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Defence Infrastructure Division

Defence Aviation Areas


Part 11A of the Defence Regulations, 2016 provides a legal framework for controlling activities which may be dangerous to aviation around thirteen declared Defence Aviation Areas (DAA). The Defence Regulations can be downloaded at legislation.gov.au.

The DAA replace the Defence (Areas Control) Regulations 1989 (DACR) which were repealed on 25 March 2018 but closely replicate the controls available to Defence under the DACR.

The regulations apply to permanent structures such as buildings and communication towers, and temporary structures such as cranes within approximately 15 kilometres radius of the aerodrome, which is the subject of the DAA. Vegetation, including trees and plants used for landscaping, and gas plumes emanating from an exhaust stack are also covered. The regulations also apply to those airports where the DAA extends off the coast over an area of sea and relate to permanent structures such as wind turbines, wind monitoring masts and the temporary mooring structures, such as oil rigs and vessels.

The regulations also apply to any object hazardous to the safety of aircraft operations or aviation-related communications, navigation or surveillance facilities such as radars regardless of whether the DAA height controls are triggered. Some examples are: (a) the buildings associated with a Shooting Range located within the approach flight path into the airport may not infringe the DAA height controls, however, the use of firearms at the facility maybe a hazard to the safety of aircraft operations. (b) A transmitting antenna, regardless of its height may cause interference with other radiofrequency equipment such as Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications, microwave link paths, navigation aids, and ATC radars.

Maps attached to each DAA declaration for each declared Defence Aviation Area show the heights at which proposed structures need to be referred to Defence for approval. The table, below, contains links to a high resolution map and the DAA declarations for thirteen Defence establishments.

Declared Defence Aviation Area Link to declaration Link to high resolution map
HMAS Albatross https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00341
PDF - 2.4MB
Army Aviation Centre, Oakey https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00339
PDF - 4.4MB
RAAF Base Amberley https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00333
PDF - 2.6MB
Beermullah Remote ILS https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00338
PDF - 1.8MB
RAAF Base Darwin https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00340
PDF - 7.1MB
RAAF Base East Sale https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00344
PDF - 3.4MB
RAAF Base Edinburgh https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00332
PDF - 14.4MB
RAAF Base Learmonth https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00356
PDF - 1.3MB
RAAF Base Pearce https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00357
PDF - 4.6MB
RAAF Base Point Cook https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2021L01770
PDF - 6MB
RAAF Base Scherger https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00353
PDF - 0.9MB
RAAF Base Tindal https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00354
PDF - 1.7MB
RAAF Base Townsville https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00334
PDF - 8.8MB

Applying for approval

Developers and statutory planning authorities should review the relevant DAA plan to determine whether a property is affected by DAA regulations. If the height of a planned structure exceeds the trigger height for the area or the proposed development will bring into or use a hazardous object within a DAA, the project must be referred to Defence for approval before construction commences.

Once an application is received, Defence conducts an assessment that includes consideration of safety criteria, consultation with Army, Navy and Air Force, Airservices Australia, flight path planners and other airport users, amongst others. An application normally takes up to two months to assess, as consultation needs to occur with a wide range of civilian and military stakeholders.

A DAA application needs to be accompanied by sufficient information to allow Defence and stakeholders to understand the possible impact on aviation safety. This includes:

  • a brief description of the proposal;
  • the street address and legal description of the subject site;
  • a plan showing the proposed structure’s location in relation to the property boundaries and natural ground levels;
  • plans and elevations of the proposed structures showing the maximum height including any electrical equipment, vegetation used for landscaping including the height of vegetation at maturity where trees are proposed, lights, antennas, lightning protection terminals, air conditioning units, and any other service infrastructure mounted on the roof in both Australian Height Datum (AHD) and Above Ground Level (AGL) formats;
  • geographical co-ordinates (latitude and longitude) and UTM grid co-ordinates (easting and northing) for the development;
  • the horizontal datum for the co-ordinates, i.e., Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020 (GDA2020), Map Grid of Australia 2020 (MGA2020) or other datum; and
  • if cranes are to be used, the location and height information for the crane.

For a DAA application involving only the proposed construction of a crane the proponent is to contact the Air Base Command Post (ABCP) or Base Aviation Safety Officer (BASO) for the relevant Defence aerodrome, who are the contact point for the provision of the Crane Operation Notification Form and the assessment of such application.

Applications should be emailed to land.planning@defence.gov.au