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Our history

  • 1983: Foundation of Aviation Sans Frontières Belgium (ASF-B).
  • 1984-1988: Mali - ASF-B offers its services to several NGOs during major famines in the Sahel and actively participates in the fight against cholera.
  • 1985-1988: Ethiopia - ASF-B organises the transportation of humanitarian staff and material during large famines.
  • 1985-1987: Chad - ASF-B enables Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to extend its programmes into the north of Chad and transport medicine products, doctors, nurses and mobile surgical teams to the humanitarian aid sites. ASF-B offers air support to the national vaccination campaigns.
  • 1985: Sudan - ASF-B transports humanitarian aid to refugees from Chad along the Sudanese border.

 

  • 1987-1991: Mozambique - ASF-B assists Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Save the Children. Its aircraft allows them to reach villages surrounded by the guerrillas and, thanks to its action, the national healthcare structures were able to reorganise and eradicate major epidemics.
  • 1988: Zaire - ASF-B repairs bush runways to facilitate access to isolated groups.
  • 1988-1994: Ecuador - ASF-B develops an air ambulance programme in the province of Pastora, funded by the Belgian Development Cooperation. ASF-B buys two Cessna 206, and trains national pilots and mechanics.
  • 1994-1995: Great Lakes Region (Rwanda - Burundi - Tanzania) - ASF-B organises an air bridge to bring assistance to refugee and displaced groups from Burundi.
  • 1995-1996: Sierra Leone - ASF-B organises an air bridge between Bo and Potjahum to allow Médecins sans Frontières to implement emergency relief. In full-on civil war, the ASF-B aircraft becomes the last resort for humanitarian operators to evacuate their humanitarian aid sites.

 

  • 1997: Initiation of the children escort program. ASF-Belgium volunteers accompany children from developing countries on their plane journey to recovery. ASF-Belgium supports the Chaîne de l'Espoir Belgique through this activity. This association organizes the medical and surgical care of children in Belgium and in neighboring countries when the pathologies cannot be treated in their country of origin. The association also organizes their stay with host families.
  • 1997-2002: Democratic Republic of the Congo - ASF-B ensures the distribution of medicines in bush healthcare centres for the Archdiocese of Kisangani. ASF-B then flies for multiple NGOs such as: MSF, CICR, Unicef, Merlin, Médair. From January 1999, ASF-B operates exclusively with MSF in the rebel zone to distribute medicines, supply nutritional centres and becomes an essential tool of the Congo Emergency Pool (PUC) responsible for the detection and eradication of epidemics. 
  • 2000-2004: Mali - ASF-B participates in consolidating peace agreements by making an aircraft available to around 60 NGOs. In addition to its work in opening up northern Mali, ASF-B helps improve security, increases the performance of technical staff and encourages the continuation of their programmes even during the rainy period, a period normally synonymous with isolation.
  • 2003-2009: Democratic Republic of the Congo - The humanitarian air support programme in Ituri implemented by ASF-B and jointly funded with UNOCHA aims to allow humanitarian stakeholders operating in Ituri and surrounding regions to have a quick and secure means of transport for staff and humanitarian material, and to expand the humanitarian intervention areas. From 1 February 2005, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Office (ECHO) continued joint funding of operations in Ituri. The mission ended in March 2009.
  • 2005-2007: Somalia - In a context of humanitarian emergency, on 16 May 2005 ASF-B began under ECHO funding an air transport programme for the ECHO partners and all humanitarian stakeholders operating in Somalia. The goal of this ASF-B programme is to allow groups in Somalia to benefit from the application of the humanitarian and development stakeholders’ mandate and, specifically, to strengthen access through regular air links financed by ECHO.
  • 2006-2009: Kenya - In the wake of humanitarian air operations launched in Somalia, ASF-B implemented an air transport programme for ECHO partners in North and East Kenya first, which was subsequently extended throughout the country depending on humanitarian emergencies and to pass on the baton to the ECHO Flight in March 2009. 
  • 2007-2008: Democratic Republic of the Congo – Like its mission in Ituri, and this time financed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), ASF-B placed a Cessna 206 in Kisangani to allow humanitarian stakeholders operating in the region to have a quick and safe means of transport for humanitarian personnel and material, and to expand the area of intervention.
  • Since 2008: Madagascar (environment) – Launch of a Mission supporting conservation and good biodiversity management in Madagascar, in the context of increasing deforestation. ASF-B links with WWF to complete flights and take aerial photographs in order to better understand the areas at risk. The approach pursued in the development of this aerial monitoring tool of the forest is based entirely on a sustainable development approach and won the Belgian Energy and Environment Award 2012. 
  • 2010-2011: Democratic Republic of the Congo - The main objective of the mission supporting conservation and good biodiversity management in DRC open in Mbandaka was to open up the largest national forestry park in Africa, the Salonga. ASF-B flights help support WWF and African Wildlife Foundation operations and the European Commission programme to manage Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (ECOFAC). A second mission was opened in Goma supported by the German Technical Cooperation (GIZ) and the Congo Institution for Nature Conservation (ICCN) for the Kahuzi-Biega National Park. 
  • 2008-2013: Chad - Following rebel attacks at the end of 2007 in the east of Chad, which destabilised the humanitarian mechanism implemented by the international community to assist refugees from Darfur and internally displaced groups, ASF-B located two of its Cessna 206 in Abéché to provide NGOs and United Nations agencies the flexibility desired for their operations in an environment characterised by constant insecurity. This was in perfect harmony with the regular air service provided by UNHAS (United Nations Humanitarian Air Services). 
  • 2014-2015: Central African Republic – The Central African Republic (CAR) is on the edge of total collapse. An unprecedented increase in violence accelerated the disintegration of the State that began in 2012 under the rebel attack coup, thus bringing a population of 4.6 million people into arbitrariness, violence, looting and assassinations. In order to bring back a little bit of humanity into this chaos, ASF-B operated a Cessna 206 in Bangui using its own funds for seven months to support NGOs. This was done with the financial and operational support of the Netherlands and United Kingdom branches of the ASF. This mission succeeded once again in showing the existence of additional air transport needs in relation to the mechanism put in place by the United Nations.
  • 2015-2016: Madagascar (humanitarian) – Engaged in the fight for environmental protection in Madagascar, ASF-B could not remain indifferent to the structural humanitarian crisis affecting its project area in the south of the country, where child nutrition indicators are dangerously poor with one of the five highest malnutrition rates in the world. ASF-B identified NGOs working on the ground and began to support them through humanitarian flights due to the increasing insecurity on and poor condition of the road infrastructure. 
  • 2016 to date: Madagascar (Humanitarian) – Aviation Sans Frontières – Belgium (ASF-B), engaged in the fight for environmental protection in Madagascar, cannot remain indifferent to the structural humanitarian crisis in its project area in the south of the country. In this region, the nutrition indicators for children are in the red and are one of the five highest figures of malnutrition in the world.  In view of this, ASF-B decided in 2016 to provide air and logistical support to the French NGO Médicaéro for its air medicine project. This project involves flying a multidisciplinary medical team directly to patients in remote areas of the Ampanihy district, in southwestern Madagascar. The NGO Médicaéro teams conduct quarterly site visits to support the local teams.  The project includes consultations, nursing, exchange of experience and strengthening the capacity of the local staff, practical education for medical students, the allocation of medicines for health centers and surgical interventions.
  • 2017: signing of an agreement with the Chaîne de l'Espoir Luxembourg for the escort of sick children undergoing surgery in Luxembourg. This association organizes medical and surgical care for children in Luxembourg when the pathologies cannot be treated in their country of origin. It also organizes their stay with host families.

  • 2018 to date: Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo - Volunteer pilots from Aviation Sans Frontières bring humanitarian aid to victims of armed conflict. Due to the poor condition of the road network, attacks by armed rebel groups and kidnappings by humanitarian actors, it is sometimes too difficult and dangerous to come to the aid of populations in distress by land. But thanks to the pilots and planes of Aviation Sans Frontières, humanitarian personnel, equipment and food can arrive safely, while minimizing the risks associated with travelling.

  • 2019: Mozambique - Following cyclones Idai and Kenneth, Aviation Sans Frontières Belgium took part in sending several tons of medicines to fight a cholera epidemic.

  • 2019: Madagascar - Transfer of the aerial surveillance methodology of protected areas by oblique photographs to Madagascar National Parks, the Malagasy national office for the management of protected areas. From November 28 to December 13, 45 hours of flight were made to cover 8 protected areas.

  • 2019 to date: Madagascar - Two and a half hour flight to save a day and a half of work and save 10 more lives. The Ghent-based NGO Revive travels to Madagascar every year for two weeks of surgeries. In the targeted cities, the majority of the population does not have access to medical care. By offering free operations, the NGO Revive saves many lives. Revive's medical team, made up of 8 medical specialists and 8 nurses, all volunteers, performs more than 100 surgeries in two weeks. Reaching these destinations takes nearly two days of travel, compared to two and a half hours with the plane provided by Aviation Sans Frontières. This saving in time allows 10 more patients to be operated on.

  • 2019: signing of an agreement with the Service Social des Solidarités (SESO) for the escort of children for family reunification in the context of procedures for political asylum in Belgium.

  • 2019 to date: Democratic Republic of Congo - Dr Mukwege's Panzi Hospital. Air freight. Dr Denis Mukwege founded Panzi Hospital in Bukavu in 1999. Panzi Hospital is known for its expertise in the treatment of injuries due to sexual violence as well as the holistic treatment of victims through 4 pillars that gave birth to the Holistic Model of Panzi. For his commitment to the fight against the use of genital mutilation as a weapon of war and for his dedication to the victims of such acts, Dr Mukwege was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018. Aviation Sans Frontières sent by air cargo several tons of drugs and medical equipment at Panzi hospital, to treat rape victims but also to detect and treat patients contaminated by COVID-19.

  • 2020: Lebanon - Following the explosion that took place in Beirut on August 4, 2020, Aviation Sans Frontières sent several tons of drugs and medical equipment by air cargo to treat the victims.

  • 2020: Burkina-Faso - Bands of armed terrorists burn down villages, rape women, kill men, steal livestock. Hundreds of thousands of families have fled. Today they find themselves crammed into makeshift camps, prey to hunger and disease. Aviation Sans Frontières sent two tons of equipment and medicines by air freight to treat the displaced.

  • 2020: Central African Republic - care center for victims of sexual violence. Faced with the situation in the Central African Republic and based on their common experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Pierre Fabre Foundation, the Panzi RDC Foundation, the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation and the Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy have decided to unite again to replicate the holistic care model of Dr Mukwege in Bangui, within a public hospital and the Association des Femmes Juristes de Centrafrique, two recognized places for referral of victims of sexual violence. Aviation Sans Frontières has sent drugs by air freight to treat victims of sexual violence, patients with Coronavirus as well as surgical masks and hydroalcoholic gels for the prevention of Coronavirus transmission.

  • 2020 to date: Democratic Republic of the Congo - Dr Mukwege's Panzi Hospital. Humanitarian air transport. In 2020 Aviation Sans Frontières initiated air transport for mobile medical teams from Panzi hospital as part of their missions in isolated localities. Aviation Sans Frontières ensures the transport of medical teams in the field and the transport of the most seriously ill patients to the Panzi hospital for surgery.