Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam has received an endorsement from the US' NATA for its recently launched P2012 TravelCare aircraft, which has been developed to increase the reach and efficiency of COVID vaccine delivery. The endorsement aims to incentivise further innovation within the industry and increase the role of general aviation in the COVID vaccine supply chain.
NATA senior VP Ryan Waguespack says: “A unique crisis calls for a unique solution like the P2012 TravelCare. NATA applauds Tecnam's leadership in enabling general aviation businesses to serve as crucial links in the COVID vaccine distribution chain to outlying areas across the globe.”
In December, Tecnam launched the P2012 TravelCare, a next-generation piston aircraft equipped with Desmon ultra-freezers and configured to carry as many as 115,000 COVID vaccine doses to remote areas. In addition to increasing COVID vaccine distributors' reach, the aircraft accelerates the speed of delivery while reducing cost; it is 500 times faster than a truck and averages under $0.005 per vaccine per flight hour.
Tecnam MD Giovanni Pascale Langer says: “We have developed the P2012 TravelCare to empower equitable and efficient COVID vaccine delivery. This is Tecnam's contribution to the fight for a COVID-free world.”
The P2012 TravelCare can transport cargo under all weather conditions and land on paved or unpaved runways. Its freezers can sustain the vaccine temperature at up to minus 65 degrees Celsius for 10-12 hours once unplugged from the power source and delivered for further distribution. As such, the aircraft represents one of the most reliable and efficient transportation methods in this fragile supply chain.
Waguespack continues: “The general aviation industry stands willing and able to offer real-time solutions for expediting the distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, a supply channel that has been largely unexplored and under-utilised. We look forward to working with Tecnam and other global partners to highlight the unique capabilities of aviation businesses in delivering this lifesaving cargo.”
NATA and Tecnam are currently preparing to expand the conversion to the global community of aircraft manufacturers, airport operators, COVID vaccine distributors and media. The two organisations will collaborate on an upcoming webinar to explore the untapped potential of general aviation in solving the global COVID vaccine transportation challenges.