First explored by the Spaniards in the 16th century and then settled by the English in the mid-17th century, Suriname became a Dutch colony in 1667.
In 1962, at the request of the West Indian Mission and Primary Health Care Suriname, MAF started a flight service for the mission and healthcare in the interior. This operation took place out of the MAF base in Guyana.
In 1964, this changed when MAF started its own operation from the airfield at Zorg en Hoop.
Independence from the Netherlands was granted in 1975, and in 1982, with the establishment of MAF Suriname, the first step was made in making this service organisation a Surinamese one.
Today, MAF Suriname, or SZV for short, is a fully Surinamese company collaborating with MAF in the USA.
The purpose of SZV is to encourage and motivate the churches to bring the people of interior Suriname into a living, active relationship with Jesus, and to meet the Church's aviation and communication needs.
Churches in Suriname are still involved in mission work in the interior, so the need for SZV flights to carry pastors and evangelists is crucial; MAF’s air support playing an important role in helping the Maroons and indigenous people to strengthen their communities.
MAF flights provide vital help in times of emergency and enable doctors to provide medical care in the country's interior, where road travel is difficult and the villages are hard to reach.