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Eight missionary aircraft could be grounded due to new regulations.

By December 13, 2004

USA (MNN)–Mission Aviation Fellowship says a new regulation from the Federal Aviation Administration could ground eight aircraft.

MAF’s Dennis Fulton says the FAA is requiring that all turbine-powered aircraft be equipped with new navigation equipment by March 2005.

Aircraft Global Positioning Systems have the entire terrain of the earth mapped out in 3D. The chips trigger a visual and audible warning to a pilot when the terrain or some obstacle lies in the flight path. The system is called ‘Terrain Avoidance Warning System’ (TAWS). It can even calculate an escape route and give verbal instructions to avoid a collision.

The catch is, at fifteen thousand dollars an upgrade, it could effect outreach in Papua, Indonesia, Africa, and Central Asia. “If the funds don’t come in by deadline, we just can’t install the TAWS equipment and we’ll have to ground the airplane. So, the airplanes will be grounded unless we’re able to do the installation in our U-S registered aircraft.”

MAF estimates the total cost for equipment, modifications, installation and avionics upgrades for the eight planes at $230,000 (USD). Fulton says they’re praying for funds, and for the evangelical work at stake. “There’s a lot of missions and church organizations that are really going to suffer on this one, let alone the medical emergencies that are taken are of, but MAF’s whole purpose is multiplying the effectiveness of the church and if these airplanes are grounded, we’re not going to be able to support the mission.”

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