Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

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 Government provides assistance for aeromedical flights to regional and remote areas through the Enroute Charges Payment Scheme.

On 15 September 2014, the Government announced that eligible scheduled passenger services to regional and remote communities can now receive assistance under this Scheme.

The Airservices Australia Enroute Charges Payment Scheme

The Airservices Australia Enroute Charges Payment Scheme provides 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 operators can also now apply for assistance under the Scheme. Flights operated from 1 July 2014 are able to be considered for assistance.  Applications can be lodged at any time.

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.

The five Funding Components of RAAP are: the Remote Air Services Subsidy (RASS) Scheme; the Remote Aviation Infrastructure Fund (RAIF); the Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) Programme; the Remote Aerodrome Safety Programme (RASP); and the Remote Aerodrome Inspection (RAI) Programme (Departmental funding).

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

  • Consolidated Programme Guidelines for the Regional Aviation Access Programme
    PDF: 736 KB ReadSpeaker

The five funding components are:

  • Funding Component 1

    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.

  • Funding Component 2

    Remote Aerodrome Safety Programme (RASP)

    Provided assistance to upgrade aerodromes in remote and isolated communities to facilitate the delivery of essential goods and non-commercial air services including health care.

    This programme has closed.

  • Funding Component 3

    Remote Aviation Infrastructure Fund (RAIF)

    Provides for airstrip upgrades at remote indigenous communities receiving a weekly flight under the RASS Scheme and where the airstrip is not at the required Regular Public Transport (RPT) aviation safety standard.

  • Funding Component 4

    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.

  • Funding Component 5

    Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) Programme

    Provides funding to improve the safety and access of airstrips in remote and isolated communities in Australia.

    Under Round Two of the RAU programme, $9 million in Australian Government funding was allocated to 39 projects over the next two years.

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.