… on Friday, 07 December 2018, from Villacoublay (France) to Cayenne (French Guiana)?
Because this is exactly what EATC stands for: effective pooling and sharing between its member nations!
EATC received a request from France to transport a helicopter to Cayenne. The EATC experts looked for an asset that fits best the requirements of the mission. They of course also aimed at efficiency and effectiveness. The experts came up with the best solution : to transport the PUMA helicopter on a German A400M mission together with a military delegation that had to fly to Argentina. There was no need to dedicate an aircraft exclusively to this French mission if we could share assets and eliminate costly air transport solutions.
This perfect example of multinational exchange of air transport services needs of course to be planned on a legal and technical basis. This is why France and Germany coordinated the aspects of the French loading procedures* of the helicopter into a non-French, i.e. German, asset. French loadmasters assisted the German crew both in Villacoublay and Cayenne loading and unloading the helicopter. Moreover four French helicopter mechanics participated in the mission to deconstruct and recompose the helicopter in Villacoublay and in Cayenne.
This cooperation provided an entirely new hands-on experience to the crews, loadmasters and planners from France and Germany. But the acquired know-how, through this cooperative effort, goes much further : it increases the flexibility and the interoperability among all EATC member nations for future missions. EATC took the opportunity to join the French-German team. An EATC observer accompanied the loading process and learned more about the procedures and the challenges. The lessons identified will be processed in EATC’s “Cargo Load Clearance” working group.
This is only one example of the daily fully-fledged team work between EATC and the seven member nations. We are proud of our first-rate cooperation - of pooling and sharing with the firm will to make things happen and – last but not least – preparing the future of air mobility!
The loading procedure for the French PUMA helicopter is validated on a national basis. A German aircraft is only authorized to load this helicopter with a procedure validated by German authorities. However in order to share assets and support each other, exemptions can be made. On that basis, the German air chief granted a waiver based on the French cargo loading procedure. And the French PUMA helicopter was transported on 07 December in a German A400M from Europe to Cayenne with French procedures.