Touchdown Zone: Marbata

Airstrip: Marbata

Region: Papua, Indonesia

Surface: Grass

Elevation: 2,100 feet

Length: 344 meters/1,129 feet

Width: 16 meters/52 feet

Slope: 15% increasing to 19%

People group served: Ketengban

Interesting Fact: The people of Marbata literally moved part of their mountain to build a runway, using only simple hand tools and water. They now have access to supplies, medical help and education. Their isolation from the outside world—eliminated! Read more about the Marbata people here.

Time Saved: From YAJASI’s home base in Sentani to Marbata is a 50-minute flight. Overland travel is virtually impossible due to jungle, swamp, mountains, and rugged terrain void of roads. They have the option of using Omban, the closest runway, a two-minute flight or a hike of four to five hours. Borme, the nearest paved runway, is the closest location with a school, clinic and government center. It’s a four-minute flight or a full day’s walk for a local—maybe two days for a westerner.

Watch a video of Marbata here.

And see the first landing in Marbata here.

View a runway chart here.


PC-6 at Marbata waiting for weather to clear.


Two PC-6s parked at the top of Marbata runway. The villagers used water to help build the runway, and you can still see the ditches they dug to direct the water.


A local school the villagers built above the runway. YAJASI flew all of the materials in after the runway was completed.


A view down the Marbata runway


A PC-6 pulled to the edge of the parking area at Marbata to make room for a second aircraft to park.


The local Ketengban pastor reading from the Word to the Marbata community when YAJASI pilots Nate Gordon and Mark Hoving hiked in to check out the newly constructed runway.


The Marbata community welcomes YAJASI pilots Mark Hoving and Nate Gordon as they arrive after hiking five hours to check out the runway.


Villagers from Marbata share food with passengers who are waiting for weather to clear in Omban.