wings helps to make things more efficient.
As one specialist put it: I have learned how well we can work together and how much we needed each other. I have so much respect for your organization and specially for you because you had the heaviest load in coordinating and keeping a sense of sanity in a madhouse, and you did it successfully. Hope we cross path again my friend. April 2019
Here is the same pilot being briefed by our volunteer and friend, Jeremy Boddington. They have supporting maps. They have satellite imagery. The air coordinator finds other assets competing for the air space. Drones. Kites. And the UN Humanitarian Air Service arrives. They transform the capability of the response. Or huge fixed wing aircraft come in with aid. There is competition for fuel. The air traffic controllers get overloaded. Things can get inefficient. Just when we want to get faster. We are working against the clock.
So how big can it get?
For Cyclone IDAI, the air group rose to 21 helicopters, 2 fixed wing aircraft and over 10 drones. And there were eight clusters. Eight different groups, each trying to get their stores out – food, shelter, medicines, sanitation kits, and more. All of them wanting air support. Air support because the roads were still flooded.
When things get this complex, the air coordinator helps to make each asset as efficient as possible. We de-conflict them. We give everyone visibility of what everyone else is doing. There is a knack to it.
An air coordinator can save lives. See what someone said… and donate today!
If we get it right, then senior people say things like this.
I can honestly say, without reservation, that Wings Like Eagles and you in particular surprised me and had an overwhelmingly positive transformative effect on the response. This went far beyond managing air assets which you did superbly and in doing so you should know that your actions undoubtedly saved lives.
That comment was when there were 1.8 million affected people. Please help us to make this true for more people. Donate now. You can save lives!
Or contact us. We want to help you.