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Study maps future of mission aviation

by Jim McGee, Feb 14, 2008

flightplan-lGlobal Mapping International has released the third and final phase of “FlightPlan: Exploring the Present and Future of Mission Aviation,” the culmination of a four-year research process.

FlightPlan identifies, describes and evaluates with ten criteria seven models of future aviation ministry: Agile Provider, Field Opener, Tribal Advocate, Nation Developer, Microaviator, Job Creator and Resource Broker.

The third phase FlightPlan CD-ROM found that:

  • Rural populations are still growing, but are not increasing their mobility. Nearly one billion people are projected to lack access to an all-weather road by 2030.
  • Missionaries among remote peoples identified physical access as the top challenge among six key issues.
  • Aviation is growing internationally, especially in China, India and Indonesia.
  • There is still a need for trained pilots. This presents an opportunity for Christian educational institutions in training for mission.
  • Combined mission aviation flight hours have flatten over the past two decades. Many pilot trainees do not make it to the field because of debt, distraction or lack of experience. Greater emphasis is needed on efforts to bridge the gap between school and field.
  • Half of missionaries in remote areas cite cost as a “big problem.” Half also said mission aviation service is not available where they work, suggesting the need for greater promotion of the availability and benefits of aviation.
  • Mission aviation has traditionally promoted the benefit of time savings. However, missionaries perceive cargo transport as a greater problem than slowness of travel, and safety/security as very important.

The FlightPlan CD-ROM includes research reports, slideshows, a historical document library, and web and organization directories.

“For those involved in mission aviation, we hope FlightPlan sparks new ways of thinking about, talking about and planning for the future,” said Jim McGee, project director. “For donors and others interested in mission aviation, we hope it provides a sound basis for asking good questions and making wise decisions.”

People within and beyond the mission aviation community have reviewed the FlightPlan report. John Armstrong, President, Proclaim Aviation Ministries, states, “Quite impressive in how it ties together all stages in a concise manner. There are some real practical conclusions that need to be implemented.”

“GMI has done us all a good service in providing a vocabulary which will be very helpful in our ongoing internal and external interactions around these topics,” claims, Ron Wismer, manager of research, Mission Aviation Fellowship.

Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, the mission of Global Mapping International is to produce and present world-class research that fuels emerging mission movements and leaders.

The FlightPlan CD-ROM is available to those involved in mission aviation at

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