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Iridium® Keeps Relief Flights Connected After Indonesian Tsunami

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At A Glance:

  1. The Challenge

    Many Indonesian islands lack airport or air traffic control infrastructure, making the delivery of food and medical supplies after a natural disaster difficult for pilots.

  2. The Solution

    Iridium partner Blue Sky Network installed Iridium Connected® products onboard flights for a local Indonesian airline to ensure reliable and consistent connectivity for mission dispatch, flight planning, and two-way communications.

  3. The Impact

    After a 2018 earthquake and tsunami, pilots used Iridium Connected products to provide relief efforts in the Palu and Donggala areas.

  1. 42,000kilograms of food and medical supplies delivered
  2. 250sick, injured, or displaced persons evacuated
  3. 100aid workers transported

The Challenge

As an island nation, Indonesia is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis. With this regular threat, having a means of delivering food, medical supplies, and other aid is critical for local governments.

However, with thousands of small Islands across the country, local areas lack the airport and air traffic control infrastructure to manage aid delivery in the event of a disaster. Susi Air, which began operating in 2004 in response to a destructive earthquake and tsunami, is an Indonesian airline that frequently supports aid delivery on remote islands.

The Solution

Iridium partner Blue Sky Network installed its D1000 SATCOM aircraft tracker and Advanced Control Head (ACH) 1000 transceiver onboard all Susi Air aircraft to provide connectivity solutions. These Iridium Connected devices enable tracking, voice, and messaging capabilities to ensure that all aspects of flight planning and management are operational despite the lack of traditional aviation infrastructure.

After an earthquake and tsunami that hit the Palu and Donggala areas in October 2018, Susi Air pilots used these Iridium Connected aviation products to make urgent voice calls and navigate safely in unpredictable conditions, transporting aid supplies and passengers.

The Impact

After the earthquake and tsunami, Susi Air pilots were able to deliver water, food, and other critical supplies, as well as relocate displaced and injured citizens to hospitals and emergency shelters in other cities. Susi Air planes transported more than 42,000 kilograms of supplies and more than 350 aid workers and victims to and from the island.

Thanks to the reliable Iridium network, our pilots were able to navigate safely, monitor weather conditions, and make critical collaborative decisions with the operations command center via all communication channels. This greatly assisted with everything from general landing and taking off, to live ‘go’ and ‘no-go’ decisions. It was essential because cell phone and Internet communications were either non-existent or extremely overloaded on site.”

–Kris Ingram,
Susi Air

As first responders in many of these situations in Indonesia, Susi Air pilots with Iridium Connected devices are a critical response for natural disasters in the region.

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