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An aeronautical and humanitarian hub

ASF is a special meeting point, a place to share, and a workshop forging common values between the aeronautical world and the humanitarian and development world 

Aviation Sans Frontières is foremost an independent humanitarian air operator, managing the local air transport niche through the use of small aircraft. Our expertise is based on the very real needs of emergency aid and development stakeholders, thus our organisation builds bridges between the world of aviation transport and humanitarian aid. 

These two worlds coexist within humanitarian air transport services, but their operational logistics do not always convert. The priority of one party (profitable operation of an aircraft) is not always in sync with the other (providing aid where it is required). ASF stands out for its capacity to be a meeting point of interests, a hub between the two.

Aeronautical expertise

The hub of aviation experts within our organisation possess jointly more than 100,000 hours of flying to some of the most difficult areas to operate.

Our organisation’s aviation expertise has followed the trend in the humanitarian air transport sector, which has become increasingly complex in recent years due to significant advances in terms of air regulation and aviation technology regulation imposed for air safety. 

Aviation expertise is now on the path to full professionalisation since the emergence of institutional funding for humanitarian aid transport, bringing with it the requirement made for humanitarian air operators to have an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC), the statues of an airline. 

Humanitarian experience

The hub of permanent staff at the organisation’s headquarters possess an accumulated 50 years of experience in emergency and development aid.

Since its creation, the organisation has been managed by staff with extensive experience in emergency aid and development. This reflects the wish of the founding pilots to strictly condition the implementation of aviation solutions on the humanitarian purposes of the projects, an approach that has seen the missions be carried out in around 15 crisis countries since 1983.

This approach based on the humanitarian assessment of NGO needs has become professionalised with the emergence of institutional funding for humanitarian air transport, in particular through the Framework Partnership Agreement with the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Office (ECHO) signed by ASF Belgium and ASF France.

A developmental approach

The borders no longer exist between the phases of emergency, rehabilitation then development in response to a crisis. These phases are integrated into a global approach. 

For ASF, the first level of accountability of a humanitarian project is to assess the local resources (human, natural and physical) on which the organisation can rely in order to implement the most appropriate response to a crisis. This approach contributes not only to remaining consistent with the efforts agreed by donors and funders in the long term, but also to ensure the most favourable cost-effectiveness ratio possible in the implementation of a project.

Aviation Sans Frontières has internal expertise in sustainable development. This allows us to document all its actions and terms of prevention and intervention. Lastly, the developmental approach coupled with the search for effective solutions offering the best cost-effectiveness ratio results in pragmatic solutions: practical, sensible and adapted to the context.  

Full knowledge of Humanitarian Aviation Project Management

Management models and humanitarian standards exist for all aid sectors except air transport. Aviation Sans Frontières is focused on defining them.

Based on our expertise and experience, Aviation Sans Frontières is naturally focused on creating focal points in which the world of air transport and humanitarian aid share an interest and common values, the same “reference frame”. ASF is therefore pioneering and leading the concept of “Humanitarian Aviation Project Management”. 

Under this concept, the air transport service, or any other form of aviation response to a situation of need, must be managed under the form of a project in the framework of humanitarian values or a “reference frame” that defines the efficiency indicators and a quality system in order to assess relevance, feasibility, efficiency and good intervention management.

This requires application of the project cycle management tool and the logic framework approach commonly used in the humanitarian and development sectors while conducting air transport programmes. Needs must be identified until the impact is assessed in order to justify the quality of the intervention and the merits of investment through a framework of accountability.