Unless prior permission has been given, all Aircraft must enter or depart Australia at an airport that is designated as an international airport.
International flights are operated in either one of two categories:
For both categories, you must contact the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDC) before the flight and prior to an application to arrive or depart an Australian airport.
Scheduled international passenger and freight flights
For airlines and operators proposing to operate scheduled international air services into or out of Australia, see the
Non-scheduled international flights
DITRDC is also responsible for approving non-scheduled international charter flights to or from Australia. There are specific exemptions, such as a single charter flight that does not form part of a program.
To ensure you have a clear understanding of the permission and application requirements for non-scheduled international flights refer to the DITRDC
International Charter Guidelines.
Contact the DITRDC in advance if you are unsure if a proposed flight is exempt.
DITRDC will either grant permission or an exemption.
Application for Non-scheduled international flights
All non-scheduled commercial charter flights must make an international flight request via the Australian Border Force’s (ABF) Air and Sea Approval Portal no less than 72 hours or up to 7 days before the proposed flight for consideration by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
Requests that do not contain the necessary information will not be considered until all information is provided.
This request does not replace the need for other applications required by law for passengers and aircraft entering Australia, or Australian air space.
The charter/flight operator (the operator), that is the person who actually owns or operates the aircraft used for the non-scheduled service, must make the application for an International Flight Request.
The charterer/airline is the person who is paying for, or organising the service.
An application must be made for each individual flight leg through the portal and must be lodged with the ABF no less than 72 hours or up to 7 days prior to the commencement of the proposed flights. Multi-leg flights can be linked together by entering the reference number from a previous flight request to a new flight request.
The application must have:
- the name, address and contact details of the operator
- the name, address and contact details of the charterer
- the nationality of the interests which have substantial ownership and effective control of the operator
- the nationality of the interests which have substantial ownership and effective control of the charterer
- the type and capacity of the aircraft being used for the flights, and whether it is leased or owned by the charter operator
- whether the flights will carry only passengers, cargo or mail, and if the services are carrying cargo, the type of cargo
- a passenger list (a template is provided when you apply)
- if State or Territory quarantine approval has been applied for separately and approved, evidence of approval must be attached to your application.
The operator must provide all passengers with the ABF Privacy notice (123KB PDF) when their personal information is collected. This outlines the purpose of collection and the ABF’s use of the passenger’s data. Charter Operators will be asked to acknowledge this information has been provided to passengers.
Final passenger lists are required no later than 72 hours prior to departure and your final seating plan will need to be provided prior to flight arrival via email.
A final seating plan must also be provided to the ABF before arrival via email by responding to your ABF flight confirmation email.
The ABF may seek additional information in order to consider the request.
You will be notified by the ABF the outcome of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications decision.
Non-scheduled international flights arriving at a non‑designated airport
Under certain circumstances, non-scheduled flights require permission to enter a non-designated airport for the purpose of Customs, Immigration and Agriculture.
This approval is through the National Passenger Processing Committee (NPPC) or Australian Border Force (ABF) and Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE).
The airport and the number of crew and passengers on board determine whether the application must be submitted to either the NPPC or ABF and DAWE.
An NPPC application is also required for military charter flights arriving and departing non-designated airports.
NPPC Airport Guide
If you are unsure if an application is required, contact the
Apply to the NPPC
The NPPC assesses applications that require either approval or non-approval.
NPPC Application form and email to
The NPPC application must be submitted a minimum of 10 business days (Monday to Friday) before the arrival or departure of the intended flight.
NPPC applications received within 10 business days will only be considered for exceptional circumstances.
The applicant will receive an email with an official letter of approval along with specific conditions and changes, which must be read, agreed and adhered to. Any deviation from the conditions may result in the application being cancelled, penalties applied, or both.
The applicant will be notified of the reason for the refusal and advised of alternative airports. A revised application can be submitted that addresses the concerns of the NPPC if time permits.
If NPPC approval is not required, the applicant must contact the relevant ABF and DAWE Regional or District offices to request permission to enter or depart Australia according to the
NPPC Airport Guide
Applicants may need to agree to additional conditions and charges to meet regulatory requirements and allow border agencies to facilitate entry or departure.
Applicants are required to contact the relevant ABF and DAWE Regional or District offices
no later than 72 hours prior to the arrival or departure of the intended flight for non-NPPC applications.
Requests inside this time will only be considered for exceptional circumstances.
Where an application is not approved, the applicant will be advised as to the reasons for the refusal. Applicants may need to negotiate an alternative arrival and departure time if it conflicts with a scheduled flight or a change of airport. To check if you will need to submit an NPPC application see the
NPPC Airport Guide
Following approval by either NPPC or ABF and DAWE, additional forms will be required. Submit these additional forms to the ABF Regional offices for arrivals and departures.
The appropriate form is dependent on the particulars of the flight. Confirm specific reporting requirements with the ABF and DAWE.
For additional advice regard COVID-19 and the border see
Industry and employers page.