Chapman Freeborn's Demand Soars as Australasian Projects Lift Off

Chapman Freeborn Airchartering has reported increased demand for its project cargo expertise in Australasia as the oil and gas industry shrugs off worldwide recession.

The aircraft charter specialist was appointed exclusive sales agents for a Singapore-based Hercules L100-300 last year, and an additional unit is now being utilised to supplement operations as projects continue to expand.

The two Hercules are the only ramp loading aircraft in the region approved by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Mark Middleton, director of Chapman Freeborn in South East Asia and Australasia, said:

"The unique characteristics of the Hercules make it ideally suited to moving project cargo and outsize pieces such as rig assemblies and drilling components.

"The limited availability of rear loading aircraft means competition for these two aircraft is sky high at the current time -- particularly in Western Australia, but in other countries such as Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Malaysia.

When compared next to similar aircraft, such as the Russian-built Antonov AN-12, the Hercules offers capability to operate to shorter runways, including unpaved surfaces, greater total payload, greater individual piece weight payload, ability to carry 20' or 40' shipping containers, larger cargo door, larger cargo cabin, and the capability to handle palletised loads.

The aircraft can carry 20,000 kg for more than 1,200 nautical miles, and its short field and airdrop capabilities allow for its utilization in remote locations.