Mission Aviation Fellowship Orders Five Cessna Caravans


Image courtesy MAF

As further proof that aviation missionary work is often a serious driver of aircraft sales, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has ordered five Cessna Caravan 208 turboprops for its operations in Papua New Guinea. The group also has the optionofpurchasing an additional two aircraft. This is the largest aircraft investment by MAF to date. The five aircraft are scheduled to be delivered from Textron Aviation before the end of this year and are expected to go into operation by mid-2019.

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has no countrywide road network, making overland travel lengthy, exhausting and dangerous. The only way most communities can reach the outside world, or be reached by others, is by trekking long distances, often for several days at a time. Air service can also be challenging but provides options and opportunities.

MAF says it has been expanding the way it uses the versatile Caravan. It is now used to operate into 95 percent of the more than 230 remote bush airstrips—many of which are positioned on mountainridgelines. With the purchase of the five Caravan turboprops, MAF adds to its existing fleet of three Caravans currently at work on the isolated Pacific island north of Australia.

William Nicol, aviation director for MAF International, says having an all-Caravan fleet will help with reliability. “The Caravan providescapabilitythat ensures an effective, efficient and sustainable operation—a critical consideration when operating with limited infrastructure in challenging conditions, where remote access often becomes a matter of life and death,” Nicol said.