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PAC 750XL pair presented to Papua New Guinea

RAAF and PNG defence personnel next to the PAC-750XL at the Air Transport Wing, Port Moresby (Defence, SQNLDR David Thornton)

Australia has now gifted Papua New Guinea’s air force two new PAC 750XLs.

Australia has now gifted Papua New Guinea’s air force two new PAC 750XLs.

The utility aircraft, created by the newly named NZ Aero, can take off and land on shorter, less-prepared airfields common in the country’s diverse terrain.

PNG’s Defence Force (PNGDF) will also use the aircraft to train new pilots, aircrew and maintenance personnel going through its Flights of Excellence program supported by RAAF.


Australian Assistant Minister for Defence Matt Thistlethwaite and PNG Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso attended a formal handover ceremony in December at Port Moresby.

“The two aircraft will create new opportunities for our forces to work together, building on our longstanding defence partnership,” said Thistlethwaite.

It comes after Australia remediated PNG’s existing PAC 750XL in 2021, meaning the country now has a fleet of three.

“These two aircraft are very important platforms that will be brought into service in the PNGDF Air Transport Wing [ATW],” said Rosso.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank Australia for effectively supporting the Flights of Excellence program, as this pathway has laid the foundations for building PNGDF sovereign air operations.

“I would also like to thank the Australian government for the refurbishment of the ATW hangar. This is a significant investment into building PNGDF’s sovereign air capability. It is a significant contribution by Australia towards ensuring peace, security and stability in our region and provides opportunities for PNGDF and ADF to work together as partners.”

Australian Aviation previously reported on the deal in March.

The agreement formed part of a broader memorandum of understanding between the two nations to bring them together and improve PNG’s sovereign aviation capabilities.

The new PAC 750XL aircraft will specifically provide additional transport and operational capacity to respond to domestic and regional incidents while also being able to be reconfigured for different activities.

The aircraft type was certified in 2003 and has become a New Zealand success story, operating in 28 countries.

It has recently been replaced by a sequel, the SuperPac 750XL-II, which was unveiled last month.

Director PNG Sovereign Air Capability Group Captain Stephen Fielder has been an integral part of the Flights of Excellence program since its beginning in 2019.

“Walking alongside my PNGDF counterparts as together we rebuild and develop PNG’s sovereign aviation capability continues to be a richly rewarding experience,” Group Captain Fielder said.

“Having been closely involved in the PAC 750XL acquisition and gifting project from inception to delivery, I am thrilled to finally see the aircraft now accepted into the PNGDF.”

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