Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme

The "Mail Plane"


The Remote Air Services Subsidy (RASS) Scheme is part of the Australian Government's Regional Aviation Access Program (RAAP).

The 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. Due to the distances involved and with road access to many communities often cut for several months during the wet season, a regular air service offers the only reliable means of transport.

A RASS community is typically a cattle station or an Indigenous community with a population ranging from six people to approximately 200 people. The population of a typical RASS community may change during the mustering or wet season.

There are 10 geographic regions under the RASS Scheme, with air operators contracted by the Australian Government to provide a regular air transport service. The RASS scheme subsidises flights to 269 remote communities throughout Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, including many Indigenous communities.

Application process for communities

Communities wishing to apply for a regular air service under the RASS Scheme should read the RASS Eligibility Criteria and complete a RASS Application Form.

Your application will be considered against criteria that include:

Communities can apply for admission to the Scheme at any time.

Please send completed applications or any questions to

Alternatively, completed applications can be sent to:

Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme
Regional Programs Branch
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts
GPO Box 594

RASS Air Operators

There are currently eight air operators delivering services across the 10 regions.

RASS Region number Region name Air Operator
1 Pilbara, WA Aviair
2 Kimberley, WA Aviair
2 Kimberley, WA (freight only services) Air Kimberley
3 Channel Country, SA / QLD (freight only services) Chinta Air
4 Cape Barren Island, TAS Airlines of Tasmania (Par Avion)
5 Cape York, QLD Skytrans
6 Gulf Country, QLD Northern Territory Air Services
7 NT- North of Tennant Creek (freight only services) Chartair
7 NT—North of Tennant Creek Chartair
8 NT—South of Tennant Creek Chartair
8 NT—South of Tennant Creek (freight only services) Northern Territory Air Services
9 WA—Tri-State Desert Country Chartair
10 Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY Lands), SA Northern Territory Air Services

Air operators are contracted with the Australian Government for a fixed term and are selected in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

The RASS subsidy is paid directly to the air operator. Air operators providing air services under the RASS Scheme are required to service specified RASS communities.

Australia Post has responsibility for the delivery of mail and may have separate contracts with RASS air operators for this purpose. All matters concerning the delivery of mail should be directed to Australia Post.