THE work of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and the Bible Translation Association (BTA) in Papua New Guinea in bringing the good news and other services into remote locations in country has received a boost from abroad.
In a landmark ceremony at the Jackson Airport ceremonial park yesterday, Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane unveiled the newest addition to the faith-based organisations’ aviation fleet: the Quest Aircraft Company.
The new utility aircraft, Kodiak, was developed for use by mission organisations in remote applications in response to theneed in providing a larger, more cost-effective turbo-prop airplane.
According to SIL PNG director Tim Lithgow, the aircraft has been designed specifically to traverse the remote, harsh and rugged mountainous topography of the country and will help in furthering the work of translating bible into 800 languages in PNG.
“It will also be used primarily to fly people to and from remote villages, transport cargo for community development, to assist in relief work, perform medical evacuations as well as providing additional support services to language workers,” Mr Lithgow said.
“The Kodiak will assist the 700 translators in partnership with some 220 different language projects in PNG’s remote areas,” he said, adding that the aircraft was capable of short take-offs and landings that is designed to operate in and out of some of the most challenging remote airstrips in the world.
“It can carry up to 10 people or a large, bulky cargo with a relatively high cruise speed of 165 knots (305kph) and utilises a widely available and economical fuel type.”
Sir Paulias thanked SIL and BTA volunteers and translators on behalf of the government for their contribution to development in PNG and JAARS Inc of US, which continues to finance the work of the organisations.