Mission Aviation Fellowship has a long history of serving remote and isolated communities across the world in countless different ways, but the supply of trained and experienced staff does not always meet the demand, particularly but not exclusively for both pilots and aircraft engineers.
Through the 1960’s, pilots prepared for MAF service in PNG, at Ballarat, Victoria. In the mid 1970’s MAF had purchased it’s own C150 Aerobat Aircraft, VH-MFJ and what we now know as the MAF Training Centre was born.
In 2002, the engineering facility moved to Mareeba and the flight training centre moved to Coldstream, also in Victoria. Finally in early 2015 the MAF Training Centre in Mareeba was opened in a brand new purpose built facility, with all the MAF training consolidated in one place. It is here that pilots and flight instructors are offering students the opportunity to train from scratch, to gain their Commercial Pilots Licence. There are also Standardisation Courses running throughout the year for pilots accepted by MAF, before they begin serving in one of the MAF programmes throughout the world.
As this tailor-made facility in Mareeba grows and feeds pilots into programmes throughout the world, MAF are looking to open a complimentary training facility in the highlands of PNG at Mount Hagen (within the MAF PNG Programme) in 2018.
The pilot training programmes are run in association with Aviation Australia (RTO:30770, CRICOS:02425C), based in Cairns, and is CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) approved. The MAF staff delivering the training have years of overseas experience between them to offer future generations of pilots, both in the aircraft industry and as mission pilots. This will allow the work of MAF to continue for many more years to come.