MAF celebrates 60 years flying in PNG

National, Normal

The National , Tuesday, May 31, 2011

NEW challenges face the Mission Aviation Fellowship, pioneer and former chief executive officer Max Myer said.
Speaking at the 60th anniversary celebrations last Friday, Myer said PNG was one of fellowship’s first areas of operation and was now one of the largest international operations.
In a dinner ceremony in Port Moresby’s Golden Bowl restaurant, he shared his first experiences with those who attended.
“The cost of following the Lord’s work may mean our lives,” he said.
Thanking God for his divine privilege of serving him, he said “we stand here with the burning passion of our hearts”.  
Myers said if they had relied on human strength, they would not have continued but “because of the Lord” they had been able to serve the people.
He said the country’s unique topography, with significant areas of high, steep and rugged terrain as well as major swamp areas meant they provided the only viable access to the outside world for many bush communities.
Every year, fellowship aircraft fly to more communities, undertake more life-saving aero-medical retrievals, carried more produce to market and more development materials to the remote areas than any other air service provider.
The fellowship is a not-for-profit team of aviation professionals providing air transport into and out of some of the remotest parts of the world.
It was born when airmen coming out of war decided to use their skills for mankind.
It operates 140 aircraft in 31 countries carrying medical evacuations and provides a lifeline by flying medical supplies, teachers, relief workers and church officials to remote communities.
It also flies produce from remote areas to markets and takes goods back to those communities.
The fellowship has 120 staff and 16 aircraft operating in PNG, with the airmen and women often living in the remote communities they service.
It is the largest stockist and distributor of aviation fuels to remote areas with over 20 fuel dumps locations being maintained.