Modernising Australia’s airport regulations

We’re seeking feedback on amendments to regulations under the Airports Act 1996, including the Airports Regulations 1997 and the Airports (Ownership Interest in Shares) Regulations 1997.

Why we want your input

Parts of the regulations have become outdated. The amendments will modernise the regulations and reduce the regulatory burden on the operators and users of federally leased airports.

How you can voice your opinion

Read the proposed Regulation Impact Statement and upload or email your submission below by Monday 7 March 2022, 11.45pm.

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

This is the first in a series of proposed amendments to the Act. Your submission will help inform amendments to improve administrative and reporting processes for airports.

The Issue

The Australian Government is reviewing the legislative instruments under the Airports Act 1996 due to sunset on 1 April 2024 and 1 April 2025. The review presents an opportunity to examine the regulations thematically and modernise the current framework to reduce regulatory burden on the airports and related stakeholders, particularly as the sector adapts to the impacts of COVID-19.

The regulations due to sunset on 1 April 2024 are:

  • Airports (Building Control) Regulations 1996
  • Airports (Ownership—Interests in Shares) Regulations 1996
  • Airports Regulations 1997.

Following an approval for a 12-month deferral, the regulations due to sunset on 1 April 2025 are:

  • Airports (Building Control) Regulations 1996
  • Airports (Environment Protection) Regulations 1997
  • Airports (Protection of Airspace) Regulations 1996

The review will be staged as follows and each stage will have an associated period of consultation:

  • Stage 1a: Cutting red tape, duplication, inconsistencies and reporting; leasing and management of airports; airport ownership.
  • Stage 1b (expected early 2022): Modernising the Act including examining the definition of an airport site and infringement notice schemes.
  • Stage 2 (expected mid-2022): Streamlining Commonwealth responsibilities; control of on-airport activities; and quality of service monitoring, reports and accounting.
  • Stage 3 (expected late 2022-early 2023): Increasing flexibility and modernising environment protection, building control and protection of airspace.
  • Stage 4: Legislative reform (2023): Amendments to the Airports Act 1996.

This consultation relates to Stage 1a of the sunsetting review process. You are invited to submit a response to Stage 1a to help inform the regulatory amendments and where relevant, the development of further stages.

Stage 1a aims to reduce red tape, duplication, reporting and inconsistencies, through review of the following areas:

  • subleasing and licensing arrangements
  • streamlining reporting timeframes relating to ownership, and aligning reporting with processes across government, and
  • clarifying and simplifying legislative language.

Other issues relating to the Airport Regulations 1997 which have been identified for review, including the management of airports, land use, planning, environment and building controls, will be consulted on as part of latter stages of the review.

You can have your say by making a submission below or by emailing the Aviation Reform team.

If you previously made a submission to a recent (2020-2021) departmental process relating to aviation, we will consider the views expressed in your submission for this process.

Relevant documentation


We received a variety of submissions from airports, airlines and general aviation stakeholders. The submissions are provided below except for those marked as confidential.

The feedback received indicates general support for option 3, which involves the remaking of the regulations with changes to reduce administrative burden and compliance costs. Some stakeholders raised broader concerns about the planning and development approval processes for leased Commonwealth airports.  

The submissions are informing the next steps in the process, including the ultimate re-making of the regulations. Further consultation will be staged. The submissions relating to broader issues around the management and planning processes for airports not directly related to Stage 1a proposals will help inform later stages of the review.

We thank all the stakeholders who provided feedback on the Stage 1a reforms. 


06 Jan 2022 09:00 AEDT
07 Mar 2022 23:45 AEDT
This consultation is closed.


Adelaide Airport Limited
Aircraft Propellers and Spares (Aust) P/L submission dated 20 February 2022
Aircraft Propellers and Spares (Aust) P/L submission dated 8 February 2022
Archerfield Airport Corporation
Australian Airports Association
Australian Flight Training Industry Association
Brisbane Airport Corporation
Canberra Airport
City of Kingston