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Key airport information may also be found at: Worldaerodata website on Papua New Guinea

 Air travel is the single most important form of transport in Papua New Guinea, for the transport of humans and high density/value freight. Even today the two largest cities, Port Moresby and Lae, are only directly connected by planes.

There are 578 Airports / airstrips in PNG

  • Airports - with paved runways
    • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
    • 914 to 1,523 m: 4
    • under 914 m: 1
    • total: 21

 Airports - with unpaved runways

    • 2,438 to 3,047 m:  
    • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
    • 914 to 1,523 m: 58
    • under 914 m: 489
    • total: 557

21 large-scale national airports managed by the National Airports Corporation (NAC) provide regular service for jet and large turboprop aircraft; 20 secondary airports are owned by provincial governments, and another 450 or more small-scale aerodromes are – since a revision of the legislation in 2007 - supposedly the responsibility of local communities, church missions, and businesses. This is a real challenge as those sub-national entities and private agencies do not have the means to maintain those – albeit crucial – facilities. As a result, those facilities are deteriorating. It is also more and more difficult to get updated information on those local airstrips, the private air operators being obliged doing assessments themselves. Other recent changes in the related legislation (for example concerning the responsibility of flights under 20 passengers given to the air companies, etc.) have a damaging impact on a sector that was previously well designed and operated.

The navigation equipment at most of the 21 national airports is old, unreliable and deteriorating. Rescue and fire-fighting services are only available at seven airports. Large aircraft introduced in recent years threaten to damage tarmac runway surfaces and endanger safety. Most national airports make financial losses on their operations. Losses from airport operations and a lack of national government funding have precluded investment in the air transport sector, although assistance from AusAID and ADB’s large Civil Aviation Development Investment Program (CADIP) MFF project is available.

The nation’s two regularly scheduled airlines focus on passenger service, carrying 1.57 million passengers to the 21 NAC airports in 2008. The flag carrier, Air Niugini, replaced smaller craft with F-100, Boeing 757s and 767s. While aircraft movements only grew 2% per annum 2005–2008, passenger traffic rose 7.5% per year. Airport safety, security, tarmac conditions, navigation equipment and communications failures often cause flight cancellations, raising airline operating costs and passenger fares.

 In terms of:

  • Operations Management
  • Equipment
  • Infrastructures
  • Operating companies actives in the facilities:

Only Jackson International Airport in Port-Moresby (POM) has the capacities hosting international operations. From a general point of view, POM is the biggest airport of the country in terms of volume of operations. It is also the one that has the best internal organization, mainly relying on international operators with adequate capacities. Except for POM, no other airport is able hosting international emergency operations; a special attention should thus be paid before operating emergency activities in any other airport.Lae has been designed as POM back-up airport but, in no sectors, could be compared to POM. This being said, a global upgrading plan exists for Lae airport, tending to improve all departments of the airport’s infrastructure (length and strength of the runways, passengers terminal) and to build new infrastructures (new cargo terminal, storage area, warehouse) In general, except maybe for POM, we recommend that any large humanitarian operation brings its own operations team and airport operational equipment to run major air, transitional storage and transhipment operations

More than 500 local airstrips exist in all remote regions of the country (complete list in Annex). As there are no centralized and updated information about the conditions of those local airstrips, we recommend:

  • Using those capacities on a case by case approach
  • Have a prior contact with the small transport companies regularly operating on those airstrips for ad-hoc updated information on specific airstrips
  • The department of Public Works seems to be somehow in charge of those airstrips, but it was, up until now, impossible getting clear information

Civil Aviation

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulates civil aviation in Papua New Guinea. The Minister of Transport establishes the rules that all:

  • pilots
  • engineers
  • aircraft operators
  • airlines
  • air traffic controllers
  • aerodrome operators

CASA checks that these rules are being complied with and have the power to take action if they are not. CASA monitors safety and security performance throughout the aviation community so that we can direct our safety efforts where they are needed most. CASA also produces safety publications and run safety seminars for the aviation community. The CASA establishes civil aviation safety and security standards, and monitors adherence to those standards. The CASA carries out accident and incident investigations and collates this material to establish an industry-wide safety picture. This becomes the basis of safety initiatives ranging from education campaigns to increased monitoring and regulatory action. 

PNG Air Services Ltd

Provider of air traffic services to the aviation industry and the flying public of Papua New Guinea, this includes airlines and other aircraft operators (including military and police) using PNG airspace. PNGASL delivers the following air navigation services:

  • Air Traffic Control Services
  • Flight Information  Services
  • Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Services
  • Aeronautical Information Services
  • Search and Rescue Coordination Services

Papua New Guinea Air Services Limited (PNGASL) is located in Port Moresby, National Capital District. The Corporate Headquarter Office is located on the first floor of the Jackson’s Airport Domestic Terminal Building. PNG Air Services Limited has manned units at the following locations:

  • Madang Airport;
  • Goroka Airport;
  • Tokua Airport, Kokopo;
  • Kagamuga Airport, Mount Hagen;
  • Nadzab Airport, Lae

PNG Air Services Limited also has facilities located at unmanned remote sites throughout the country.

4.1 Papua New Guinea Government Contact List

4.5 Papua New Guinea Airport Company Contact List

Procedures for Foreign Registered Aircraft

In PNG, the following requirements need to be applied, presented and approved before preposition of foreign registered aircraft:

Aircraft Registration and Certificate of Registration

1) Requirement for aircraft registration and certificate

  • The person lawfully entitled to the possession of an aircraft for 28 days or longer shall, if the aircraft flies to, from, within, or over Papua New Guinea territory, register that aircraft and hold a valid certificate of registration for that aircraft from—
    •  the Director; or
    •  the appropriate aeronautical authorities of a Contracting State; or
    •  the appropriate aeronautical authorities of another State that is party to an agreement with the Government of Papua New Guinea or the Civil Aviation Authority of Papua New Guinea which provides for the acceptance of each other's registrations.
  •  No aircraft shall be registered in or remain registered in Papua New Guinea if it is registered in any other country.

 B.    Application for registration and grant of certificate

  • An application for registration of an aircraft and for the grant of a Papua New Guinea certificate of registration shall be made by, or on behalf of—
    • the person who is lawfully entitled to the possession of the aircraft for 28 days or longer; or
    • the person who, on a date specified in the application, will be lawfully entitled to the possession of the aircraft for 28 days or longer.
  • The applicant shall complete form CAA 47/01, which shall require—
    • the manufacturer, model and serial number of the aircraft; and
    • the name and address for service in Papua New Guinea of the person specified in paragraph A.a. or A.b. and
    • such further particulars relating to the aircraft and the person specified in paragraph A.a. or A.b. as may be required by the Director— and submit it to the Director with a payment of the appropriate application fee prescribed by regulations made under the Act.]

  • The Director may require the applicant, or, where the application is made on behalf of a person, that person, to produce all or any of the following, as may be reasonable in the circumstances:
    • evidence of the manufacturer, model and serial number of the aircraft:
    • evidence of the identity of the person specified in paragraph A.a. or A.b.:
    • a statutory declaration by the person specified in paragraph A.a. or A.b. that that person is, or on a date specified in the application will be, lawfully entitled to the possession of the aircraft for 28 days or longer.

C.    Registration and grant of certificate

  • An applicant is entitled to have an aircraft registered and is entitled to the grant of a Papua New Guinea certificate of registration if the Director is satisfied that—
    • the aircraft is not registered in any other country; and
    • the person lawfully entitled to the possession of the aircraft for 28 days or longer is a fit and proper person in accordance with Section 50 of the Civil Aviation Act; and
    • the granting of the certificate is not contrary to the interests of aviation safety.
  • If the Director is satisfied that an applicant complies with the requirements of paragraph (a), the following details shall be entered in the Papua New Guinea Register of Aircraft—
    • the date of registration; and
    • the description of the aircraft given in the application; and
    • the name and address for service of the person lawfully entitled to the possession of the aircraft for 28 days or longer; and
    • the registration mark allocated to the aircraft by the Director.

Complete information on Aircraft Registration and Marking can be found in PNG Civil Aviation Rules - Part 47 -

Aircraft Registration and Marking - Effective 1 January 2004.

Air Operator – Certification

  • An applicant for the grant of an air operator certificate shall follow the prescriptions detailed in PNG Civil Aviation Rules - Part 119 - Air Operator – Certification - Effective 1 January 2004.

Regulated Air Cargo Agent – Certification

  • An applicant for the grant of a regulated air cargo agent certificate must complete form CAA 109/01
  • And follow the prescriptions detailed in PNG Civil Aviation Rules - Part 109 - Regulated Air Cargo Agent – Certifications - Effective 1 January 2011.

Foreign Air Operator – Certification

  • An applicant for the grant of an air operator certificate shall follow the prescriptions detailed in PNG Civil Aviation Rules - Part 129 - Foreign Air Operator — Certification - Effective 1 January 2004.

Other Legislation

  • Other legislation texts can be found on http://www.casapng.gov.pg/Legislation.html
  • In case of emergencies, CASA team will bring strong support to the humanitarian operations and facilitate the different processes in order not to delay the operations 

Additional Information:

Papua New Guinea Air Operator – Certification

Papua New Guinea Foreign Air Operator — Certification

Papua New Guinea Regulated Air Cargo Agent - Certifications

Papua New Guinea Aircraft Registration and Marking