Many of you prayed with us back in January that our flight permissions would be renewed, and they were extended until the end of May. During that time and even now, our country director and others have been working fervently to get them renewed. The NGO’s we fly have even written letters of support for our work here. As of May 31, 2015, the ministry of transportation has not renewed our flight permisisons. We have been able to do some training and internal flights, but we have not been flying passengers.
One thing the government wants that we have been working on is something called a Part 135 which would allow us to get an AOC (air operator certificate). Our organization is in the process of obtaining a Part 135 certification. This will take some time-at best 9 months. In the meantime, the FAA has sent a letter to the Afghan Ministry of Aviation letting them know we are in process. Pray for MAF as they are currently trying find the right people to hold certain positions such as chief pilot and director of operations that are required in a part 135. The people for these positions would have needed to have worked in a part 135 but also have a heart for what we do. Pray also for favor with the Ministry of Aviation and the Afghan government that they will grant us permissions to fly while all this is in process.
What does not having flight permissions mean besides not being able to fly our passengers? At this time we don’t know and are praying for wisdom. Is this a road block or a hurdle? It affects the people we serve. Many do not have a safe way to get to their ministry locations without our help. It affects our funding. It affects all that we do here. Other programs have dealt with issues like this and survived. God has a plan so for now we wait and serve here as faithfully as we can. Pray with us for a miracle with our flight permissions, favor with the government in regards to some visa issues, and wisdom for next steps here if the answer is no.
So are our pilots and mechanics just sitting around twiddling their thumbs? This month has been full with an audit and some instructor training for Noel and another pilot. As Noel would say, there is always work to do. They are doing tasks on the airplane and hanger that needed to be done that weren’t urgent. We just received new manuals so others are looking through them for mistakes and making tests to help keep the pilots current in our procedures. Of course, there is extra time for training and good conversations about life with our national staff.