The What, Who and How of Australia’s Transportation Security Program for Aviation Operations
The What, Who and How of Australia’s Transportation Security Program for Aviation Operations
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The What, Who and How of Australia’s Transportation Security Program for Aviation Operations

Jason Starke

By Jason Starke
Director of Standards, Baldwin Aviation - Safety & Compliance

This article focuses on the role of the Transportation Security Program (TSP) in Australia and what it means to the safety and security obligations of the business aviation operator. The TSP helps the Australian government control terrorist threats within the country’s borders by requiring operators to develop controls and procedures to aid in security efforts. If you are planning on flying your corporate aircraft into Australia, there have been changes in the land down under in regard to the program, specifically its applicability.

In the past, the TSP was primarily applicable to commercial and unscheduled commercial flights. However, TSP oversight was moved into the newly created Department of Home Affairs on 20 Dec. 2017, which resulted in a different interpretation of what is considered “prescribed air service.” Past interpretation of this term leaned more toward scheduled and non-scheduled commercial services (ICAO Annex 6, Part 1 operations). However, the definition has been broadened. In the following, we give you the What, Who and How of the program.

What: The TSP is a document that prescribes the controls and procedures an operator will implement to prevent acts of unlawful interference, and meet their obligations under the Aviation Transport Security Act (ATSA) 2004 and the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005. According to the Department of Home Affairs, the TSP outlines the measures and procedures that the operator will implement and also demonstrates that the operator will:

  • Be aware of their responsibility to contribute to the maintenance of aviation security
  • Have in place an integrated, responsible and proactive approach to managing aviation security
  • Have the capacity to meet the specific obligations imposed under the ATSA
  • Have taken into account their local security risk context in developing activities and strategies for managing aviation security

Who: The submission of a TSP is now required for all prescribed air services operating into, within and From Australia. A prescribed air service is defined as any of the following:

  • A regular transport operation
  • An air service in which a jet is used
  • An air service in which an aircraft with a certificated maximum take-off mass greater than 5,700 kg (12,500 lbs.) is used

The above list includes 14 CFR 91 operations into and out of Australia. That means all business jets with an MTOW greater than 12,500 pounds are impacted.

How: Feedback from the business aviation community describes the developing and submitting of a TSP as a bit onerous. Operators may engage the services of a third party to complete and submit the TSP on their behalf. However, this will require a current authorization letter that is signed by an authorized signatory within the contracting organization. Guidelines on Australia’s TSP can be found here and the Aircraft Operator TSP Template can be found here. After submission of the TSP for approval, the Department of Home Affairs has 60 days to render a decision.

Penalties for Non-Compliance
Please be advised that if you try to operate into, within or from Australia without an approved TSP, you may be assessed 200 penalty units under Australian federal law, which equates to a fine of roughly AUD42,000. If you have a TSP currently under review and operate into, within or from Australia, you may or may not be prosecuted for not having an approved TSP. This is dependent on the jurisdiction you operate to or from within Australia. The bottom line is that you should plan well ahead of any travels to Australia to have the TSP approved and in place.

Australia is a fantastic place to go and a safe destination. Check out the guidance and the template, and if you have any questions at all, we are here. Baldwin Aviation is committed to staying on top of the ever-changing regulatory requirements around the globe to help our clients experience seamless global travel.

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