MAF prepares to fly in Myanmar

Published: 2 Apr 2015

Myanmar map (copyright Google)We're excited to announce that MAF is making preparations to fly in Myanmar.

'MAF Myanmar' has now registered in the country and we are building relationships and developing the necessary permissions to commence a flight operation that will allow us to accomplish MAF's vision and purpose.

Airstrip development is vital

We are looking to partner with the Civil Aviation Authority on remote airstrip development to be a part of assessing, building and maintaining airstrips in critically remote areas of the country.  

Surveys have also been taking place in many parts of the country, identifying places and locations of airstrips which would support remote communities meeting development, humanitarian, spiritual and medical assistance needs.

Some of these isolated communities are already excited about the thought of what MAF can offer them. 'Praise God for this good news,' said villagers at Lailenpi. 'We hope and pray that the Lord will continue to guide MAF until all the remaining steps are met with success and joy.'

Archbishop Justin Welby on Myanmar

When Archbishop Justin Welby visited MAF UK on Monday and heard the news, he shared a story from his visit to Myanmar explaining the remoteness:

'One of the Bishops in Myanmar who we met during our visit said, "My furthest parish is 6-8 days walk through hills," and he was right up on the north-west frontier of Myanmar. Chatting later to the Archbishop, Steven, he said, "When I was Bishop there, it was then 3 or 4 days." I was slightly puzzled and said, "Does he walk very slowly?" He said, "No, the fighting there has meant that all the roads, all the paths, through the forest are mined - so the only way he could walk was in single file with one person 40 or 50 metres ahead. And they were all putting their feet in exactly the footmarks of the people in front and that means you walk very slowly. Now think of the difference it would make there to be able to travel by air – you cut six days to a couple of hours. It would just transform the life of the Church.'

A farmer works from his boat growing vegetables on floating ground beds in Inlay Lake, Myanmar

Overcoming barriers

Myanmar is nearly 3 times larger than the UK and is home to 48 million people. Mountain ranges, major river systems - including the vast Irrawaddy Delta - and a weak overland infrastructure are challenges for the development of the nation. This was exacerbated when massive cyclone Nargis hit in 2008, killing more than 138,000 people.

Aircraft can help overcome these barriers and, permissions provided, we look forward to serving those in need.