Programme Manager Mark Blomberg writes: “The plane is here. It landed in Dhaka around 14:30. This marks the start of a new season for the MAF Bangladesh program and our ministry in this country”.
The new Cessna Caravan C208 with Wipaire 8750 amphibious floats and the latest avionics equipment will replace our existing aircraft that has served in Bangladesh since 2005. The new arrival will enable MAF’s programme to better serve the people of Bangladesh for the next 15-20 years.
Bangladesh is home to 158 million people and is one of the world’s poorest countries. Around 75% of the population live in rural areas. Many rivers and the huge Ganges Delta make overland travel difficult. The need to alternate between land and waterborne forms of transport makes journeys incredibly time-consuming. The 8,000km of rivers that cover a third of the country are also a major barrier to the country’s development. In addition, most of the land is just metres above sea level. During the monsoon season (June to October), rivers routinely flood and cut-off large areas from outside help.
By operating an amphibious aircraft, large expanses of water can be transformed from being a hindrance into a useable asset. The amphibious C208 is able to land on water sites in many of the least accessible areas with dramatic results: journeys that can take 1 to 2 days by land can be covered in around 1 hour by air. The time saved enables NGOs to easily access remote areas to run and monitor projects efficiently. A number of medical projects, including four floating hospitals, depend upon MAF flights to transport medical supplies, volunteer doctors and surgeons, saving them valuable time and increasing the number of operations they perform.
While today’s news is cause for celebration, please keep praying as we still have other permissions and arrangements to make before the aircraft can begin serving within Bangladesh.
Photo 1: Departure from Teuge, Netherlands at the start of its ferry flight to Bangladesh.
Photo 2: MAF’s new C208 Amphibious Plane arrives in Bangladesh.