Aircraft Operators

Under the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 (ATSA) and Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005 (ATSR), operators of prescribed air services have particular security responsibilities. This affects operators of the following air services:

      • regular public transport operations;
      • air services in which a jet is used; and
      • an air service in which an aircraft with a certified maximum take-off weight greater than 5,700kg is used.

These operators are required to implement security measures on board an aircraft to safeguard the aircraft, its passengers and crew, including:

  • the use of hardened cockpit doors and accompanying procedures to prevent unauthorised access to the flight deck;
  • conducting pre-flight security checks of the aircraft; and
  • training crew members to deal with unruly passengers or threatening situations.

These measures and other important information required to meet aviation security obligations must be set out in the aircraft operator's transport security program (TSP). It is an offence for a prescribed air service to operate without an approved TSP.

Transport security programs (TSP)

The ATSA requires certain aviation participants to submit, hold and maintain an approved transport security program (TSP). For more information refer to the guidance and a template for preparing a TSP.

Important note: High risk cargo requirements have been introduced for aircraft operators from 1 November 2016. Aircraft operators with existing TSPs need only update their TSP to incorporate the high risk cargo requirements when their TSP is next revised or when it expires. The template for an aircraft operator transport security program (TSP) has been updated to reflect these changes.

Aviation security identification card (ASIC)

Aircraft operators that fly in or out of security controlled airports also have an obligation to comply with and support the security measures in place at those airports. This includes the display of an ASIC by employees accessing security restricted locations.

Find out more about aviation security identification cards (ASICs), visitor identification cards (VICs), temporary aircrew cards (TACs)

Aviation security screening

Aviation security screening of passengers and baggage before boarding/loading an aircraft is an important security layer and is the responsibility of authorised screening authorities. Find more information about aviation security screening standards and the responsibilities of screening authorities.

Movement of persons in custody

Under the ATSR, if a person in custody needs to travel on a prescribed air service, the agency responsible for the person must notify the aircraft operator and provide certain information about the person travelling. The aircraft operator must advise the pilot in command that a person in custody is being carried on the aircraft before the aircraft departs. Find out more about the movement of persons in custody.

Reporting aviation security incidents

All aircraft operators, whether prescribed or not, are responsible for managing and reporting aviation security incidents to the Department.

Regulatory guidance and templates

A range of guidance, templates and resources for aviation industry participants.