UK aid agency looking for air charter input

Britain’s lead humanitarian aid agency has invited the air cargo community to seek solutions for "timely, efficient and coordinated" air charters. 
The UK government’s Department for International Development’s (DFID) air charter team is holding an engagement day on July 17 in London at its Whitehall offices.
David Quinn, DFID’s logistics movements officer, said: “We are actively trying to engage the aviation community for the provision of humanitarian cargo and passenger movements, and seek solutions for timely, efficient and coordinated air movements capability.
“Over the next four weeks we are advertising a prior information notice for our upcoming tender. As part of this process we wish to invite interested parties to our offices to familiarise them with the work that we do and see if this corresponds to solutions they can offer.”
DFID is retendering its aviation services contract and would like some input from the industry on how the department can best deliver its humanitarian objectives. The retendering process is required under European Union rules and is seen as an opportunity to hear a wide range of ideas from a broad spectrum of air cargo industry players.
The department has been a major charterer of freighter capacity to meet long term humanitarian crises, such as the Ebola outbreak in Africa, but also rapid onset disasters, including the earthquake in Nepal and typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
It has chartered around 240 flights between 2011 and 2015, with Nepal alone seeing 233 tonnes moved by air and nearly 1,400 tonnes to Cebu in the Philippines.
These involve complex logistics in devastated areas where suitable freighter capacity is required at short notice against a background of international cooperation with other relief agencies.
Added Quinn: “We would welcome contributions from suppliers that could illuminate how we can be sure that we are being offered the best aircraft on the market in terms of money, availability, reliability and payload.
“We also need to be sure that the ethical history of aircraft, airlines and airports are considered and any operators breaching moral principles are excluded.” 
DFID includes environmental impact as part of its considerations when booking aircraft and wants to hear how suppliers currently assess this and how they could present it to the department when offering aircraft. 
Said Quinn: “We would also welcome suggestions from suppliers on how they can manage air charter in such a way so as to be less onerous on the already stretched resources of the logistics team during a response. 
“We are always very eager to hear suggestions on how our response time could be reduced so that we may react even faster following a crisis. 
“Finally, we would like to hear how operators propose to review performance and benchmark us and them against other humanitarian responders.”  
Interested parties should email procurement@dfid.gov.uk

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