Modernising Australia’s airport regulations (Stage 1b)

We’re seeking feedback on reforms to how airport sites are defined under the Airport Regulations 1997 and the infringement notice schemes under the Airports (Building Control) Regulations 1996, Airports (Control of On-Airport Activities) Regulations 1997, and Airports (Environment Protection) Regulations 1997.

Why we want your input

The proposed reforms will modernise the regulations and reduce the regulatory burden on operators and users of federally leased airports. This will apply to reporting changes in land titles and existing infringement notice schemes under the regulations.

How you can voice your opinion

Read the proposed consultation paper and upload or email your submission below by 5pm, Friday 3 June 2022.

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

Submissions will help inform amendments to improve administrative and reporting processes for airport sites and administration of infringement notice schemes.

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, and airport ownership
  • Stage 1b: modernising the Act including examining infringement notice schemes and the definition of an airport site
  • Stage 2 (expected Q2 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 environmental protections, building control and protection of airspace
  • Stage 4: Legislative reform (2023): amendments to the Airports Act 1996.

This consultation relates to Stage 1b of the sunsetting review process. You are invited to submit a response to Stage 1b to help inform settings and regulatory amendments.
Stage 1b aims to modernise the Act through amendments to the Airports Act 1996, including:

  • infringement notice schemes across Airports (Building Control) Regulations 1996, Airports (Control of On-Airport Activities) Regulations 1997, and Airports (Environment Protection) Regulations 1997.
  • definition of airport sites under the Airports Regulations 1997

Other issues including the management of airports, land use, planning, environment and building controls, will be part of consultation in later stages of the review.

We thank all the stakeholders who provided feedback on the Stage 1a reforms: the next steps of that stage are underway. We acknowledge that some of the feedback reflects consideration of broader issues around the management and planning processes for airports. These are important issues and will inform later stages of the review process, including future consultation papers.

If you previously made a submission in 2018-19 or to the Future of Australia’s Aviation Sector Review Consultation Panel in 2020-21, we will consider your submission as part of this process, however new submissions are also encouraged.

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

Relevant documentation


01 Apr 2022 09:00 AEDT
03 Jun 2022 17:00 AEST
This consultation is closed.


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Adelaide Airport Limited
Aircraft Propellers and Spares
Airport Development Group
Archerfield Airport Corporation
Australian Airports Association
Brisbane Airport Corporation
Essendon Fields
Jandakot Airport
Queensland Airports Limited
Regional Express (REX)