From the SDGs: Relevant targets

3.6) By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents [whilst this does not directly relate to aviation, safety of staff and passengers is an important part of the air transport system]

3.8) Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

3.9) By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.

3.a) Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate.

3.b) Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all.

From the SDGs: Aviation-relevant indicators

3.B.1) Proportion of the population with access to affordable medicines and vaccines on a sustainable basis [specifically relating to the necessity of delivering on-time vaccines and medicines to populations, often by air]

Did you know?

Around 99% of Brazil’s urgent medical shipments (including organs and blood) are sent by air, free-of-charge, through a project supported by 15 Brazilian airlines.

Relevance to aviation

A key focus in this SDG for most modes of transport is around safety. Aviation has a strong track record, developing a robust safety culture that has extended throughout the industry. Whilst we can never relax in this area, it is something that the whole aviation community can be proud to support.
In addition, by building on its speed advantage, aviation promotes access to vital medical care through the use of air ambulances in remote communities and transporting time-sensitive medical supplies, such as vaccines. Aviation also plays a major role in disaster relief.

Examples of action

  • The Norwegian government operates an air ambulance programme, which provides vital access to healthcare for those in remote areas of the country.
  • Airlines are often used to transport organs for transplants. In Brazil, an alliance of airlines and medical organisations coordinates this programme.
  • Cargo airlines are used to transport time-sensitive vaccines, which must be stored in specific conditions. In 2012, UPS transported 375,000 vaccines to Laos.
  • The GMR Group, which operates Indira Gandhi International Airport, conducts a number of health-based initiatives in India through the GMR Foundation, such as its HIV/AIDS awareness campaign.
  • Phoenix Air developed an aircraft quarantine system to transport aid workers infected by Ebola from Western Africa to the United States for treatment.

How governments can assist

  • Ensure air services are part of remote community connectivity needs. By having regular passenger flights supported by public service obligation subsidies, the infrastructure for medical transport exists and is maintained. This is also a priority in times of crisis and should also be seen as a vital avenue for medical service access to remote communities.
  • States should also ensure compliance with ICAO’s global standards and policies, as well as the industry standards to continue enhancing civil aviation safety by implementing State safety programmes and safety management systems of service providers.