​Airbus Helicopters Foundation

​​About the Foundation

The helicopter plays a critical role in humanitarian relief work, performing a number of important missions in times of need.
Created in 2012, the Airbus Helicopters Foundation has chosen to focus on providing humanitarian aid and support emergency services.

One of the Foundation’s strengths is its strong and coherent identity that fully embodies the Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Group’s values.

The Foundation provides support for actions in the general interest where the helicopter can be a truly valuable tool.

​Mission and Governance


The mission of the Foundation is to ensure that people in distress all around the world can quickly benefit from the many types of assistance that only the helicopter can offer during crisis situations.

​The Airbus Helicopters Foundation responds to humanitarian crises and emergency situations by supporting general-interest initiatives in which the helicopter provides real added value to rescue operations:

  • An immediate response to natural disasters:
    by making helicopters available to humanitarian organizations operating on the ground in the hours immediately after disaster strikes (and with contribution from Customer Centers and Airbus Helicopters customers).
  • Providing assistance and expertise with the training of emergency response teams for their helicopter missions as well as supporting projects that help make their airlift rescue missions safer and more effective.
  • The Airbus Helicopters Foundation focuses on supporting the humanitarian community, using Airbus Helicopters products and services, workforce and network.


​Board of Directors


Guillaume Faury, Airbus Helicopters S.A.S CEO and chairman of the board
Ralph Setz, Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH representative
Ricardo Capilla, Airbus Helicopters Corporate Secretary

​Rapid Response to
Natural Disasters

Whenever infrastructure is destroyed or communities are afflicted by severe weather, helicopters are the best option to save lives and alleviate suffering.

The Airbus Helicopters Foundation lends its support to humanitarian organizations that provide on-site assistance immediately following natural catastrophes, such as floods and earthquakes, by quickly making helicopters available to them. The helicopter is a vital multi-purpose resource that can be used to assess the situation on the ground, transport teams and basic necessities, and locate people and bring them to safety.

In the wake of catastrophe, the Foundation draws on the expertise of Airbus Helicopters and its entire network of customer centers to find the helicopter that is best suited for humanitarian missions, always with the goal of saving the maximum number of lives:


​Earthquake - April 2016

Airbus Helicopters Foundation has been providing support to on-going humanitarian relief efforts following the earthquake that hit Ecuador on 16 April 2016.

Within 12 hours after the earthquake, Airbus Helicopters Foundation was able to identify a Quito-based H125 helicopter operator Avioandes and immediately put the helicopter at the disposal of the humanitarian agencies on the ground in order to provide a significant number of flights for Ecuadorian rescue workers, performing a high number of missions in the days following the disaster.


Cyclone Winston – February 2016

The Foundation chartered an AS355 to perform a first assessment flight within the 48 hours in the wake of the catastrophe. Many other flights followed as the Foundation left the helicopter at the disposal of the rescuers for further assistance during 2 weeks. The helicopter helped notably to transport humanitarian workers to inaccessible villages and to carry more than 8 tonnes of humanitarian materials to the most severely damaged areas. These flights have also led to the rapid identification of the most badly damaged schools, revealing urgent need for repairs for around 100 of them before they can re-open.


Tropical storm – September 2015

The Airbus Helicopters Foundation provided support to ongoing humanitarian relief operations in the small island nation of Dominica, in the Caribbean, which was hit with heavy rainfall and mudslides in the wake of tropical storm Erika. Chartering an H120 helicopter, the Foundation has been able to support assessment flights over the island in partnership with the Red Cross. The flights revealed that 8,000 people were without water supply.


Landslides – April 2015

An H125 rotorcraft chartered by the Airbus Helicopters Foundation has joined rescue activity in Northern Chile’s Atacama Desert region, where the heaviest rainfall in 80 years has caused massive flooding and landslides. An H125 helicopter was flown to the affected zone, where it began transporting search and rescue personnel. This rotorcraft has also been available for flights to locate those trapped or isolated by the natural disaster.


Cyclone Pam – March 2015

Further to the tropical cyclone Pam which severely hit the archipelago of Vanuatu, Airbus Helicopters Foundation has worked in order to provide necessary helicopter flight hours to humanitarian workers so they may reach communities in the most devastated areas of the archipelago. With few helicopters available locally to support the operations, the Airbus Helicopters Foundation has partnered with New Zealand operator in order to send an AS350 and a BK117 to help with the on-going humanitarian aid operation.

Serbia and Bosnia

Floods – May 2014

In response to the catastrophic floods that have hit the Balkans, the Airbus Helicopters Foundation partnered humanitarian agencies in Serbia and in Bosnia, in order to help people stricken by the disaster. Answering calls for humanitarian relief, the team’s mission was to assist with evacuations and to identify and cordon off the areas worst affected by the adverse weather. The Airbus Helicopters Foundation made an AS355 helicopter available, which was used for transport purposes and to assess the situation in areas that are no longer accessible by road. People in Serbia and Bosnia can face a lot of problems after floods such as mold, mildew, excess ​dampness and air pollution...We also provide ​whole-house dehumidifiers to help them get rid of water damage issues​ as water damage is one of the biggest issues they were facing after floods.


Floods – February 2014

In order to respond to the needs of Bolivia’s flood-ravaged population, where torrential rains left many people dead and homeless, the Airbus Helicopters Foundation took measures to assure helicopter support to first aid operations on site in February and March 2014. The helicopter provided by Airbus Helicopters Foundation, an AS350 B3e, has assisted in the evacuation and transport of the wounded and the distribution of food and water.


Earthquake and typhoon – October & November 2013

The Airbus Helicopters Foundation provided support to the international aid operation that brought relief to the people of the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, making helicopters available to several aid organizations on the ground.

These flights made it possible to assess the needs of people in the most remote and worst-affected areas and prioritize relief accordingly. The helicopters have also been used to transport humanitarian personnel and medicines.

The Airbus Helicopters Foundation also already supported rescue workers in Philippines in October 2013 with an earthquake hit the archipelago.


Tropical Storms – October 2013

Mexico faced two powerful tropical storms which walloped the country, sending rivers over their banks, spurring mudslides and washing out roadways, causing the worst storm damage in decades. More than 1 million people have been affected. The Airbus Helicopters Foundation has provided an helicopter AS350 to help the most isolated communities and distribute first necessity products.


Covid-19 Pandemic – February 2020

As the pandemic spread, so too did the need for humanitarian aid.

In February 2020, two helicopters flown in by the Airbus Helicopter Foundation arrived in Wu Han, China to provide much-needed support. The charity and relief fund founded by AHF and ​ZaloPay (Vietnam) provided $500,000 USD to help those affected by the covid disaster. With these resources, people were able to access essential medical care and food supplies. Thanks to the efforts of these organizations, many were able to recover from this devastating pandemic.

​Support Training for Emergency Teams

​In order to effectively manage as many crisis situations as possible, medical teams and rescue personnel must constantly improve their working practices— in particular for missions involving helicopter-borne assistance, which has proven its worth time and again.

By helping emergency rescue teams get the training they need, the Airbus Helicopters Foundation is actively involved in efforts to improve the effectiveness and the safety of these missions. The Foundation provides financial assistance for projects to equip and train rescue personnel, and also supports ongoing training for medical teams in developing a specific module for disaster medicine.

The Airbus Helicopters Foundation establishes worldwide alliances. Current global initiatives include:

Emergency medicine:

Helicopter and disaster medicine trainings:

​The Airbus Helicopters Foundation provided support to the Academy of Medicine Foundation for helicopter and disaster medicine training in Rio de Janeiro, September 28 to October 2, 2015. This training course, illustrated through clinical cases from real-life experiences, was given to 64 Brazilian doctors, nurses and pilots who at the time had access to 6 medicalized helicopters with various equipment and materials. They were also able to see inflight demonstrations of rescue missions. The participants expressed their high satisfaction with such kind of “HEMS training” that bring together different stakeholders involved in Brazil HEMS operation. An earlier training course identical to this one took place 18 months ago. In total, over 100 Brazilian medical personnel have benefited to date from this important training course as it aims to develop and strengthen the effectiveness and safety of medical emergency missions, allowing doctors and the helicopter pilot to work together to become a real operational team.

Donation of a helicopter airframe for medical training:

The Airbus Helicopters Foundation donated a helicopter airframe to support the creation of a medical-team training centre (SimHelimed), located near Toulon, France in order to enable realistic training of medical teams to heliborne operations.

Sea rescue:

The Airbus Helicopters Foundation supports the training and the equipment of the volunteers of the volunteer lifeguards from the Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (French Lifeboats and Lifeguards Association).

Mountain rescue:

The Airbus Helicopters Foundation supports Ifremmont in the organization of worldwide mountain rescue training sessions for guides, doctors and rescue workers, including training for heliborne operations at major summits (the Andes, Mont Blanc, Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro.)

​Airbus Corporate Foundation

​The Airbus Group-wide Corporate Foundation was established in December 2014.

Established by Airbus Group, Airbus, Airbus Helicopters, and Airbus Defence and Space, the organization’s mission is to support the humanitarian community, as well as educate and inspire young people through the world of aerospace.
The Airbus Corporate Foundation accomplishes its work by developing partnerships and trans-divisional and trans-national programs worldwide in countries and regions where the Group operates.

The Airbus Helicopters Foundation specifically focuses on providing support airborne rescue and assistance to populations in need and works in collaboration with the Airbus Corporate Foundation.


​Contact us for more information about the Airbus Helicopters Foundation.

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