Regional and Remote Aviation

The Australian Government provides targeted support for aerodrome infrastructure and air services to remote areas where they are not commercially viable. This funding is provided through the Regional Aviation Access Programme (RAAP).

The Airservices Australia Enroute Charges Payment Scheme supports air operators providing commercial passenger and aeromedical services to regional and remote locations by providing assistance based on the reimbursement of enroute air navigation charges levied by Airservices Australia.

Regional Airports Program

In the 2019-20 Budget, the Government committed $100.0 million over four years to 2022-23 to provide assistance to the owners of regional airports to undertake essential works, promoting aviation safety and access for communities.

Guidelines for the first round of the Regional Airports Program are now available. Further information on the first round of the Regional Airports Program is at www.business.gov.au/assistance/regional-airports-program or by calling 13 28 46.

Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) Program

The Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program is part of the Australian Government's Regional Aviation Access Programme (RAAP) and provides funding for upgrades to remote airstrips in isolated communities. This funding continues the Australian Government's commitment to improving the safety of remote air transport and the access of residents to essential goods and services, including urgent medical care.

Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) Program – Round 7

The Guidelines for Round 7 of the RAU Program are now available. The release of the Guidelines will enable those seeking to apply for Round 7 of the RAU Program to familiarize themselves with the eligibility requirements and assessment criteria prior to applications opening.  Application forms and the application process will be available from 1 October 2019 and close on 12 November 2019.

Program Guidelines, the application form and contact details for enquiries and other program information is available on the RAUP website - www.business.gov.au/raup.

For any queries on the application process, please call 13 28 46.

Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) Program—Round 6

On 22 March 2019, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport announced $10.1 million in Commonwealth funding for 34 access and safety upgrade projects across Australia.

Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) Program—Round 5

On 23 March 2018, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport announced $7.0 million in Commonwealth funding for 31 access and safety upgrade projects across Australia.

For enquiries on the RAU programme, please contact the Department by calling 1300 768 578 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm AEST for the cost of a local call) or by sending an email to RAAP@infrastructure.gov.au.

RAU Round 4 Funding Announcements

On 10 February 2017, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport announced $11.8 million in Commonwealth funding for 91 access and safety upgrade projects across Australia.

RAU Round 3 Funding Announcements

On 10 December 2015, the Deputy Prime Minister announced $11.6 million in Commonwealth funding for access and safety upgrades to 52 aerodromes across Australia.

The Airservices Australia Enroute Charges Payment Scheme

The Airservices Australia Enroute Charges Payment Scheme continues to provide a subsidy to air operators providing aeromedical services to regional and remote locations through a reimbursement of enroute air navigation charges levied by Airservices Australia.

From 15 September 2014, airlines operating commercial passenger services to regional and remote locations can also apply for assistance under the Scheme. Applications can be lodged at any time.

A list of the airlines and the eligible routes assessed as eligible can be found below.

Please call 1300 768 578 if you wish to discuss.

Regional Aviation Access Programme

The Regional Aviation Access Programme provides funding assistance for access and safety upgrades to remote aerodromes as well as subsidised flights to ensure residents of remote communities have access to regional service centres.

Funding is allocated across the following Funding Components of RAAP:

  • the Remote Air Services Subsidy (RASS) Scheme;
  • the Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) Programme; and
  • the Remote Aerodrome Inspection (RAI) Programme.

The Consolidated Programme Guidelines for the Regional Aviation Access Programme are attached below:

  • Consolidated Programme Guidelines for the Regional Aviation Access Programme
    PDF: 565 KB ReadSpeaker

Remote Air Services Subsidy (RASS) Scheme

Subsidises a regular weekly air transport service for the carriage of passengers and goods such as educational materials, medicines, fresh foods and other urgent supplies to communities in remote and isolated areas of Australia.

Remote Aerodrome Inspection (RAI) Programme

Provides identified remote Indigenous communities with annual inspections and related services to assist those communities to meet their aviation safety obligations.

Regional Aviation

Regional aviation refers to that part of the aviation industry that engages in scheduled commercial airline activity between regional areas or between regional areas and capital cities. Traditionally, regional aviation services have been identified as those airlines performing regular public transport services and whose fleets contain exclusively low capacity aircraft (38 seats or less or with a payload of 4,200 kilograms or less). However, Australia's regional airlines now commonly use larger aircraft. Some regional areas are also serviced by jet aircraft operated by major domestic airlines.

The Australian Constitution gives state and territory governments power over regional aviation as it is largely an issue of intra-state trade. Licensing of intra-state aviation services is administered respectively by:

Intra-state air services in Victoria, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory are deregulated.