Papua New Guinea Defence Force |Air Transport Squadron

of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force

Key Facts

Short Name: ATS
Nickname: unknown
Main Role: Transport
Secondary Role: n/a
First Formed: n/a
Parent Unit: Air Operations Element
Current Status: Disbanded


The Air Transport Squadron of the PNG Defence Force was formed circa 1985, when sufficent aircraft had been obtained to establish a dedicated unit. In 1988 the arrival of the IAI Arava allowed the squadron to be sub-divided into two flights – ‘A’ Flight operating the Arava and ‘B’ Flight operating the N.22 Nomad.

A serious decline in aircraft serviceability during the 1990s led to the two flights being merged back into the squadron command structure and eventually the squadron itself being merged back into Air Operations Element.

Subordinate Units

‘A’ Flight [1988-1995]
‘B’ Flight [1988-1995]


Type Qty Service Example Serials
Douglas C-47B 6 1975 – 1988 P2-001, P2-005
Piper PA-23 Aztec 1 197? – 198? P2-010
GAF N22B Nomad 6 1977 – 1998 P2-011, P2-015
IAI Arava 201 3 1985 – 2008 P2-021, P2-023
Bell UH-1H Iroquois 5 1989 – 1998 P2-0401, P2-0405
CASA CN235M 2 1991 – 1998 P2-0501, P2-0502

Unit Markings

Air Transport Squadron


Main Bases

Base Duration
Jacksons International Airport 1985 – 1998


None currently available.

More Information


Other Sources

To be added.

One thought on “Papua New Guinea Defence Force |Air Transport Squadron

  1. Fact: The AIR Transport Squadron was NOT formed ‘circa 1985’. ATS was a going concern operating former RAAF DC3’s out of the civil terminal in Lae, Morobe Province. GAF Nomads arrived and operated out of Lae from 1977.With the closure of Lae airport, there was talk of the Squadron going to Nadzab. Government policy decided that Port Moresby was to be the major location for the PNGDF. DC3’s and Nomads were made serviceable by controlled cannibalisation of parts and got to Moresby
    where they basically deteriorated due to lack of funds.

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