USA (MAF) — Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) just inaugurated a new era in missionary aviation when it
dedicated its first KODIAK aircraft at its U.S. headquarters in Nampa, Idaho.
is a faith-based, nonprofit ministry that serves missions and isolated people
around the world with aviation, communications and learning technologies. The
new KODIAK is the first of the next-generation bush planes to be produced under
a visionary arrangement between MAF and the manufacturer, Quest Aircraft Co. of
This first KODIAK will be deployed in Papua, Indonesia.
crowd of MAF staff, Christian leaders, and Nampa
residents participated in the dedication ceremony, as well as an afternoon of
activities on May 2.
events celebrate a technological achievement that will allow MAF to be more
effective stewards of the resources God has given us," said John Boyd,
president of MAF. "But this new KODIAK is more than an example of leading-edge
technology. It is an example of what God's people can do when they pursue God's
will in God's way. The unprecedented cooperation between missionary
organizations that made this day possible is a model for 21st century
missionary efforts. It is both exciting and humbling to be in the midst of a
project that God has blessed so abundantly."
Schaller, chief executive officer of Quest Aircraft Co., told the crowd, "Serving the needs of the missionary community
and those they help is the purpose for which Quest was built. It is gratifying
to see it come to fruition with this first delivery to MAF."
Among local leaders participating
in the dedication ceremony were Tom Dale, the mayor of Nampa, and Montie Ralston, lead pastor of
Boise Valley Christian Communion and a member of the MAF board of directors.
dedication ceremony marks a milestone in missionary aviation in part because
the KODIAK will be significantly less expensive to operate than the planes it
will replace in the MAF fleet. Most MAF planes, including the popular Cessna
206, run on aviation gasoline, or "avgas," which is scarce and expensive in many
of the remote areas where MAF operates. However, the KODIAK is powered by jet
fuel, which is more plentiful and much less expensive than avgas.
Over the next few years, MAF will replace 20 of its Cessna 206 planes
with planes that operate on jet fuel, either KODIAKs or Cessna Caravans. Because
the KODIAK can carry nearly twice the cargo of the C206, MAF will transport medicine,
food and disaster relief supplies much more efficiently, reducing operating
Founded in the United States in 1945, MAF (www.maf.org) missionary teams of aviation, communications, technology and
education specialists overcome barriers in remote areas, transform lives and
build God's Kingdom by enabling the work of more than 1,000 organizations in
isolated regions around the world.
With its fleet of 122 bush aircraft,
MAF serves in 55 countries, with an average of 242 flights daily across Africa,
Asia, Eurasia and Latin America. MAF pilots
transport missionaries, medical personnel, medicines and relief supplies, as
well as conduct thousands of emergency medical evacuations. MAF also provides
telecommunications services, such as satellite Internet access, high frequency
radios, electronic mail and other wireless systems.