The Rural Airstrip Agency (RAA), headed by CEO John Bromley, was established in conjunction with MAF to restore PNG’s unusable airstrips to reach out to even more rural communities
RAA is a not for profit organization based at Goroka. Its primary purpose is to facilitate and conduct maintenance and restoration of rural airstrips in Papua New Guinea. These activities are aimed at improving aviation safety and providing greater access to essential services for remote communities. These services include health, education, community development and commercial markets for cash crops.
RAA executes two specific courses of action:
A maintenance program that is aimed at airstrips currently in use that require maintenance to keep them operable, and a restoration program that is aimed at airstrips that have been closed, sometimes for a long period of time, and require a lot of work to bring them back to a usable standard.
RAA’s goals are to …
- Maintain and restore rural airstrips throughout PNG effectively and efficiently
- Improve Aviation Safety for operations into rural airstrips
- Partner with communities and all levels of Government
- Facilitate access for rural communities to essential services
- Assist in the development of rural communities
- Contribute to the improvement of Aviation Service delivery
- Meet requirements of Government Policy Frameworks
RAA is supported by MAF, the PNG Government, rural air services, NAC, PNG Air Services & local Leaders and Communities.
According to John Bromley, the biggest change he has seen to a remote community by having a usable airstrip is in the way of healthcare and education. “As soon as the airstrip is open we usually see several medical evacuations take place,” he explained.
“The health worker is usually the first to come back because they now have contact with the outside world to get the support they need. Teachers return so kids go back to school, and then the community starts to sell its cash crop and it gets them some income,” he said. “The community comes to life again basically.”
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