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Malawi Air Wing

The Malawi Air Wing was established with German help in 1976 with the delivery of six single engined Dornier Do 27s and eight Do 28 light twins in 1976-1980. Also in the same era the air force received an Alouette III, an AS 350 and an AS 355 Ecureuil, as well as three SA 330 H/L Puma Helicopters from France. A single BAe 125-800 was delivered in 1986.

The Malawi Army Air Wing (MAAW) had one fixed-wing squadron and one helicopter squadron as of 1988. The MAAW had the capability to transport a small contingent of troops, perform a limited visual reconnaissance role, and provide some VIP transport.

The fixed-wing squadron had four Dornier-28 Skyservant utility aircraft for troop transport, 2 D0-228 light transports, and one HS-125 VIP transport. In addition, West Germany was expected to deliver up to four D0-228 light transport aircraft to the Air Wing in 1988. Pilots received basic training for the Dornier aircraft in West Germany. The US provided training for this squadron in Phoenix, Arizona.

The helicopter squadron was equipped with four French helicopters, two SA-330 Pumas, two AS.350 Ecureuile, and one SA-360 Dauphin acquired in 1985. As of 1988 there were 13 rotary-wing pilots in the MAAW. French and West German technicians were assigned to the Air Wing and were essential to the proper maintenance of the aircraft.

For 31 years (1979 to 2010), France maintained military cooperation in aeronautics by posting a military cooperation officer in charge of training pilots and mechanics to the Malawi Air Wing helicopter squadron, known as the French Squadron. Since the idea of Malawi participating in peacekeeping operations in Africa seemed unachievable, France ended this cooperation in July 2010.

The government of Malawi President Joyce Banda faced pressure to reveal documents related to proceeds from the sale of a presidential jet to British Virgin Islands company Bohnox Enterprises. The money from the $15 million transaction was to be used to buy maize and medicine for the country. Reports, however, surfaced in March 2015 that the money was either missing or had been used to offset a military arms debt. Malawians started to ask about the money after a local newspaper recently published a story on the issue. The story quoted sources in the Treasury as saying they could not trace how the funds were used because they were not deposited into the governments consolidated account known as Account Number One. Several government authorities said the money was used for its intended purpose.

Finance Minister Maxwell Mkwezalamba said the money did not really go into the Treasury, but was used to offset a military arms debt, which the government owed to private defense firm Paramount Group, whose subsidiary is Bohnox. Instead of them giving us the $15 million for the presidential jet, we requested Bohnox, given their association with Paramount, to basically pay Paramount that amount," the finanace minister said. "So that money never came. Information Minister Brown Mpinganjira previously told reporters that the money was used to buy maize and military equipment and that some of it was used to finance the farm input subsidy program.

Malawi had 6 airports with paved runways 
over 3,047 m: 		1 
1,524 to 2,437 m: 	1 
914 to 1,523 m: 	4 
26 airports with unpaved runways 
1,524 to 2,437 m: 	1 
914 to 1,523 m: 	13 
under 914 m: 		12

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Page last modified: 09-05-2017 16:34:58 ZULU