COVID-Safe Domestic Flying—Domestic Passenger Journey Protocol

The Australian aviation industry has developed a Domestic Passenger Journey Protocol to provide clear and consistent guidance regarding risk-minimisation principles and processes in domestic airports and on aircraft for domestic passenger travel.

This Protocol will provide guidance for industry members and confidence to the travelling public as domestic air travel increases with the reduction in COVID-19 related restrictions on travel.

Keeping people and goods moving


The Australian Government continues to urge all Australians overseas who want to come home to return as soon as possible via commercial means. Options to return to Australia are currently available with a number of international scheduled airlines.

The Government worked with Qantas and Virgin Australia to provide a number of flights to London, Los Angeles, Auckland and Hong Kong to assist returning Australians. With the increasing availability of commercial alternatives, these services have now ceased.

Further Government facilitated non-scheduled flights may be considered where there is an identified need, for destinations where no other commercial options are available.

Advice for Australians currently overseas is available from the Smartraveller website.

Within Australia

The Australian Government is also underwriting a baseline network of domestic passenger flights servicing the most critical metropolitan and regional routes.

Keeping goods moving

The Australian Government support for passenger flights is providing much-needed freight capacity to keep goods moving, whether it is moving medical supplies to Australia, getting medicines to regional hospitals within Australia, or delivering time-sensitive agricultural goods, such as seafood, to overseas markets.

To help restore critical global supply chains, a temporary International Freight Assistance Mechanism has been funded through the $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund. The Australian Government has set up coordination arrangements to help re-establish critical supply chains and manage airfreight in the national interest.

Assistance to the Aviation Sector

The Government is providing initial support to our airline industry through an estimated $715 million package of relief from a range of taxes and Government charges.

A further $198 million will help maintain the regional air network and $100 million has been made available to provide direct financial support to smaller regional airlines. These measures will support our aviation sector through an unprecedented period of disruption to international and domestic air travel.

Three new grant programs have been announced as part of the Australian Government's response to the economic impact of COVID-19 and its unprecedented and likely sustained impact on the domestic airline industry.

Two of these programs are part of the Australian Government's $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund. The third program—Australian Airline Financial Relief Package—stands alone.

Regional Airlines Funding Assistance

The objective of the Regional Airlines Funding Assistance (the program) is to assist airlines and other air operators providing essential services to regional and remote locations to maintain financial viability through the COVID-19 impacted period through cash flow assistance as a last resort option where required, according to the criteria in the Grant Guidelines.

Air operators may apply to be considered for financial assistance during the period of the program. If approved, a grant agreement is entered into with the Department for the period up to 31 December 2020. The air operator then considers if or when it submits a claim under the agreement. The application and each claim will be assessed based on analysis of the organisation's financial situation.

Regional Airline Network Support

The objective of the Regional Airline Network Support program is to assist domestic commercial airlines operating services at the Regular Public Transport (RPT) aviation safety standard to regional locations to maintain a basic level of connectivity across their network of regional routes. This will support critical air services to connect regional Australia to freight, medical testing, supplies and essential personnel.

Eligible applicants can apply for a grant to operate a basic level of air connectivity per week on each route. The Program will underwrite these services on a shortfall subsidy basis, with the cost offset by remaining commercial revenue from passengers and freight.

Australian Airline Financial Relief Package

The Australian Airline Financial Relief Package (AAFRP) will run over 9 months from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020 or until allocated funds are exhausted. The package of measures includes the refunding and ongoing waiving of a range of Government charges on the industry including aviation fuel excise, Airservices Australia charges on domestic airline operations and domestic and regional aviation security charges.

The objective of the AAFRP is to reduce the cost base faced by air operators, improving the financial viability of scheduled and commercial flights.

Further information on the AAFRP measure related to capital and operational costs associated with enhanced regional airport security screening will be available shortly.

Aviation in Australia

International and domestic aviation connects Australians with each other and with the rest of the world. It is also central to the Australian economy.

The Australian Government, through the department, contributes to the prosperity of the economy and the wellbeing of all Australians by fostering a viable, competitive and safe aviation industry.

The department advises the Government on the policy and regulatory framework for Australian airports and the aviation industry, manages the administration of the Government's interests in privatised airports under the Airports Act 1996, and provides policy advice to the Minister on the efficient management of Australian airspace and on aircraft noise and emissions.

  • The Australian Government's Women in the Aviation Industry Initiative supports Government and industry working together to encourage more women to pursue careers in the aviation sector.

  • On 3 December 2014, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon Warren Truss MP, released the Government's response to the Aviation Safety Regulation Review.

  • Information about the sunsetting of various regulations administered by the Aviation and Airports Division.

  • This section provides general information pertinent to the operation of the leased federal airports.

  • Legislation administered by the Department, which impacts upon the aviation industry.

  • The Department has completed a regulatory policy review regarding the provision of ARFFS at Australian airports.

  • The Department has released a public consultation paper with three proposals designed to modernise airspace protection around airports and beyond.

  • This section provides information on the Australian Airspace Policy Statement, the National Airspace System (NAS), the Airspace Act 2007 and other related documents.

  • This section provides information on air traffic management policy matters, including the 2012 Air Traffic Management (ATM) Policy Directions Paper and the 2011 Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) Review.

  • Information on the Government's policies relating to international aviation.

  • Joint Agency Coordination Centre coordinates all Australian Government support for the search into missing flight MH370.

  • This section contains information on the environmental issues that relate to the aviation industry and the government's response to those issues.

  • Information about aviation safety, accident investigation and aviation safety programs.

  • The Australian Government regulates the security of the Australian aviation environment through the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005 to help safeguard Australia's aviation transport system from terrorism and acts of unlawful interference.

  • General aviation commonly refers to that part of the aviation industry that engages in activity other than scheduled commercial airline activity.

  • Australians living in remote and isolated areas rely on a weekly air service for the carriage of passengers and goods, including medicines, fresh food and educational materials. Australia Post uses some of the same air operators to deliver mail under separate contracts.

  • This section contains information on the Remote Air Service Subsidy (RASS) Scheme, the Adelaide and Sydney Airport Noise Insulation Programs, the Enroute Charges Subsidy Scheme and the Remote Aerodromes Safety Program.

  • The Australian Government recognises the difficulties sometimes experienced by people with disabilities in accessing air travel.

  • Drones, also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), are seeing a rapid rise in use across Australia. Technological development is enabling more, diverse applications of drones.

  • Information on how the Department is adopting best practice regulation standards in Aviation deregulation.

  • List of the Department's aviation related publications.