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Summer 2015

A group of friends decide to take action against the death of thousands of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. The fundamental idea of HPI is born:

HPI develops and enables humanitarian aid by air for anyone in a state of emergency.

August 2015

The Humanitarian Pilots Initiative Foundation (HPI) is founded in Switzerland.


Spring 2016

HPI launches the first Central Med Operation from Djerba. The first two refugee boats are rescued due to the actions of our crew.

Summer 2016

The microlight aircraft gets grounded for political reasons in Tunisia.
In no time HPI manages to launch another operation from Malta with a chartered aircraft. In two weeks over 200 people in distress are rescued.

Summer 2017

Together with the German charity Sea-Watch, Operation Moonbird is launched with the new HPI owned and operated Cirrus SR22 Aircraft.
HPI starts to operate continuously over the Central Med. The foundation grows to 18 volunteer pilots and more than six people in the back office.
During the summer, HPI manages to save over 1'500 people in immediate distress.
Moonbird is involved in the rescue of over 15'000 people in the Central Mediterranean Sea.

Spring 2018

Besides the continuous efforts above the Mediterranean, HPI develops first ideas regarding a new airdrop project called Airborne Emergency Response Unit (AERU).

Fall 2018

HPI develops the AERU airdrop parachute system.
The certification test drops are a success, the system’s performance and ease of handling is exceeding all expectations.
The Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA/BAZL) approves the system.

Summer 2019

Within half a year, HPI manages to collect over 300 used parachutes to be deployed with the AERU system.
With these comes the capability to drop over 36 tons of humanitarian aid.

Summer 2020

Political blockages and a mounting number of shipwrecks moves HPI to look for a second aircraft for its joint monitoring mission with Sea-Watch.
The Beechcraft Baron 58 (Seabird) enters service in the Central Med operations. It proves highly successful, with more than a thousand people on 15 boats rescued during its first week of operation.
This twin-engine aircraft also gives HPI the opportunity to continue the development of its AERU Airdrop System which is now named Super Versatile Airdrop System (SVAS).


HPI partners up with Swiss drone manufacturer Dufour-Aerospace. First concepts of a deployment of the Aero2 are developed.

Winter 2020-2021

The SVAS team grows and starts to move the concept of SVAS into action.
HPI starts preparations to obtain an Air Operator Certificate (AOC).


HPI drops tons of humanitarian goods in disaster relief efforts where it's needed.
The SVAS project proves to save and change lives from people in state of emergency. 
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