GA Industry Helps Deliver COVID Vaccines
April 6, 2021
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  • How several general aviation entities are helping deliver vaccines around the world.

    Tecnam Develops Aircraft For Vaccine Delivery

    Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam has repurposed its P2012 to offer the P2012 Travelcare for COVID vaccine distribution. The platform was created to help distributors around the world reach remote and difficult to access communities, including areas with an underdeveloped infrastructure.

    A Partnership With Freezer Maker Desmo

    Tecnam partnered with Desmon, a-freezer manufacturer, to equip P2012 Travelcare aircraft with freezers designed to maintain the ultra-cold temperatures required by some of the vaccines. The P2012 equipped with the Desmon freezer, maintains product temperatures down to -186 deg. F during transport and -149 deg. F after the system is unplugged for further distribution.

    Vaccine Deliveries Using Short Runways

    Tecnam’s P2012 Travelcare aircraft can transport as many as 115,000 vaccines to areas with less than 1,850 ft. of paved or unpaved runway. In Europe, 67% of airports have runways shorter than 5,000 ft., making them inaccessible to large aircraft.

    Mission Aviation Fellowship

    Mission Aviation Fellowship is helping the Lesotho Flying Doctor Service to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to remote clinics in Lesotho, a country in Southern Africa. Lesotho is a small, mountainous country of about 2 million people surrounded by South Africa.

    Health Care Workers A Priority

    On March 22 and March 23, Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot Grant Strugnell flew a Cessna 206 with nurses and vaccines to Lebakeng and Kuebunyane clinics in Lesotho to vaccinate clinic and community health workers. Because of a limited supply of the vaccine, the Lesotho government has prioritized vaccinations for frontline health care workers and clinic staff as they work to acquire additional vaccines for the population.  In February, MAF delivered vaccines to remote areas of Kalimantan, Indonesia. The organization will deliver additional vaccine as more programs roll out in remote areas.

    Airbus Helicopters Transport Vaccines

    More than 30 countries are engaged in mass vaccination campaigns using Airbus helicopters to provide airlift services. The aircraft are being deployed by civil operators, military services and government agencies. A Suma Air H125 flew 85 doses of the vaccine from Santiago to Quillota Hospital in Chile.