With construction work resuming on the Ariane 6 ELA4 launch complex at the Guiana Space Centre, CNES has chartered an Air France flight from Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport today to ferry 172 personnel to French Guiana. The arrival of these technical teams from eight European nations is vital for work at the Ariane 6 site to get back up to speed.
CNES has also proposed to take advantage of this flight to enable 29 Guianese students currently in mainland France to return home. The limited availability of scheduled flights has made it particularly hard for this group of students that has just completed a 14-day quarantine at two hotels near Roissy to get back to French Guiana. The charter flight offers them the dual advantage of maintaining the integrity of the health protocol established with the regional health agency (ARS) of Île-de-France while allowing all the students to fly home on the same day and avoid a long period of isolation in Roissy. On arrival in Cayenne, each passenger will receive medical screening and the personnel being ferried by CNES will observe a strict 14-day quarantine in a hotel in Kourou, in accordance with the protocol defined with the ARS in French Guiana.
The flight is also carrying 100,000 face masks ordered by Guianese pharmacies to provide the local population better protection against the COVID-19 pandemic and six cubic metres of humanitarian supplies for the Red Cross.
CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “This new collaboration between CNES, the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the Ministry for Overseas Territories seeks to aid the population of French Guiana. It is a testament both to CNES’s strong presence in this region where we have been operating for more than 50 years and our commitment to serving it every day, including in these difficult times we are all going through.”