In 2006, Air Taxi Vanuatu began offering domestic medevac services for the Vanuatu Government’s Ministry of Health. To date, Air Taxi has successfully carried out more than 1000 medical retrieval missions and medevacs, transporting patients from remote outer islands to the capital, Port Vila. In 2012, Air Taxi commenced international medevac flight operations to New Caledonia, utilising a BN2 Islander aircraft. More than 50 international missions have been completed.
In the early days, Air Taxi Vanuatu worked collaboratively with local doctors and emergency medical providers, like ProMedical Vanuatu. In 2010, conversations towards formalising and evolving this organic partnership began, and today we have the South Pacific Air Ambulance Service.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2016 between ProMedical Vanuatu, Médipôle Private Hospital, and Air Taxi Vanuatu and formalised as a Joint Venture Partnership in 2017.
In 2016, SPAA made history by introducing the first ever Vanuatu-registered and Vanuatu-based sole-purpose, jet-prop air ambulance aircraft, capable of transferring patients from Vanuatu to Australia and New Zealand.
We are proudly a Vanuatu legacy operation that is being built now, for the future.
ProMedical is a non-government organisation (NGO) which has provided 24-hour international standard intensive care paramedic ambulance services throughout Vanuatu for more than a decade.
ProMedical’s mission is to provide reliable and affordable emergency medical services to the community. In doing so ProMedical augments the under-funded government health system, providing support to the investment and tourism sectors and also guarantees important emergency resources in the event of a natural disaster or major incident.
As part of the South Pacific Air Ambulance Service, ProMedical provides additional services which include local and overseas aero-medical evacuations. ProMedical also provides pre-hospital medical assistance, mortal remains repatriation, first aid training and AED sales. ProMedical operates Vanuatu’s only hyperbaric chamber on behalf of an Australian company, Hyperbaric Partners Limited.
ProMedical is highly respected throughout the country, as well as internationally, and caters to local and expatriate residents as well as tourists. ProMedical receives no direct funding from the Vanuatu government or any aid agencies therefore relies on funding via sponsorship from local businesses and through subscriptions from Ni-Vanuatu, expatriate residents and businesses within the local community.
Médipôle Private Hospital is one of Port Vila’s premier medical facilities. The hospital offers patients access to a wide range of specialists, including general practitioners, emergency medical physicians, cardiologists, dermatologists, gynaecologists and radiologists. Since April 2013, the team at Médipôle Private Hospital has worked to improve health care delivery in Vanuatu.
Every month, well established medical specialists consult and operate out of Médipôle Private Hospital. The hospital places a special effort on its investment in advanced medical equipment. The hospital has staff fluent in four languages, French, English, Italian and Bislama (national language of Vanuatu).
Air Taxi Vanuatu is part of the Pacific Air Services Group, comprising the General Aviation operation of Air Taxi, its maintenance facility, Airworx Engineering, and the group’s leasing arm, Air Leasing Pacific Ltd. Air Taxi Vanuatu currently operates seven aircraft
Flight safety is the mainstay of the company culture; they are Civil Aviation Authority of Vanuatu (CAAV) compliant, and their pilots are trained to exceed the Authority standards.
Air Taxi Vanuatu operations are monitored by CAAV regulators as well as the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) in accordance with internationally-set standards of safety, emanating from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Regulations are stringent, specifying aircraft operations, maintenance, and pilot training. Air Taxi is audited annually by Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand air operations and airworthiness inspectors.
We are committed to the very highest standards of patient safety. Safety is paramount and is the first, last, and constant concern of all our operations. We adhere to and embrace a “Just Culture”, in accordance with New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority Safety Management System guidelines and regulations. This concept promotes open communication between team members, creating a meaningful and active safety program.
- Life raft carried in all aircraft.
- World-wide GPS tracking system installed in all aircraft.
Doctor JP King graduated from the University of Paris Pierre et Marie Curie, specialising in emergency medicine, intensive care, and disaster medicine. Doctor King is highly experienced in the field of trauma and intensive care in remote locations. He has worked in emergency medicine in the West Indies and was involved in the creation of the first private emergency facility in Martinique. His passion for aviation led him into performing extensive aeromedical work for various operations in France, New Caledonia and the West Indies. He has flown helicopter retrieval missions for France’s SAMU agency and the French Army and over many years has gained vast experience in a broad range of fixed wing medevac operations in aircraft ranging from Cessna 406 to Falcon 50 jet.
Chief of Flight Operations
Captain Beckley boasts over 35 years of professional flying experience and brings a huge wealth of aviation knowledge to the organisation. Since gaining her licence at age 19, she has amassed some 20,000 flying hours.
Lisa achieved her Commercial Pilots Licence and became a flight instructor, while graduating with a BSc from Arizona State University. She worked for a number of commuter airlines, before achieving Captaincy on the Airbus A321 for American Airlines.
Upon returning to her native Hawaii with the intention of easing into her flying retirement, she could not give up on her passion and took on a new challenge with very specific responsibilities and duties, Check Airmen and Training Captain on Boeing 737.
Lisa also currently holds the position of Chief Pilot for Air Taxi Vanuatu.
Director of Aircraft Maintenance Control
Brian Johnston has been a Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (L.A.M.E) for over 20 years, building relationships and alliances with key partners throughout the South Pacific during his career. As Director of Aircraft Maintenance Control for SPAA, Brian is eminently qualified having held the positions of Chief Engineer for Air Vanuatu and Director of Maintenance for Solomon Airways, where he was instrumental in introducing their A320. His achievements in previous roles are a testament to his high-level project management skills.
Brian is a business leader in Vanuatu, having owned and operated his own Airworx Engineering Ltd for over 10 years, and along with his technical skills, SPAA is also proud to have a respected businessman as Director of Aircraft Maintenance Control.
We are committed to providing safe, compassionate, immediate and efficient air medical transportation within Vanuatu and internationally, servicing the South Pacific and Australasia.
- Critical rapid response times
- Vanuatu & across the South Pacific
- Insurance liaison
- Ground transport coordination
- Medical flight