Dear MAF Communities,
Thank you for your words of encouragement and support as we work through the restrictions relative to Covid-19. One of our top priorities is to ensure that MAF does not become the medium of transporting the Covid-19 virus to the people within the communities that we serve and love so much! We are being very careful in our following of the guidelines set forth by the government. This includes making sure that we properly clean / sanitise our aircraft and follow other guidelines related to social distancing, face masks, and monitoring the health of potential passengers.
In addition to Covid-19, MAF aircraft have experienced three incidents since November 2019. A major contributor to these incidents has been the condition of the airstrips. As a result, MAF is working diligently to re-survey all of the 213 airstrips that we service. As you can imagine, this process will take some time. Once our teams complete the on-site survey of a particular airstrip, the information obtained must be reviewed and a decision made as to whether or not we can continue with operational flights at the particular airstrip. This process may take several days from the time of the survey to the decision. Our teams will also be preparing recommendations for the communities of what actions must be taken in order for the airstrip to be operational.
We recognise that this process results in hardships for communities that desperately need MAF’s service. Please understand that for more than 69 years, MAF has been committed to serving the isolated communities and people of PNG and we want to continue to serve your communities. We also want you to be able to have the assurance that we will be serving your communities and families in the safest way possible. This means that we MUST ensure that airstrips are of a standard that are safe for our aircraft, our pilots, and for you as our passengers!
Mission Aviation Fellowship is a mission and as such, people from around the world donate funds to make sure that our aircraft can fly to your communities. If we were to charge the full rate of what it costs us to operate, the remote communities could not afford to fly. Medical evacuations could not be flown and health patrols and education flights would stop. We must make sure that we are taking good care of the aircraft entrusted to us, so that we can continue to serve your communities.
I would like to encourage you to work with your local level government and community leaders to take action on any recommendations provided to your community regarding your airstrip. As you do your part to improve your airstrips, MAF can do its part in continuing to provide the safe and reliable service that you have received for so many years!
Thank you for your partnership in working with MAF to see isolated communities Physically and Spiritually transformed in Christ’s Name. May you be blessed this day.
MAF PNG Country Director