Aviation security

An efficient, safe, and secure aviation system is integral to Australia's social and economic well-being. Australia's aviation industry aids both travel and trade, connecting our cities and towns and Australia to the rest of the world.

Australia takes a comprehensive approach to help safeguard Australia's aviation transport system from terrorism and acts of unlawful interference. This approach is based on the principle of 'security in depth', meaning the more layers of security, the less chance an attack will occur or be successful.

Regulation of aviation security in Australia

The Australian Government regulates the security of the Australian aviation environment through the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 (ATSA) and the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005 (ATSR). The purpose of the ATSA is to establish a regulatory framework to safeguard against unlawful interference with civil aviation and maintain and improve aviation security. This is done in accordance with international standards and practices set out in Annex 17 of the Chicago Convention administered by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The Department is responsible for administering the ATSA and ATSR, while aviation industry participants, such as airport and aircraft operators, are responsible for delivering security on a day-to-day basis.

Transport security programs (TSPs)

The ATSA requires certain aviation industry participants to submit, hold and maintain an approved transport security program (TSP).

A TSP sets out the measures and procedures that aviation industry participants need to implement to meet their obligations under the ATSA and ATSR. It demonstrates that they:

  • are aware of their responsibility to contribute to the maintenance of aviation security;
  • have in place an integrated, responsible and proactive approach to managing aviation security;
  • have the capacity to meet the specific obligations imposed under the ATSA; and
  • have taken into account their local security risk context in developing activities and strategies for managing aviation security.

Find out more about the requirements for your specific operations

  • All security controlled airports must implement security measures based on their local security risk profile and operating environment.

  • Operators are required to implement security measures on board an aircraft to safeguard the aircraft, its passengers and crew.

  • Security screening at Australian airports is the responsibility of authorised screening authorities. The Australian Government sets the standards for aviation security screening, but it is individual airports, airlines and their contractors that have direct responsibility for delivering security screening services on the ground. Find more information on security screening requirements and training.

  • All aviation industry participants are responsible for managing and reporting aviation security incidents to the Department.

  • Persons authorised to access secure areas of a security controlled airport have an obligation to comply with and support the security measures in place at that airport, including the display of aviation security identification cards (ASICs). Find out more about ASICs.

  • Information about the movement of persons in custody by air.


Last Updated: 4 May, 2017