Aerial Health Patrol and Air Strip Surveys in Papua New Guinea
“We were happy to have finished the mission!”
Standing in front of Sierra Delta Papa at the end of their 3 days flying are pilots Jan Ivar Andresen from Norway and Corné Noordhoek from the Netherlands.
On Wednesday, they took off from Mount Hagen flying Sierra Delta Papa (P2-SDP), which is our dedicated aircraft for supporting the work of AHP (Aerial Health Patrol) which is funded through the Sustainable Development Program (SDP).
Similar to last week’s flying, they flew AHP staff to and from Balimo so that they had enough personnel to man the hospital and the area health patrol program. Again, the aircraft picked up medical supplies from Port Moresby on behalf of AHP, who are also supporting the local hospital at Balimo. “Getting supplies into Balimo is a real challenge. So they are really helped by our support with the aeroplane,” reported Corné.
Airstrip Surveys: Brad Venter & Arjan Paas
5 days in the air this week for P2-MEW!
Last week, Goroka based Brad Venter and Arjan Paas, plus RAA were out surveying airstrips in the Western Province with our Caravan P2-MEW.
According to the count as of today we have 14 airstrips officially open to MAF, 9 have been surveyed last week and most likely 4 or 5 of those surveyed in Western Province will pass the requirements for opening.
Please pray for the process! Monday, Brad and a team of RAA personal will be coming to Mt Hagen to conduct training to pilots in Hagen so that they will also be able to correctly survey the strips.
The airstrip surveys are an internal measurement taken after the recent accidents to improve the safety of our operation. As an organisation, we have been closing all the rural airstrips for operation, because we want to review the safety standards of all these landing sites. With the present circumstances given by the State of Emergency restrictions but with the approval for flights for the Aerial Health Patrol (AHP), the first airstrips our MAF pilots are surveying were the ones in Western Province to where the AHP team needs to go. In 2019, our aircraft landed at 277 airstrips. To survey all these will take time and we ask the communities and our partners to bear with us for the time being and the limited flight operations. Please still look after your airstrips even though you might not see a MAF plane land anytime soon. We’ll be back! Bringing help, hope and healing with our aircraft will continue to be our mission and our passion.