NAMPA, Idaho — Editor's Note: The video with this story first aired in May 2020. It is about a MAF pilot killed in a plane crash.
It was a big day for Mission Aviation Fellowship Friday morning at the Nampa Airport.
The Nampa-based nonprofit dedicated a newly acquired Cessna Grand Caravan for service in the Democratic Republic of Congo and held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new hangar at its headquarters.
Officials say the Grand Caravan purchased by MAF is a 2012 model and cost $1.45 million, paid for by private donations. After upgrades, the total cost of the airplane is around $1.8 million.
By comparison, a brand-new, fully outfitted Grand Caravan with equipment needed by MAF would cost about $2.6 million. This plane will be used for medical evacuations, supplies for internally displaced peoples camps, measles and Ebola vaccine distribution, Bible translation work, and disaster response.
“It is a blessing to have this airplane going to the Congo where there is a great need for flights. Violence and rebel activity has made travel by road extremely difficult and this airplane will help with needed flights for an array of activities in the eastern part of the country,” said MAF President and CEO David Holsten.
MAF also broke ground Friday for a new 9,000 square-foot hangar next to their existing one at the Nampa Airport.
Vice President of Operations, Dan Whitehead, said the new hangar space is greatly needed.
“The Kodiak and Grand Caravan aircraft that we primarily use now require more space. The new hangar will also allow us to no longer rent two hangars at the airport and free up space in our existing hangar to create additional training classrooms and office space,” Whitehead said.
The new hangar will be built by Succor Creek Construction of Homedale and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2022.
The Cessna Grand Caravan will head to the Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of the year.
Mission Aviation Fellowship was founded in 1945 by World War II pilots who had a vision for using aviation to spread the gospel. Since that time, MAF has grown to a global family of organizations serving in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Indonesia, and Latin America, supporting the work of missionaries, Bible translators, and relief and humanitarian agencies around the world.
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