Aviation & Aerospace

Published: January 8, 2020 | Updated: January 8, 2020

Cobham staff praised for coming to the aid of communities affected by Australian bushfires

Cobham operates a fleet of Challenger 604 search and rescue jets on behalf of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Staff employed by Cobham, the Wimborne-based aerospace and defence company, have been helping with relief efforts for communities affected by the devastating bushfires in Australia.

Cobham is the largest aviation company in Australia, after Qantas and Virgin, employing more than 1,300 Australians.

It has more than 50 aircraft with operations in all states and territories of the country.

Its diverse commercial and government and defence interests include operating a fleet of Challenger 604 search and rescue jets on behalf of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

On January 2, the AMSA’s Essendon-based Challenger 604 search and rescue aircraft conducted stores delivery of satellite communications equipment to communities isolated by the bushfires at the request of Emergency Management Victoria (Police Victoria).

Challenger crews successfully completed three drops to the townships of Tamboon, Tamboon South and Bemm River in the East Gippsland region.

Thick smoke caused difficult conditions for the Challenger at other locations and no further drops could be conducted.

Cobham Aviation Services Australia also operates charter services under the Cobham brand.

CFS and emergency services personnel boarding the charter to Kangaroo Island (picture courtesy SA CFS Facebook page).

The company’s Adelaide-based RJ100 charter aircraft, usually utilised for fly in fly out (FIFO) charter services, has since January 3 operated five return flights to support CFS (Country Fire Service) and emergency services personnel getting from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

The flights helped to quickly get extra resources to the bushfire devastated island and relieve crews on the ground.

Additional flights are expected to continue to support the CFS in its bushfire efforts.

Ryan Both, Senior Vice President, Cobham Aviation Services Australia, pictured right, said: “The destruction caused by these devastating bushfires is unprecedented and difficult to fully comprehend.

“I am proud that we have already been able to contribute in a small way to relief efforts with our search-and-rescue jets and regional charter jets.

“I thank those staff who were called out at short notice over the Christmas/New Years period to support our emergency services personnel and to the many staff who have been helping relatives, friends and communities in affected areas.”