For areas of the world with non-existent or poor road infrastructure, aviation is the community’s lifeline.
In the Russian, Canadian and Scandinavian far north, and in many other remote communities and small islands, access to the rest of the world and to essential services such as health care is often only possible by air.
Over 1,000 communities in northern Russia are inaccessible by road; the number in Alaska is more than 200. Throughout Norway, thanks to an extensive network of regional airports and airline services, 99.5% of the remote population is able to travel to Oslo and back on the same day; around 400,000 patients are transported annually on scheduled flights between their homes and hospitals.
Small island states across the world rely on air transport to do business, connect to education and healthcare and provide access beyond the sporadic and infrequent boat services that would otherwise be their only connection with the world. In countries such as Indonesia, spread across 6,000 inhabited islands, air transport is relied upon for contact between communities and business links.
Even in the heart of Australia, the famous Royal Flying Doctor Service allows communities in the middle of this massive continent to receive regular medical attention. With a fleet of 61 aircraft, every day on average, the service transports 112 patients from the remote outback to larger centres for medical care.