in Aerospace / Events

Orbis UK gets support from AIX exhibitors

Posted 23 October 2020 · Add Comment

Orbis UK has received donations of vital cabin interior equipment and décor from Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) exhibitors, which play a significant role for the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital.

Image courtesy Orbis UK

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital takes vital training to eye care professionals around the globe, empowering them to fight avoidable blindness in their communities. As the official charity partner of Aircraft Interiors Expo, the work of Orbis UK is bolstered by generous donations from leading cabin interior suppliers.

With its network of partners, Orbis trains and mentors entire local eye care teams – from health workers in rural clinics to eye surgeons in urban centres – in low- and middle-income countries. Orbis does this through long-term, in-country programmes, its telemedicine platform, Cybersight, as well as on board the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital.

The Flying Eye Hospital is a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board a customised MD-10 aircraft donated by FedEx.  On board, the hospital includes an operating theatre, recovery room and audio-visual equipment that transmits live surgeries to a 46-seat classroom at the front of the plane, as well as to over 200 countries and regions through Cybersight. The plane visits countries around the world, partnering with local hospitals to deliver specialist training, carry out treatments and raise vital awareness of the importance of eye health.

Orbis UK’s partnership with AIX provides it with a platform to reach some of the biggest names in the aviation industry. Two such exhibitors working with the charity include Sekisui KYDEX – a thermoplastics manufacturer and STG aerospace, a pioneering force in innovative lighting technologies for aircraft interiors.

Speaking about its involvement with Orbis, Ronn Cort, COO & President at Sekisui KYDEX, said: “We began working with Orbis back in 2012 through a partnership with Daniel Baron of Lift Strategic Design, a leading designer based in Tokyo, who was hired by Orbis. He was interested in using a leading-edge material that was evocative of blue skies on the interior of the plane to put patients at ease and make them more comfortable.

“Corporate social responsibility is part of our culture and the Orbis mission chimed with that philosophy. We knew we wanted to be involved and it was the right thing to do. It was also an opportunity to be part of an innovative project, because instead of asking us for left-over material, Daniel saw our involvement as an opportunity to use materials that were only just making their debut in aircraft interior design.”

Sekisui KYDEX donated KYDEX Thermoplastic for two areas of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital’s interior. The first was used in conjunction with lighting to help ‘bring the outside in’ and reduce the harshness of fluorescent lighting for patients. The second utilised Infused Imaging™ Technology for a branded panel in the main seating area.

Also installed on the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is STG’s saf-Tglo emergency floor path marking system. The completely sealed, hard-wearing, long-lasting system is approved and certified for installation on virtually every type of aircraft and has a patented blue glow option. It requires no power source and is fully charged by the cabin lighting within minutes. 100% reliable, saf-Tglo significantly reduces the maintenance and operational costs associated with traditional electrical systems and being much lighter, improves the aircraft’s fuel efficiency – all important factors that help Orbis get the most out of their Flying Eye Hospital.

Speaking about the partnership, Dr. Sean O’Kell, Business Unit Director, STG Aerospace, said: “Our business is fundamentally about light and flying, so a charity that is using the power of aviation to prevent sight loss in some of the poorest countries in the world was an obvious choice. The fight against avoidable blindness is such an important one, the more we learned about the fantastic work Orbis is doing, the more we felt compelled to support them.”

Kathryn Sweet, Head of Partnerships at Orbis UK, said: “We welcome the support of the aviation industry for our vital work. Sadly, of the 253 million people in the world who are blind or visually impaired, 75% have conditions that are preventable or treatable.”

“Our Flying Eye Hospital transports teams of leading eye care specialists to low and middle income countries, where they share skills and techniques with local medical teams.

“By partnering with Orbis UK, AIX exhibitors can be part of a global effort to support local communities in the fight against avoidable blindness.”

Polly Magraw, Event Director, Aircraft Interiors Expo said: “We are delighted that each year we can support Orbis UK to create relationships with leading suppliers from the aircraft interiors industry. Exhibitors are encouraged to contact the Orbis team to find out how they might contribute to what is one of the most unique examples of aircraft design. The skills that eye care professionals build on the Flying Eye Hospital are helping bring vital eye care to thousands of people worldwide, and we’re delighted to once again partner with Orbis UK to help raise awareness and join the global fight to end avoidable blindness.”


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