Did any of you know that aside from having road ambulances, Abdul Sattar Edhi, the late philanthropist and humanitarian, had also started an air ambulance service?
We couldn't blame you if this is news to you. The late Abdul Sattar Edhi did have air ambulances but the service was discontinued in the late 80s. Now Faisal Edhi, his son and the current head of the foundation, is restarting this service in the country to be able to help people in remote regions who need faster access to healthcare services in the case of emergencies and catastrophes.
Air ambulances to be reintroduced
Talking to the media, Faisal said that the Edhi Foundation already owns a six-seater Piper Seneca aircraft. With the resumption of the air ambulance service, the organisation plans to buy more aircraft to be able to get to more people.
The aircraft in question has been stationed at the Karachi airport for 23 years now by the charity foundation. However, it has not remained idle for all those years – around 15 years ago at a train accident in Khanewal, the aircraft was sent for rescue missions, Faisal said.
Condition of Air Ambulance
The aircraft was recently used for a test flight to make sure it is in working condition. However, this had not been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) but Faisal hoped that the Edhi Foundation would be cleared and issued an approval for this work soon.
He went on to emphasise that the services will definitely be resumed soon. A large amount is being spent on the repair and maintenance of the aircraft with the foundation also hiring a pilot and making a team for the rescue missions.
Faisal Edhi: a trained pilot
Furthermore, Faisal also claimed that he himself was, in fact, a trained pilot. He had attended a flying school back in England in 2001 and completed 40 hours of flying with a trainer and two hours of solo flight during the training programme.
However, he was unable to complete the course as his adoptive father Edhi had been invited to the United Nations. He wanted Faisal to return to Pakistan so that he could represent him there. After that, other obstacles came in Faisal's path and he could no longer pursue his interest. But he has promised to complete, at least, this course, in the country or abroad depending on where he gets the chance to do so.
As for the service the Edhi's want to restart here, Faisal revealed that the foundation is planning to buy a 14-seater plane to help with rescue missions.
This article originally appeared on ProPakistani and has been reproduced with permission.