2.2 Tuvalu Aviation

The aviation sector consists of an International Airport located in the main town centre, it services up to two ATR-72 flights per week from Suva as stipulated under the agreement between Fiji Airways and Tuvalu Government, and a supplementary flight to be staged once the travelling demand for both sectors have increased.   

Periodic weekly flights from Tarawa were started in early February 2018 for a period of two years under the Tuvalu and Air Kiribati contract, until early 2020 when Air Kiribati terminated their service.   

The Funafuti airstrip is the only airstrip in Tuvalu that is still operational and it’s the main gateway in and out of the country.   

The airstrip was constructed by the United States government during World War II. The runway has a length of 1,535 meters and a width of 30 meters, the surface was tar sealed in 1992 with a capacity of 50 tons that was reduced due to damage resulting from water covering part of the runway during very high tides. Resurfacing of the runway was done in 2017 under the Tuvalu Aviation Investment Project funded by the World Bank, additionally there were other supporting services procured under this project, including the Delivery of an Airport Rescue Fire Fighting Vehicle.  

A new terminal building and a Flight Service Tower Building were officially opened in 2018.  

The Ministry of Transport, Energy & Tourism (MTET) through the Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) manages the airport operations and is responsible for compliance with national and international civil aviation requirements.  

Key airport information may also be found at:http://worldaerodata.com/ 

For more information on government agency and airport company contact information, please see the following links: 4.1 Government Contact List and 4.5 Airport Companies Contact List 

Procedures for Foreign Registered Aircraft 

Aircraft registration  

  1. The Director shall establish and maintain a system for the national registration of civil aircraft in Tuvalu.  
  1. A civil aircraft shall not operate in Tuvalu unless it is registered in Tuvalu or is registered under the laws of a foreign country.  
  1. An aircraft shall be eligible for registration if and only if it is not registered in a foreign country and, unless otherwise permitted by the Director by regulation, it is owned by —  
  1. a citizen of Tuvalu.     
  1. the Government of Tuvalu or a political subdivision of Tuvalu; or  
  1. a body incorporated under the laws of Tuvalu.  
  1. An application for registration shall be in such form, be filed in such manner, and contain such information as the Director may require.  
  1. On the registration of an aircraft, the Director shall issue to the owner a certificate of registration.  
  1. An aircraft shall acquire Tuvalu nationality when registered under this Act but a certificate of registration issued under this section shall not be considered evidence as to ownership in any proceeding under the laws of Tuvalu in which ownership of the aircraft by a particular person is or may be in issue.  
  1. The Director may suspend or revoke a licence issued under this Act for any cause if the Director finds the suspension or revocation to be in the public interest. 


The full legislation can be viewed at  


Permits for journeys other than scheduled journeys  

An application for a licence shall be in the form hereunder set out and shall be addressed to the Licensing Authority by registered post.  

I hereby make application for a licence to operate an air service, and declare that the particulars concerning my application are hereunder truly set out —  


  1. Name and address of applicant.  
  1. Places between which passengers or goods are to be carried.  
  1. Places at which intermediate landings are to be made for the purpose of loading or landing  passengers or goods.  
  1. Frequency of the service (including proposed time-tables).  
  1. Number and types of aircraft proposed to be used on the service.  
  1. Whether the service is to carry passengers or goods or both.  
  1. Maximum fares to be charged to passengers in respect of any journey or portion of a journey for which separate fares are charged.  
  1. Charges to be made in respect of goods and excess baggage. 
  1. Date on which service is to commence. 
  1. Period for which the licence is desired. 


Full details can be viewed at: 



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