Aircraft are required to enter Australia at an airport that has been appointed as an international airport, unless prior permission has been obtained.

A comprehensive list of designated international airports can be located on the Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s website.

Given the limited resources or infrastructure at non-international and/or non-designated airports, it is highly recommended that operators intending to arrive/depart Australia do so from a major international airport.

The National Passenger Processing Committee

The National Passenger Processing Committee (NPPC) co-ordinates the exercise of various statutory controls and responsibilities carried out at airports. One of the NPPC’s functions is to review approval requests from aircraft operators/pilots arriving or departing from non-international and/or non-designated airports where there is no permanent Department of Immigration and Border Protection or Department of Agriculture presence.

The NPPC consists of:

  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection;
  • Department of Agriculture;
  • Department of Infrastructure and Transport (Infrastructure);
  • Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA);
  • Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET); and
  • Australian Federal Police (AFP).

NPPC approval is not required for;

  • existing major international airports (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Darwin or Perth); or
  • restricted use international airports where there are existing international services - presently only Gold Coast (Coolangatta).

Procedures for international flights at non-international airports must be followed in all instances where NPPC approval is required. Aircraft operators/pilots should refer to the following document to identify if NPPC approval is required for the airport they wish to arrive or depart from (NB: if the airport you wish to arrive or depart from is not on the attached list NPPC approval is required):

NPPC Airport Guide (PDF 67 Kb)

Making an Application to the NPPC

If NPPC approval is required aircraft operators/pilots must provide a written request for NPPC approval to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection at least ten (10) business days prior to the flight.  The NPPC will liaise with relevant border agencies and Infrastructure in relation to resource implications and approval to land, as well as the availability and adequacy of existing facilities for processing travellers.

Application Process

Applicants are required to submit a written application (refer below) at least 10 days prior to the arrival or departure of the flight. The application form must contain the itinerary, aircraft type and numbers of passengers/crew.

NPPC Application form (PDF 392 Kb)

Form 2A Passenger report (cover sheet) (PDF 610 Kb)

Form 2B - Passenger report (PDF 708 Kb)

Pdf document attached Form 3 Crew Report (PDF 910 Kb)

Requests can be made submitted by mail, fax or email:

The Chairman
National Passenger Processing Committee
Passenger Operations Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
E. nppc@border.gov.au

NPPC Members will consider whether the proposed flights can be processed in a manner that enables border and biosecurity risks to be adequately addressed and that provides adequate safety and comfort for both passengers and border agency staff.

Where the NPPC members approve the application, the Chair of the NPPC will advise NPPC members including Infrastructure, who will designate that airport as an international airport for the purpose of that flight.

The aircraft operator/pilot will receive formal notification from the NPPC that the flight has been approved.  Additional conditions which will enable border agencies to facilitate the request as well as meet regulatory requirements may be included as a condition of the approval.  Such requirements must be met and agreed to by the aircraft operator/pilot before the approval takes effect.

Where a flight is not approved, the NPPC may consider alternative or revised proposals that address the concerns of the NPPC members.

Alternatively, upon refusal by the NPPC, the airport operator may make an application to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport to permanently change the international status of the airport to accommodate the services.

Information on the process of applying to change the international status of an airport can be found on the Department of Infrastructure and Transport or contact:

The General Manager
Aviation Industry Policy Branch
Aviation and Airports Division
Department of Infrastructure and Transport
GPO Box 594
T. 61 2 6274 7739
F. 61 2 6274 6749

To further assist Airport Operators in understanding requirements to become a international airport a International Airport Operator's Guide has been developed to provide existing and future Australian international airport operators with information on infrastructure and accommodation arrangements and facilities required by border and border related agencies necessary for them to carry out regulatory passenger processing and border protection functions as determined by the Australian Government.  This and further information about becoming a new international airport can be found at: International Airport Information.

Contact the NPPC

For any enquiries in relation to NPPC application please contact:

The Chair
National Passenger Processing Committee
Passenger Operations Branch
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
E. nppc@border.gov.au

Information about government and border agencies and their roles and responsibilities

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is responsible for a wide range of border protection functions on behalf of the Australian Government including border clearance and screening of passengers and crew entering and departing Australia, and regulation and clearance of the goods they bring with them. Information for airline and aircraft operators on the Department's requirements for passengers and crew can be found on our website.

The Department also provides ‘Know before you go’ brochure, which provides information on requirements for arriving and departing passengers to assist passengers in being aware of our requirements and procedures.

The Department administers the Migration Act 1958 and has the responsibility for people movement across the borders including Australian citizens and the immigration clearance of non-Australian citizens. The Department provides information for airlines and air crew on our Air travel.

Department of Agriculture

Department of Agriculture has the responsibility for protecting Australia’s agriculture industries, human health, and its unique environment against exotic pests and diseases. Biosecurity controls at Australia’s borders are governed by the Quarantine Act 1908. These controls aim to minimise the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering Australia and help protect our agriculture export industries, environment, tourism industries and lifestyle. See Department of Agriculture website.


Department of Infrastructure and Transport (Infrastructure)

Infrastructure is responsible for advising the Australian Government on the policy and regulatory framework for Australia’s airports and the aviation industry, and regulating international flights and the designation of international airports. Infrastructure administers the Airports Act 1996. See Infrastructure’s International Charter Guidelines.

Australian Federal Police (AFP)

The AFP is the primary law-enforcement agency at the 11 major Australian airports: Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Law-enforcement in Australia’s aviation environment includes deterring, preventing and responding to threats of terror, investigating serious and organised crime in the aviation sector and performing a community policing role.

AFP activities in the aviation environment include:

  • targeting organised crime in the air stream
  • deterring acts of terrorism
  • maintaining a community policing presence
  • providing first response to acts of terrorism and emergency incidents
  • collecting and analysing aviation intelligence
  • conducting investigations.

The AFP works closely with State and Territory police services, Commonwealth agencies, airport operators and airlines to coordinate action against terrorist and other criminal threats to Australian aviation safety and security. This may include working closely with other areas of the AFP such as the AFP Operations Coordination Centre; Intelligence; Protection; Serious & Organised Crime; and Crime Operations.  Further information can be found on the Australian Federal Police web site.


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