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International airline licences – additional information

Licence Variations

Additional conditions may be imposed on an International Airline Licence (IAL) by the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (the Secretary) to reflect ongoing changes in the regulation of international aviation by the Australian Government. Updating IAL conditions constitutes a ‘licence variation’ under the Air Navigation Regulation 2016 (the regulation).

An IAL may also be varied at the request of an airline, provided that the request is made out to the department in writing.

Before an IAL is varied by the Secretary, the IAL holder will be given notice in writing, including reasons for the proposed variation unless the variation is requested by the IAL holder or the variation is urgent for reasons of public safety or security. The IAL holder must respond to this notice within thirty-five (35) days after the notice is given, in accordance with section 21 of the regulation.

Any decision to vary an IAL is subject to appeal before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Refusal to Grant a Licence

In the event that an airline's application for an International Airline Licence (IAL) is refused, the applicant will be informed within fourteen (14) days after the decision is made.

Any decision to refuse to grant an IAL is subject to appeal before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.


In accordance with section 35 of the Air Navigation Regulation 2016, an airline that does not hold an IAL may advertise a scheduled international air service to and from Australia before receiving an IAL, provided that the advertisement clearly states the service is subject to Government approval.

Slot Applications

Applicants should contact Airport Coordination Australiafor information on the process of obtaining slots at Australia's main international airports.

Slots at airports not controlled by Airport Coordination Australia may be arranged directly with the Airports concerned.

Border Agency Consultation

Applicants seeking to commence international air services to Australia should make early contact with Australia's border control agencies to discuss their plans and related Australian Government requirements. Applicants should note that not all international airports have a permanent border agency presence. Contact details for the border agencies are provided below:

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

Passenger Clearance
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
Customs House
5 Constitution Avenue
Ph: +61 2 6275 8026
Fax: +61 2 6275 6869
Customs website:

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Advance Passenger Processing
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Ph: +61 2 6198 7393
Fax: +61 2 6198 7436
DIAC website:

Department of Agriculture

Border Compliance
Passengers and Mail Branch
Department of Agriculture
GPO Box 858
Ph: +61 2 6272 3806
Fax: +61 2 6272 3468
Department of Agriculture website:

Regulatory Requirements for Registration as a Foreign Company

The department does not require that foreign airlines be registered as a foreign company in Australia to be issued with an International Airline Licence.

However, the Corporations Act 2001, which is administered by the Australian Securities Investment Corporation (ASIC), may require such registration. Compliance with the Corporations Act is a matter for a foreign corporation and ASIC to determine.

Applicants are encouraged to contact ASICfor further information, and/or obtain private legal advice in relation to their company’s particular proposals.

Other Agencies

For the requirements of other agencies, applicants should refer to Australia's Aeronautical Information Publication(AIP) (published by Airservices Australia), especially the Section dealing with Transit and Departure of Aircraft.

Statistical Returns

The department is the Australian Government agency responsible for the collection of statistics on passengers, freight and mail carried by all international scheduled airlines operating into and out of Australia. Sections 7 and 8 of the Air Navigation Regulation 2016 authorises the Department to collect this statistical data.

Information provided by airlines is incorporated into the department's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics website. Publications on international airline activity entitled ‘International Scheduled Air Transport’(monthly & annual). The statistics can be provided in excel format or as a text file. Contact details for further information are provided below:

Aviation Statistics
Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics
GPO Box 501
Australia 2600

Ph: +61 2 6274 7790 (phone)
Fax: +61 2 6274 7727 (fax)
BITRE website:

Aviation Industry Policy—March 2016

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