PHL are part of Taranaki Regional Council's emergency response plan. This means if a civil emergency is declared in Taranaki, PHL will immediately become available to assist in any way possible including evacuations, supply of provisions and rescues.
Being located at New Plymouth airport means PHL are strategically located to respond quickly in the event of a civil defence emergency or a search and rescue effort.
Helping Protect Taranaki
Our location means we can not only serve the Taranaki region but also the Whanganui-Manawatū and further north on the Central Plateau and in the South Waikato. We have also responded to emergencies on the South Island's West Coast.
Floods & Mountain Rescues
During the Waitotara floods in 2017, we were one of the first aerial support companies on the scene, air-lifting evacuees out and flying in provisions for rescue teams and those remaining to battle out the waters.
Also, on multiple occasions, our chief pilot, Matt Newton has been part of search and rescue teams as the pilot helping find and fly stranded climbers off Mt Taranaki.
2016 Kaikōura Earthquake Relief Work
Immediately after the Kaikōura Earthquake in 2016, we responded by deploying six aircraft from across all of our bases to assist with evacuations, flying in provisions to stranded properties, transporting geologists, roading and infrastructure teams and aerial sluicing of land slides.
Retrieve & Return
But it's not just people we've responded to in emergencies, we've also been called out to rescue the likes of vehicles and quad bikes broken down or bogged out in remote locations. Or stock such as cows and sheep stuck in difficult terrain and needing a ride home to the farm.
Although we are part of the region's emergency response plan and have carried out many successful search and rescue missions, in such situations we are always led by and serve a larger organisational team. In other words, we're not a rescue helicopter company. If there are injured people involved you should always contact emergency services first on 111.
Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand 24-Hour Emergency Number
Within New Zealand: 0508 472 269
Internationally: +64 4 577 8030
Need to know more about SAR?
To find out more about our emergency and search and rescue capabilities, send a message or give us a call.