Touchdown Zone: Mal

Airstrip: Mal

Region: Ninigo Islands, Manus province of Papua New Guinea

Surface: Grass/coral

Elevation: 6 feet

Length: 614 meters/2,014 feet

Width: 25 meters/82 feet

Slope: 0% 

Language group served: Mal serves the Seimat people of the Ninigo Islands, located 134 miles off the north coast of Papua New Guinea’s Manus province. A translation of the Seimat New Testament was completed in 2013, and a translation team is now working on the Seimat Old Testament in consultation with Beata Wozna, a SIL translation advisor who is now based in Ukarumpa. Theresa Wilson heads up the literacy and Scripture-use aspect of the work in the Seimat project.

Time saved:

The team of Seimat translators periodically travel to and from Ukarumpa to work with Beata. A Kodiak flight between Mal and SIL-PNG Aviation’s base at Aiyura near Ukarumpa takes under three hours, including a short stop in Wewak. 

The overland alternative would take more than three days and include a five-hour road trip, a boat trip to Wewak followed by more than nine additional hours over open ocean in a small, open motor boat. This alternative is not an option because no boats are available to rent, and the trip over open ocean is deemed to be too dangerous to even consider.

Interesting facts:

Stiff crosswinds on final approach make for mechanical turbulence in the touchdown zone due to trees on the sides. No jet center or fuel is available on Mal, but pilot Johnny Reeves says, “I think the view makes up for it!” 

  • View a runway chart here.
  • View a video of the Seimat NT dedication, including a landing on Mal, here.
Mal is part of the remote Ninigo Islands, located 134 miles off the north coast of Papua New Guinea’s Manus province.
Close-up map of the Ninigo Islands.
The Kodiak parked at the end of the runway at Mal. Tall trees off the end of the runway presented obstacles on departure so were cut down. Photo by Johnny Reeves
The large open area near the runway is a soccer field. Photo by Johnny Reeves
The view of the islands surrounded by coral reefs is spectacular but it can be distracting on approach. Photo by Johnny Reeves
Kids from a small primary school right next to the runway came out, and Pilot Johnny Reeves visited a bit about the runway. He flew a drone to get some photos. Photo by Johnny Reeves
The view to the east shows some of the neighboring islands that make up the Ninigo Islands. Missionaries take a boat ride in this direction to get to the village where the translation work is based. Photo by Johnny Reeves
Pilot John Mork unloads Seimat New Testaments in May 2013. Photo by Beata Wozna