In order to achieve this under government auspices, the airline was then entrusted to the control of the Colombian Air Force, initiating its first operations with the routes Bogotá - Leticia and Leticia - Tarapacá - El Encanto - Puerto Leguízamo. The Government equipped the company with one C-54, two C-47, two Beaver L-20 aircraft, and later added two PBY Catalina amphibious aircraft, property of the Rotatory Fund of the Colombian Air Force. Later, in 1964, it added three additional C-47 and two more C-54 aircraft, all of them donated by the United States International Development Agency.
In 1965, SATENA, in coordination with the Bank of Bogotá, began a new service named AeroBanco, which was created to facilitate air travel to other areas largely or completely inaccessible by road.
Due to great success in the areas served by the airline, President Carlos Lleras Restrepo put into effect Law 80 of December 12 1968 where it was decreed that SATENA would be treated as a public establishment, with all legal functions controlled by the Ministry of National Defence
In 1972, SATENA acquired newer British-Built AVRO HS-748 turboprop aircraft capable of carrying 48 passengers. Between 1984 and 1985, the airline incorporated two Fokker F28 jet aircraft with the capacity to transport 65 passengers.
Since its creation, the airline has performed many public services on behalf of the Colombian people, having provided service during crises in the country's history, as was the case of the Huila and Cauca earthquake of June 6 1994, when SATENA performed search and rescue operations, airlifted local residents, as well as transporting needed medicines, foods and aid in general to the site of the tragedy.
In 1996, the largest modernisation of the airline began, with the arrival of six Dornier Do328 turboprop aircraft capable of carrying 32 passengers. These aircraft represent the new generation of equipment for regional routes.
In 2004, SATENA became the airline with the newest and most modern aerial fleet in Colombia, when it incorporated two new Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft, allowing it to perform faster and more efficient services to its mostly isolated destinations.
The new Embraer 170 will be used to increase frequencies on existing routes and to open new domestic destinations. These will include Barranquilla, Leticia, Riohacha, Valledupar, La Primavera, El Encanto and Yopal.
SATENA fleet consists of the following aircraft: