Airport Operators

Airports that receive regular passenger transport or open charter aircraft are declared by the Department to be 'security controlled airports'. Other airports may also be declared security controlled, depending on circumstances such as their location and/or the nature of their operations.

Under the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 (ATSA) and Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005 (ATSR) all security controlled airports must implement security measures based on their local security risk profile and operating environment. These measures and other important information required to meet aviation security obligations must be set out in the airport 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.

Security zones

Some parts of an airport are of particular security relevance because they contain critical infrastructure, such as aircraft or air traffic control facilities. The Department may establish security zones around these areas, and require airport operators to put additional security measures in place to manage them.

Special event zones (SEZs)

The purpose of an SEZ is to establish an area at a security controlled airport that has a different set of security requirements from the broader area it is created within to allow for greater flexibility in using that area. SEZs are generally used to support events at security controlled airports which involve large numbers of people who would otherwise need to undergo a security identification process to enter the area.

Examples of events include:

  • air shows and other public events at an airport, such as motorsports at regional airports;
  • commercial activities, such as the opening of a new hangar or display of a new aircraft;
  • official activities, such as the arrival or departure of foreign dignitaries or VIPs;
  • irregular events, such as the arrival of a diverted international aircraft at a domestic airport; or
  • construction work at an airport.

Refer to the SEZ guidance and application form for more information.

Aviation security identification cards (ASICs)

Airport operators are responsible for ensuring that anyone working unescorted in secure areas of the airport or undertaking security relevant roles such as airport security guards and screening officers, displays an ASIC.

Find out more about aviation security identification cards (ASICs) and visitor identification cards (VICs).

Aviation security screening

Security screening of passengers and baggage prior to loading an aircraft is an important security layer.

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 airport operators, whether security controlled or not, have a responsibility to manage and report aviation security incidents to the Department.

Regulatory guidance and templates

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