Legislation and regulations vary according to the ownership and function of the airport (e.g. Commonwealth leased airports, defence airbases and council or privately owned/operated airports). Legislative requirements include Master Plans and Major Development Plans.

Operations for all airports and military airbases in Australia are governed by Commonwealth aviation legislation, including the Civil Aviation Act 1988, the Air Navigation Act 1920 and the Air Services Act 1995

Commonwealth airports

The planning and development of Melbourne, Essendon and Moorabbin airports is governed by the provisions of the Commonwealth Airports Act 1996.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport. Regional Development and Communities (DITRDC) website outlines the planning, development and environmental approval processes for airport operators. These processes allow for consultation with state and local government and community stakeholders.

Avalon Airport is a civil aviation airport owned by the Department of Defence, and subject to an operational lease with the operator, Avalon Airport Australia Pty Ltd. The lease addresses the Department of Defence’s requirements of the operator for the planning and development of the airport. Avalon Airport is also subject to Victorian planning, building and environmental legislation.

Defence airbases

Victoria's RAAF military airbases, RAAF Base Williams (Point Cook) and RAAF Base (East Sale), operate according to the provisions of the Defence Act 1903 and associated regulations, which can also affect land in their environs.

Other airports

Planning, development and approval processes at other Victorian airports/airfields and their vicinities are subject to the following state legislation:

  • Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • Building Act 1993
  • Environmental Effects Act 1978.

Planning schemes and airports

Planning schemes address airport related issues through:

  • the Planning Policy Framework (Clause 18.02-7S Airports and airfields)
  • zone and overlay provisions (e.g. Airport Environs Overlay, Melbourne Airport Environs Overlay and Design and Development Overlay)
  • the Local Planning Policy Framework of some planning schemes
  • Particular Provisions (Clause 52.15 Heliport and Helicopter Landing Site).

More information on relevant planning scheme policies and provisions

Planning certificates provide information about a planning scheme as it affects a property on a given date including airport related zone and overlay controls.

More information on Applying for a planning certificate online

Page last updated: 10/12/21