Vanuatu - 2.2 Aviation



There are three international airports in Vanuatu: 

  • Efate Island (Port Vila): Bauerfield International Airport 

  • Espiritu Santo Island: Santo International Airport 

  • Tanna Island: Whitegrass Airport 

Key airport information may also be found at: 

Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL) is the agency responsible for managing the three internationally accredited airports in Vanuatu. Scope of responsibilities include upgrading the international airports, ensuring the safety and security of aircrafts and passengers, providing all air traffic control, aviation security, aviation rescue firefighting, navigation and communications services to full international ICAO standards and training Ni-Vanuatu personnel in aviation skills. 

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.  


Bauerfield, Efate 

Santo, Espiritu Santo 

Whitegrass, Tanna 


Civil Aviation Rule sections 139/140 and ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices are complied with at all times. 

Civil Aviation Rule sections 139/140/171/172 are complied with at all times. 

Civil Aviation Rule section 139 is complied with at all times. 

Aircraft capacity 

  • Can facilitate Boeing 737 to 767 

  • Can receive military C-17 on load restriction 

  • Can facilitate aircraft types up to Boeing 737-300 

  • Can receive Boeing 737-800 series and larger military aircrafts on load restrictions 

  • Can facilitate aircraft types up to ATR 42 series 

  • Can receive ATR 72 series and larger military aircrafts (C-130) on load restrictions 


Operation ensures terminal performs its function by utilizing two operational units – Housekeeping and Customer Service – and covers oversight on Security via the services of Aviation Security. Fire category 7. 

ARFFS shift on CAT 6, Technical Services, Flight Information Service, AVSEC and Housekeeping Unit. 

Operates ARFFS shift on CAT 4 and Housekeeping Unit. 

Apart from the three international airports, there are 24 other landing strips, but these are managed by the Public Works Department within the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities. Agents may be appointed by Public Works to maintain the airstrips. 

Following natural disasters such as tropical cyclones, volcanic eruptions, ashfall, etc, landing strips must be cleared for operations before flights can resume and these may take a few weeks. National situation reports issued by the National Disaster Management Office during an emergency response will indicate the status of landing strips around the country. 


Procedures for Foreign Registered Aircraft 

For an aircraft intending to stay and operate in Vanuatu one month or more, registration is required from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vanuatu (CAAV). 

Civil Aviation Department, Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities: 

Tel: +678 22819 

Fax: +678 23783 



For an emergency medivac aircraft arriving, a 24-hour notification must be provided to Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL) for landing approval. 

For aircrafts arriving to assist with national emergencies, a 72-hour notification must be provided to AVL for landing approval. The absolute minimum is 24 hours. This applies to military aircrafts, maritime patrol aircrafts, cargo planes delivering relief supplies and dignitaries. 

Non-Scheduled International Flights 

Step 1: Request for landing approval 

Request for landing approval to the Flight Approval Office via email to: 

Step 2: Choose a ground handling agent 

Choose a ground handling agent who will assist you with the required steps - aircraft approval, aircraft arrival and departure times, apron marshalling, parking, customs, immigration, biosecurity and fee payments:  

Step 3: Provide your flight information 

The Flight Approval Office will require you to provide the following information: 

  • Aircraft type and registration 

  • Aircraft call sign (if any) or use registration 

  • Aircraft operator details 

  • Arrival and departure aerodromes 

  • Estimated arrival time and date 

  • Estimated departure time and date 

  • Purpose of flight: humanitarian assistance, technical stop, business, etc 

Step 4: Calculate your charges 

  • Aerodrome charges: 

Aircraft Category 


Rate per 1,000 kg (or part thereof) 

Below 20,000 kg 

VUV 385.00 

20,001 kg to 60,000 kg 

VUV 533.50 

Over 60,001 kg 

VUV 803.00 

  • Flight approval: VUV 5,000 

  • Landing charges outside daylight hours: VUV 16,500 

  • Air navigation service charge: VUV 50 per 1,000 kg or part thereof 

  • ATS service outside operating hours of watch: VUV 20,000 

  • Aircraft parking: 

Parking Time 


First 12 hours 


12 to 48 hours 

14% of standard landing fee per hour 

More than 48 hours 

VUV 2,000 per day 

  • Departing passengers: VUV 3,400 per person 

  • Ground handling and border control services have their own fee schedule. For more details, please contact them directly. 

Step 5: Make your payment 

All charges payable on arrival and prior to departure must be paid by the pilot in command of the aircraft to the ground handler or authorised AVL officer at the airport, unless by prior arrangement. 



The runways across the 27 airports vary in size and surface. Most islands are only capable of receiving BN-2 Islander / twin otters, while others may handle an ATR aircraft. 


  • Most airstrips do not have lighting, air traffic control or navigation aids, firefighting equipment or perimeter fencing. It is land by sight only, so bad weather may prevent landings. 

  • Air Vanuatu provides ground handling and a check-in agent for its flights only. 

  • The terminal building in most airstrips may consist of a building with a set of scales and a small baggage trolley. 

Fuel Service Charges 

Fuel services are not readily available for unscheduled flights. It is important for emergency response aircrafts to order fuel supplies several days in advance in Vanuatu. 

Refuelling services for aircrafts are only available in Port Vila and Espiritu Santo. All aircrafts must carry enough fuel to return to these locations to refuel. There is a fuel depot at Whitegrass Airport, but refuelling service is only available for the Twin Otter and BN-2 Islander. 

The Air Vanuatu domestic flight route map below depicts all services that start and finish in either Santo or Port Vila. 


Find below the estimated cost of jet fuel as at 19 July 2023. 


Price per 200 litre drum 


VUV 12,857 (US$ 109.40) 


VUV 50,522 (US$ 430.00) 


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