The Australia Department of Home Affairs has recently clarified the regulations regarding Transportation Security Program (TSP) requirements for flights to/from Australia to include Private flights. Previously the TSP requirements had only been enforced on GA charter flights, but upon reexamination of the regulations by the Department of Home Affairs it was established that the legislation does not differentiate between private, commercial, non-commercial, remuneration or hire, and so covers all civilian aviation.
Per the legislation provided by the Department of Home Affairs, anyone who provides, or offers to provide, transportation of persons and/or goods by air is an 'aircraft operator' for the purposes of the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 (ATSA) and Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005 (ATSR).
All aircraft operators have a legal obligation to report aviation security incidents and to ensure that there are measures in place to prevent access to the aircraft by unauthorised persons.
Operators of any of the following air services are required to hold a TSP:
- a regular public transport (RPT) operation;
- an air service in which a jet is used; or
- an air service in which an aircraft with a certified MTOW greater than 5,700kg is used.
These types of air services are called 'prescribed air services'.
An Air Service is defined in the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004, 1.03 as a service of providing air transportation of people or goods, or both people and goods.
The Department of Home Affairs has come up with an abbreviated application for Private Operators called the Secretary-Issued TSP. At only four pages in length, it is much more manageable than the 60+ page application required for Charter Operators. In order to qualify to use the Secretary-Issued TSP application, Operators must meet the following requirements:
The aircraft operator does not:
- provide an air service involving the carriage of people (with or without goods), provided for a fee payable, available to the general public; and conducted in accordance with fixed schedules to or from fixed terminals over specific routes; or
- have temporary or permanent operational facilities in Australia; or
- allow passengers or aircraft operator staff to enter the landside security zone (sterile area) of a security controlled airport, or
- allow passengers or aircraft operator staff to mix with other passengers of prescribed air services in airside areas; or
- transport, or intend to transport, persons in custody.
The Department of Home Affairs has a regulatory requirement to make a decision on any TSP applications within 60 days. The expected approval time is much less than this given the size of the Secretary-Issued TSP, however it cannot be guaranteed to be approved in anything less than the 60 day requirement. The regulatory assessment team will prioritise applications if there is a flight planned in the near future so Operators should mention this in their submission email if relevant.
Once approved, the TSP is Operator-specific and applies to all aircraft in their fleet. Whenever changes are made to the fleet such as addition of aircraft, or if there are changes to internal security procedures or structure, the TSP should be updated accordingly. TSP’s are valid for varying lengths of time between 2 and 5 years. The validity will be mentioned in the approved TSP.
Examples of flights identified that may not need TSPs include:
- a lone pilot (with no goods, passengers, family members, etc.) flying their own plane
- sports and joy flights
- crop dusting
- test flights
It is recommended that Private Operators who plan to (or even potentially plan to) operate to Australia begin the process of preparing their Secretary-Issued TSP application as soon as possible to avoid potential disruption to their Australian operations. Requesting the assistance of an experienced Trip Support Provider is highly recommended to ensure a smooth process and the most efficient turnaround time. For Operators who wish to submit their application directly to the Department of Home Affairs, the completed application form should be sent via email to [email protected].
World Fuel Global Trip Support
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Email: [email protected]
About the Author
Pete Bennett - Manager, Global Trip Support, Singapore
As Manager, Global Trip Support, Singapore for World Fuel Services, Pete Bennett oversees the day-to-day operations of the Singapore, Shanghai, and Mumbai Trip Support teams. Since joining World Fuel Services in 2004, he has been instrumental in the development of the International Trip Support department, having held positions as Operations Team Supervisor and Operations Floor Supervisor before being promoted to Trip Support management in 2009. He is currently based in the World Fuel Services Singapore office where he has been since July 2016. Pete holds an FAA Dispatch License and a Private Pilot Certificate.
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