Press release

UK government deploys Chinook helicopters to Nepal

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Helicopters will help the British and Nepalese earthquake response by ferrying people and aid supplies across Nepal.

RAF Chinook helicopter. Picture: Ian Forshaw/Crown Copyright
RAF Chinook helicopter. Picture: Ian Forshaw/Crown Copyright

The UK government is preparing to send 3 Royal Air Force CH47 Chinook aircraft and providing funding for additional UN helicopters to assist the response to the recent earthquake in Nepal, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.

Sent by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Chinook helicopters will travel to Nepal over the coming days. By providing £2.5 million to the UN’s Humanitarian Air Service, DFID will enable organisations already on the ground to immediately get aid supplies to more isolated areas. The Chinooks will supplement this activity once they arrive in the country.

The earthquake has left many of Nepal’s roads blocked and vital infrastructure damaged. These military and UN helicopters will help the British and Nepalese response by ferrying people and aid supplies across Nepal’s terrain, and enable humanitarian supplies to reach remote and hard to reach communities where aid is desperately needed.

Justine Greening:

These highly versatile Royal Air Force helicopters and UN aircraft will mean life-saving aid supplies can be moved around Nepal and reach people in remote communities cut off by the earthquake who are in desperate need.

Conditions in Nepal are dire, but the UK is determined to do everything it can to help support Nepal and its people.

The 3 CH47 Chinook aircraft will be transported from RAF Brize Norton to the region.

The UK government has pledged £15 million towards the relief efforts in Nepal so far. This includes:

  • £3 million released under the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) so partners can address immediate needs on the ground
  • £2 million for the British Red Cross
  • £5 million to match public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s earthquake appeal and
  • a £5 million package to provide a further team of trauma medics, humanitarian experts and airfield handling equipment to ease congestion at Kathmandu airport.

In addition, the UK has British Embassy staff on the ground providing practical help to more than 300 British nationals and additional Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff deployed to provide further assistance to British nationals caught up in the disaster.

Notes to editors

  1. The 3 Chinook aircraft are from 27 Squadron based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire: http://www.raf.mod.uk/organisation/27squadron.cfm

  2. The Chinook is a very capable and versatile support helicopter that can be operated in many diverse environments ranging from cold weather ‘arctic’ conditions to desert warfare operations. More information is available here: http://www.raf.mod.uk/equipment/chinook.cfm

  3. Sent by the Department for International Development, the Chinook helicopters will travel to Nepal over the coming days once the necessary arrangements have been made.

General media queries

Follow the DFID Media office on Twitter - @DFID_Press

Published 30 April 2015