Aerial support for conservation operations in Mozambique
30 August 2018
Two brand new Savannah airplanes have arrived in Mozambique for use by the country’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC). The acquisition of the aircraft was funded by Peace Parks Foundation, whilst ANAC financed the costs associated with permanently importing the airplanes from South Africa.
One of the two-seater Savannah airplanes will be used in Maputo Special Reserve in the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area where PPF has entered into a agreement with Mozambique’s Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development (MITADER) to co-manage the reserve with ANAC.
The plane will be used for the planning and execution of reserve development, conservation management and anti-poaching operations. The planes also have a night rating which allows the parks to patrol for suspicious activities during after dark – the critical time when most illegal activities usually take place in protected areas.
The second airplane will be used for similar activities in Zinave National Park that forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area and is co-managed by PPF and ANAC.
In order to ensure sustainability in the use of the airplanes, PPF also paid for two pilots – one from Maputo Special Reserve and one from Zinave - to train for and acquire their Private Pilots Licenses, which is a requirement Mozambique Aviation Authority in order to fly a Mozambique registered aircraft. Operating in remote conservation areas bring its own unique challenges, one of which is that aeronautical mechanics aren’t just around when you need them. In order to address this, the pilots also received training to operate safely and be able to handle certain mechanical issues out in the field.