By Vasinatta Yama – EMTV News, Mt Hagen
The Missionary Aviation Fellowship or MAFPNG headquarters in Mt Hagen welcomed one of its six new Caravan planes yesterday.
MAFPNG, a non-profit organization, has been flying in the remotest parts of PNG for over 60 years, bringing help, hope, and healing to the people.
The new Caravans will give a facelift to MAF’s aging Twin Otter planes.
MAF staff and their families welcomed the arrival of the first new Caravan 208 at the Kagamuga International Airport. The aircraft arrived in Mt Hagen at around 2:30pm yesterday, after a five hour flight from Meribah in Cairns.
It was dedicated and commissioned, to start its first official flight this week.
Last year, MAF PNG transported 36,000 passengers in the 212 rural airstrips in PNG, medevacked 433 sick patients for free, and have flown at least 45 flights a day to the remotest parts of PNG.
The transition of to their new planes, will give them technology to be able to fly safer.
MAF PNG Country Director, Todd Aebischer says with the new Caravans, they will overcome challenges like unpredictable weather, flying over rugged terrains during wet seasons, shorter runways of airstrips, and landing and taking off on muddy runways during wet periods. MAF has been flying passengers to remote places with only six airplanes.
It was difficult for them to maintain flights, as well as maintaining the aircrafts.
The decision by MAF International in America to purchase the six new Caravans for MAF PNG is a solution to provide services to the rural people.