6th September 2012 - while all eyes were on the arrival of China's two giant pandas, Chapman Freeborn Singapore team was busy loading a Puma (helicopter) into an Ilyushin 76 aircraft a couple of feet away at Singapore Changi Airport.
Last week all eyes were on Singapore Changi Airport as the country welcomed the arrival of two giant pandas - Kai Kai and Jia Jia - flown in from Chengdu in China on a Singapore Airlines Boeing B747 Freighter.
Not to be outdone, at the same time as the giant pandas were being unloaded Chapman Freeborn's Singapore team had its own high-profile operation underway just a few feet away to load an Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft with a Puma - a four-bladed, twin-engined medium transport/utility helicopter.
Destined for Afghanistan, the challenge for this aircraft charter lay beyond the handling of the outsized and oddly-shaped cargo. The helicopter is to be put to use for humanitarian missions but the nature of the cargo and country of destination meant there was a stringent permit application process to follow.
Chosen to provide the complete door-to-airport solution for this cargo charter, Chapman Freeborn Singapore managed all the required paperwork and logistical arrangements to pick up the helicopter from the Eurocopter facility in Seletar.
Chapman Freeborn's Singapore team ensured a seamless coordination for the permit applications and airside clearances for all parties involved in the movement such that the operation was assembled to deliver the cargo cost-effectively at the earliest schedule possible.
Arrangements were made for the helicopter's engineer to participate in the loading of the Puma into the Ilyushin IL-76 cargo aircraft as no one else was certified to conduct the necessary technical manipulations on the helicopter during the tricky loading.
Mr. Anton Lomakin, senior manager at Chapman Freeborn Singapore, having been in the charter industry for many years is no stranger to complicated charters where timely coordination is vital:
"Unforeseen circumstances happen and only experience is able to help brokers predict where and when pressure needs to be applied to keep everything on schedule."
The client was kept informed of every movement from Singapore to Bagram, where the cargo was offloaded a day later.