Glasgow Prestwick Airport supports Samaritans Purse on their latest international aid mission

Tuesday 30 March, 16:50 Europe/London

In the last year, Glasgow Prestwick Airport have provided support to Samaritans Purse on their missions delivering aid to nations around the world.

Photo by: Stephen Morrison

Since 1975, the international organisation, based in North Carolina, have used aircraft to transport doctors and relief workers along with food, medicine, shelter materials, blankets, and other items to aid victims of natural disasters, war, famine, and other emergencies.

Samaritans Purse operate a variety of aircraft including a vintage 52-year-old DC-8-72CF which regularly uses Glasgow Prestwick Airport to refuel before continuing its journey.

The aircraft, first deployed in April 2016, is configured to hold 32 passengers and up to 37 tonnes of cargo. Since then, the DC-8 has carried some 4.5 million pounds of cargo on more than 150 flights.

Recent aid missions through Prestwick have included four loads of supplies delivered to northern Ethiopia with enough ready-to-use supplemental food to feed more than 26,000 children for 30 days as well as emergency shelter material and solar lights. Another mission, to Beirut, carried more than 50 tons of emergency relief supplies on two DC-8 flights after the disaster which overwhelmed the city in August 2020.

Samaritans Purse Deputy Director of Mission Aviation Services, George Kalbfleisch said;

“Glasgow Prestwick Airport has been a great fuel stop for the DC-8 where their team has supported our missions by refueling the plane, providing easy in and out parking, and more. The airport allows us to fuel quickly which is critical as we work to rapidly meet the needs of people suffering around the world in Jesus’ Name.

“In the event of spending the night for crew rest, there is accommodation nearby and the airport has easy access in and out of the FBO.

“We are grateful for the airport’s hard work, attention to detail, and support which allows us to quickly and efficiently continue to fly missions around the world.”

Glasgow Prestwick’s Business Development Manager, Kris Baillie commented:

“The work that Samaritans Purse do is extremely important to many, and it is our job on the ground to ensure that the aircraft can get to its destination as quickly as possible for those who are in desperate need of relief and support.

“With our airport being well situated on the great circle route we offer the perfect solution for a cost effective trans-Atlantic fuel stop to the Samaritans Purse DC-8 missions.

“Glasgow Prestwick Airport operates 24/7 with no restrictions and all in-house services are designed to meet the needs of each arrival, no matter the aircraft. Our highly qualified Aviation Services team specialise in quick turnaround times to ensure that our customers receive a first-class service around the clock.

“We are extremely proud of our partnership with Samaritans Purse and look forward to supporting the aircraft on its future missions.”