Touchdown Zone: Mal
Region: Ninigo Islands, Manus province of Papua New Guinea
Elevation: 6 feet
Length: 614 meters/2,014 feet
Width: 25 meters/82 feet
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.
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.
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.