Boosting Papua New Guinea’s Aviation Capability

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CANBERRA: The Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) have taken another step forward in their strong aviation partnership.

At the Australian International Airshow, Australia’s Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, AO, DSC, and Papua New Guinea’s Chief of Defence Force, Major‑General Mark Goina, signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Implementing Arrangement to facilitate the delivery of two new PAC-750XL aircraft to the PNGDF in 2023.

The two aircraft will increase the PNGDF’s sovereign aviation capabilities, which provide important services to the Government and people of Papua New Guinea.

The PAC-750XL aircraft will provide the PNGDF with additional transport and operational capacity to respond to domestic and regional incidents, and will have the ability to be quickly reconfigured for different activities.

Through their longstanding defence cooperation, Australia and Papua New Guinea continue to address Papua New Guinea’s security priorities. The PAC-750XL aircraft will provide new opportunities for ADF and PNGDF personnel to work alongside one another and make both defence forces even closer.

Gen Campbell said the ADF was proud to assist its Papua New Guinea partners build their sovereign aviation capabilities. “This is another significant chapter in our aviation cooperation, following Australia’s support to the PNGDF to help re-establish the airworthiness of its first PAC-750XL aircraft in 2021,” Gen Campbell said.

Maj Gen Goina said, “It is a momentous lift in the PNGDF Air Wing’s ability to serve our Government and our people, and will enhance the PNGDF’s ability to serve our people in the remotest corners of our nation.

Australia and Papua New Guinea are partnering on aviation safety, maintenance and sustainment throughout the operational life of the aircraft through their joint Flights of Excellence programme. This will include continuing joint training and capacity building activities between ADF and PNGDF personnel.

This milestone builds on Australia and Papua New Guinea’s existing defence aviation cooperation. This includes a sister squadron relationship between the RAAF No. 35 Squadron and the PNGDF Air Transport Wing, as well as the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on maintenance and training by the PNGDF and the RAAF in 2022.

The Australian Department of Defence statement said that the first aircraft will be delivered by April and the second by September 2023. –dd/mgm/mhi (Pix: RAAF/Defence)

Chief of the Defence Force Gen Angus Campbell and the Commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, Maj Genl Mark Goina, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries at the Australian International Airshow 2023 in Avalon, Victoria. (Top pix: The PAC-750XL aircraft)