Q. What sort of aircraft do you operate?
A. Our fleet of Cessna aircraft currently consist of two Cessna 206’s and one Cessna 207. These are considered the workhorses of general aviation. The reason our prices are so economical is because of the reliability and versatility of our aircraft. Utilising all our aircraft we can carry up 16 people at a time, all seats with a window and wing above for good visibility These models have proven themselves over and over again in diverse roles in all corners of the world and are ideally suited to the conditions we experience in Vanuatu. See our Air Charter page.
Q. Who does the maintenance on the aeroplanes
A. Air Taxi Vanuatu has the unique position of having it’s own Licensed Aircraft Engineer. This means we can carry out scheduled routine maintenance without having to wait around for an engineer to finish with another company or have to fly the aircraft out of country. It also means if there is ever a problem with an aircraft we can fix it immediately. We have had no dispatch delays due to engineering in 3 years.
Q. How experienced are your pilots?
A. All of our pilots have as a minimum qualification a Commercial Pilot Licence and an Instrument Rating. Many are trained in New Zealand or Australia and the company has a comprehensive training program that exceeds the Civil Aviation Authority Vanuatu requirements. Pilots are given specific in country training alongside experienced company pilots before being checked to operate as Pilot in Command. We take safety seriously and will never compromise standards. We select our staff for their flying ability and their life experience. See our ‘About Us’ .
Q. Is it dangerous?
A. As long as you employ some common sense and follow the instructions of your guide, it’s not. What makes Mt Yasur volcano such a fantastic volcano to visit is that it is constantly putting on a fireworks show. This means it is continually venting, producing regular, predictable eruptions. Our guides have been bringing people here for decades and hold the safety of all clients as their utmost priority…they need to do so, they are there with you!
Q. Is your Tanna Tour suitable for people of all ages?
A. The tour involves a short walk up hill from the car park to the crater rim. As long as you are mobile, can climb in and out of 4WD cars and have a very moderate level fitness this tour will be no problem.
Q. How active is the volcano right now?
A. The volcanic activity is monitored by Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory with telemetry equipment located right at Mt Yasur. They broadcast an activity level based on observations and monitoring. The current activity level is updated on their website and ranges from Level 0 (Normal low-level activity) to Level 4 (Very large eruption, island-wide danger). On any given day, the guides who visit the volcano, assess and manage the risk and judge how close the group can get to the crater rim. These people have grown up with the volcano on their back door step and know the volcano the best. Your safety is always the number one priority and so long as you follow their instructions there is very little risk. We like to get you close enough for it to be exciting but not too close to be dangerous!
Q.Is there an age limit for children on the volcano tour?
A. The volcanic tour operator we use is Tanna Evergreen Resort & Tours. They suggest that children over 4 are mature enough to appreciate the experience. Keep in mind this is an active volcano! There are loud explosions and sulphur fumes (not good for small lungs). There is always the possibility that they might get just a bit too close to the edge of the crater. Young children would need to be supervised constantly and that would take your attention and your enjoyment away from the volcano. There is the possibility that you may have to move quickly if lava bombs land nearby to the viewing area, and the ground is uneven volcanic rock which would be a hazard to young children (or a baby being held) if they were to trip over. There are no fences to stop children from wandering into danger.
Apart from the possibility of a wayward child falling in, consider how your children might react to an active volcano. It is loud, much louder than a fireworks display. There are also noticeable ground tremors, similar to earthquakes. Young children can be shaken or even quite distressed by these. The noise and bombs landing nearby can be unnerving even for adults.
The trip to Mt. Yasur is a great trip, a once in a lifetime experience and people highly recommend it as a “Real Adventure”. Tanna Evergreen Resort recommends that the young children and babies stay in the comfort of the resort and get pampered by their staff babysitters for the day or evening.
Q. What is the 4WD trip to the volcano like?
A. The road to Mt Yasur is part of the adventure! If you come expecting a safaris on a 4WD track you will be pleasantly surprised. The trip one way takes 1 and ½ hours from Tanna Evergreen Resort where both the day tour and overnight tour depart from. The drivers know the road intimately and ensure they give you the smoothest ride possible. There are sections that become rutted after heavy rain, there is a small river to ford and the potholes that are common in Vanuatu make their presence known. Try riding in the back of the pickup if you can. The fresh air is great and you can stand up! You will see a lot of pickup trucks with seats and cushions positioned in the back. Come with a sense of adventure and you won’t b e disappointed.