Understanding International Medevac

Business jets converted to flying ICUs are the workhorses of aeromedical transport around the world

BCA, Business & Commercial Aviation

When television viewers saw news coverage of American medical professional infected with Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever arriving in the U.S. for treatment, it’s doubtful many of them knew that the aircraft bringing them back from Africa were specially modified, commercially operated Gulfstream business jets.

Between August 2014 and March 2015, Phoenix Air of Cartersville, Geor­gia, flew more than 40 Ebola patient transfers between Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia in West Africa to Europe and the U.S. The patients were carried aboard Gulfstream III air ambulances equipped with special isolation tents in their cabins designed to protect physicians, nurses and flight crewmembers from infec­tion with the dreaded virus. The flights, transporting U.S. and European citizens associated with non-governmental or­ganizations (NGOs) like Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, were conducted under contract to the U.S. State Department.

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