There are six airports in Tonga, one airport on each of the main islands. Of these, one has paved runways, the Fuaʻamotu International Airport on Tongatapu. Of the remaining airports, one has runways exceeding length 1,524m, two have runways longer than 914m, with the remaining two having runways shorter than 914m. Tonga is serviced internationally by Fiji Airlines, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, and internally by Real Tonga Airlines.
The Tonga airports sector was corporatized in July 2007. All airports are now managed and operated by TAL (Tonga Airports Limited), a public company under the Companies Act and Public Enterprises Act. Fua’amotu airport at Nuku’alofa is the major international gateway with regular services to Australia, New Zealand and United States (via Samoa). Vava’u airport is also a certified international airport.
Niuatoputapu (aka Kuini Lavenia Airport, aka Mata’aho Airport) may be used as a port of entry by prior special arrangement with the Chief Executive Officer, provided notice is given not less than 48 hours in advance of the intended arrival time.
The completion of large-scale upgrades to Tonga’s international airports, Fua’amotu (Tongatapu) and Lupepau’u (Vava’u) supports increased aircraft operations to Tonga. An apron expansion of approximately 2,150 square metres involved the construction of a new base and asphaltic surface. The expansion enables larger (Code E) aircraft, like Air New Zealand’s B777 and B787, to park on the apron whilst still allowing other aircraft to enter, park and exit.
For information on Tonga Airports contact details, please see the following links:
Key airport information may also be found at: World Aero Data
Procedures for Foreign Registered Aircraft
Documentary Requirements for Clearance of Aircraft
Content and format of documentary requirements for clearance of aircraft is as follows:
(a) General Declaration — as described in Annex 9 to the convention on International Civil Aviation.
(b) Passenger Manifest — as described in Annex 9 to the convention on International Civil Aviation.
(c) Cargo Manifest — as described in Annex 9 to the convention on International Civil Aviation.
ICAO Annex 9 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation can be downloaded from the following link:
All documents are to be submitted to Customs as soon as practicable
One copy of the General Declaration is endorsed and returned by Customs, signifying clearance.
If no passengers are embarking (disembarking) and no articles are laden, no aircraft documents except copies of the General Declaration need be submitted to the appropriate Customs authorities.
All passengers, mail, cargo and crew of any overseas aircraft shall be subject mutatis mutandis to all applicable general or special local regulations dealing with the entry, transit and departure of persons, introduction, transit or exportation of goods, quarantine and health measures, immigration, passports, visas and travel documents.
The pilot of an aircraft on an unscheduled flight who intends to use a Tonga airport for landing shall request such permission at least 24 hours prior to departure.
The request shall be lodged and received by Tonga Airports Limited during the official working hours as specified in page NFTF AD 2 - 2:
(a) Name and address of the aircraft operator
(b) Type and registration marks of the aircraft
(c) Name, address and business of charterer
(d) Proposed date and place of origin of flight
(e) Routes including dates and times of arrival and departure
(f) Number of passengers and/or nature and amount of freight
(g) Purpose of flight
Prior approval for the flight must be obtained. However, no such permission is required for flights that fall into the following category:
- Flights by civil aircraft that have the nationality of an ICAO Contracting State, provided that the requirements of the ICAO Convention on International Civil Aviation are complied with.
- All flights by foreign state aircraft as defined by the Convention will require diplomatic clearance from the Tonga Foreign Affairs. Requests for such clearance should be submitted through the normal diplomatic channels, giving a minimum of seven full working days’ notice.
Further information regarding Pacific Aviation can be obtained from the following link: http://secureorders.airways.co.nz/aimsite/pacific/index.asp