Aviation Without Borders uses its aviation expertise, contacts and partnerships to enable support for children and their families – at home and overseas.

We ship humanitarian air cargo overseas for UK charities active abroad, we help fly light aircraft in air support of other charities operating in Africa and at home we fly up to 500 deserving kids nationwide each year on a flight of their lives in small planes.

Humanitarian Air Cargo Shipments

Air cargo shipments of humanitarian goods for UK charities shipping overseas.

AWB uses its air cargo experience, expertise, knowledge and contacts to help UK charities ship humanitarian supplies throughout the world for a wide range of humanitarian projects.

We mostly provide logistics support for the air freighting of loads for small charities that need assistance and, where possible, we also help by contributing to the cost. On occasions, we also ship much larger loads for larger international NGOs.

Syrian refugee Aya, 8-years-old, helps her older sister Houdoud prepare the Iftar meal in their family home in an informal settlement in Dalhamiyeh in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, Tuesday, July 30, 2013. UNHCR/Photo by Shawn Baldwin

The freight is carried on board scheduled flights at preferential rates thanks to the cooperation of our network of helpful freight forwarders.

AWB is also a member of Airlink, a wonderful NGO based in Washington DC, who helps link charity members wishing to ship humanitarian cargo with airline partners offering space at preferential rates, and sometimes for free.

AWB regularly ships loads of water purifying kits for Lifewater to Uganda, has shipped school supplies to Nairobi for the Kenyan Child Foundation and, for the Mityana Community Development Foundation, has also shipped to Uganda loads of equipment for schools and tents, uniforms and other items for the Scouts and Guides.

In a two-year project with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) several loads of toys totalling five tonnes were shipped by AWB to Amman for distribution to Syrian refugee children in the Za’atari and Azraq camps in northern Jordan. The programme was run in association with the Scouts and Guides who collected, sorted and packed the toys and we organised the shipping of the loads.

AWB also shipped a 1.5 tonne load of medical packs for International Health Partners (IHP) to Juba in South Sudan in November 2018. Airlink, with Kenya Airways, kindly supported the shipment and the medical packs were donated to the International Medical Corp (IMC) for the great work they do in the war-torn country. In 2018 we shipped over 3 tonnes of air freight.

Aircraft Operations

Humanitarian air transport links provided by Cessna 208 Grand Caravan aircraft that offer air

support for NGOs operating in the field in Africa.

As a member of ASF- International, AWB assists our French colleagues of ASF-France who operate two Cessna 208s in Africa by contributing to the ASF-International pilot pool that provides qualified pilots for operations.

One Cessna 208 Caravan flies air support in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the other in the Central African Republic where the humanitarian flights aid other NGOs operating in the field.

Aircraft operations are frequently performed in difficult conditions involving hostile environments, harsh weather and landings in areas not properly adapted for aircraft so each flight is operated by a crew of two pilots.

ASF-France operates under a European Air Operators Certificate (AOC), just like an airline, and is the only charitable organisation in the world to do so. As such they are obliged to comply with the requirements of any other certified airline and the aircraft are maintained to European standards by an approved Part 145 workshop.

Volunteer pilots must have commercial pilot qualifications and those selected must complete a thorough training course before being accepted for line flying in Africa.

National Flying Kids Day

An annual “aviation discovery” day full of fun and learning for deserving children in the UK.

On one day in June each year AWB flies up to 500 deserving kids in small planes at flying clubs throughout the UK, from Aberdeen to Cardiff to Southampton.

Deserving children from all backgrounds are invited to their local airport for the day and are given the opportunity to discover the world of flying. They learn how aircraft work and fly, enjoy a tour of the airport and are taken on a short flight. AWB works closely with many UK children’s charities, flying clubs and flying organisations and they all contribute to the event.

AWB shares the cost of flying 50/50 with pilot members of participating flying clubs and their contribution is much appreciated. A win-win scenario for all is offered as the pilots fly for half price, AWB flies the kids for half price, the clubs receive the full rental price and the children fly for free!

Whilst the emphasis is on having fun it is also a learning opportunity and the children can enjoy this exciting day accompanied either by a parent or carer. Our National Fly Kids Day is an extremely popular event and is a great day for the kids.

The experience of flight can and does change little lives for the better and is a rewarding and sometimes humbling experience for the pilots.