During disasters, equipment and personnel must be deployed quickly and mostly into areas where conventional infrastructure is destroyed or unavailable. Vertical take-off and landing aircraft have the greatest potential for the last mile transport, yet most of such aircraft are not built for and consequently not ideally suited for emergency usage.

The EU-funded 'Heavy payload helicopter for last mile rescue' (HELI4RESCUE) project set out to advance heavy-payload and fast aircraft for use during emergencies.

High-capacity vehicles for use by civilian emergency services, with special focus on feeding identified requirements into current or future aircraft development programs were analyzed. Investigation of disaster management situations led to a set of civil user requirements, such as interoperability, supply chains and logistics networks.

HELI4RESCUE drew up a roadmap for an effective trans-European response infrastructure. It includes solutions for the standardisation of technical equipment, procedures and communication channels, harmonisation of regulations, development of new flying technology and a common airborne European response service.

HELI4RESCUE results enable a quick and reliable air support to teams on the ground during disasters, such as floods, earthquakes and fires anywhere in Europe.