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Aircraft entering and departing Australia

​​​​​All Aircraft must enter or depart Australia at an airport that is designated as an international airport unless prior permission has been given.

International flights are operated in either one of two categories:

  • Scheduled
  • Non-scheduled.

For both categories, you must contact the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (DITRDCA) 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 DITRDCA website.

Non-scheduled international flights at Designated International Airports

DITRDCA 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 DITRDCA International Charter Guidelines.

Contact the DITRDCA in advance if you are unsure if a proposed flight is exempt. DITRDCA will then consider if it is appropriate to grant permission or provide an exemption.

All 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.

Requests that do not contain the necessary information will not be considered until all information is provided.​

This is a registration of the flight and does not replace the need to satisfy other requirements 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 submit an International Flight Request.

The charterer/airline is the person who is paying for, or organising the service.

A request must be submitted 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.

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 relevant ABF airport office before arrival via email.

The ABF may seek additional information if required.

Non-scheduled international flight movements at a non‑designated airport

In addition to the above, non-scheduled flights may require approval to enter or depart a non-designated airport for the purpose of Customs, Immigration, Infrastructure and Biosecurity requirements.

This approval is provided through the National Passenger Processing Committee (NPPC) and lodged via the Air and Sea Approval Portal.

The airport and the number of crew and passengers on board determines whether an application must be submitted to the NPPC or alternatively, just ABF and DAFF.

If you are unsure if an application is required, refer to the NPPC Airport guide, if you are unable to locate the airport, contact nppc@abf.gov.au.

An NPPC application is NOT required for military aircraft arriving at or departing from an Australian military airfield/base. An NPPC application may be required for military flights using charter aircraft through non-designated airports (including an Australian military airfield/base). If you are unsure if an application is required, refer to the  NPPC Airport guide.

The NPPC application must be submitted a minimum of 10 business days (Monday to Friday) before the arrival or departure date of the intended flight.

NPPC applications received within 10 business days of travel must provide exceptional circumstances, including any supporting evidence, with their application.

How to apply to the NPPC

Create an Account in ASAP

Instructions for how to register an account in ASAP can be found in the Account Registration User Guide.

If you are part of an organisation that has multiple aircraft/flights, or multiple staff submitting NPPC applications, an organisation login should be registered first.

You will need to register your organisation with a primary user (Organisation Administrator). Once the log in has been created, the administrator will be responsible for individuals within the organisation to approve representative accounts for new users. If a change to the organisation administrator is required, please email the NPPC Secretariat – nppc@abf.gov.au

Organisation Administrator – Refer to page 3 of the Account Registration User Guide.

Organisation Representative - Refer to page 5 of the Account Registration User Guide.

Individual registration for Single User - Refer to page 7 of the Account Registration User Guide​.

How to lodge an application

An NPPC application must be lodged through the Air and Sea Approvals Portal.

You will need to create a user account before you can lodge an application.

For guidance on how to lodge an application please refer to the Application Quick Reference Guide.

The NPPC application must be submitted a minimum of 10 business days (Monday to Friday) before the arrival or departure date of the intended flight. For further guidance, please refer to the Application Quick Reference Guide.

NPPC applications received within 10 business days must provide exceptional circumstances, including any supporting evidence, with their application.

Applicants are able to track the status of all their applications through the ASAP.

Approved applications

The applicant will receive an email notification with the approval and any the specific conditions and charges, which must be read, acknowledged and accepted in the portal. Any deviation from the conditions may result in an infringement notice.

Amendment to applications

Once an application has been submitted in the portal, it is unable to be altered. Ensure all details are entered correctly and rechecked prior to submitting the form.

If there are minor changes applicants should contact the ABF and DAFF District Office to confirm the changes are acceptable. For example:

  • arrival/departure time (eg <6 hrs on the same day);
  • aircraft type/registration; or
  • passenger numbers.

If significant changes are required, new NPPC approval is required and the application has to be withdrawn in order to submit a new one. If this does occur, you will have the opportunity to ‘copy’ your previous application in the system to pre-populate your new form.

Refused applications

The applicant will be notified of the reason for the refusal and advised of alternative designated international airports. A revised application may be submitted that addresses the concerns of the NPPC. An airline carrier may appeal the refused application and will need to provide compelling reasons for the NPPC committee to review the application. Requests within 10 business days of the requested flight will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

For further guidance, please refer to the Application Quick Reference Guide​.

How to contact the National Passenger Processing Committee

The NPPC operates Monday – Friday 8.30 am – 4.30 pm AEST (excluding public holidays). You can contact the NPPC by emailing nppc@abf.gov.au.

Emails received outside of business hours will be responded to the next business day.

Non-NPPC applications

If NPPC approval is not required, the applicant must contact the relevant ABF and DAFF Regional or District offices as indicated in the NPPC Airport Guide (1301KB PDF) to request permission to enter or depart Australia.

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 DAFF 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.

Additional forms

Following approval by either NPPC or ABF and DAFF, 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 DAFF.

Form​ Details
Form 3 - Inbound and Outbound Crew ReportAll crew on the aircraft – arrival and departure
Form 2A - Inbound Passenger Report (face sheet)All passengers on the aircraft.
Form 2B - Passenger ReportAll passenger information
General Declaration/ Passenger DeclarationNil specific form. Discuss requirements with ABF.
Form B960 - NIL Cargo ManifestOutwards only
Form B364 - Impending Arrival - CargoImpending arrival can be reported online via ICS
Form B358 - Arrival Report - CargoArrival can be reported online in IC​​S
Form B958 - Certificate of Clearance - Departure​​Provided to the Captain on departure

Resources​​