Air services in Western Australia

Aviation services are important for WAs social and economic wellbeing. Our objective is to ensure the community has regular intrastate air services that are safe, affordable, efficient and effective.


  Air Services overview and maps

Aviation plays a key role in connecting remote and rural areas in Western Australia with Perth, as well as catering for local communities, the resource and corporate sectors, and the tourism and leisure markets. With a total area of over 2.5 million square kilometres and a population of over 2.5 million people WA relies heavily upon air services.

The State's vastness, isolated country towns, limited nearby alternative air services and considerable volume of mining operations make WA unique.

Whether for leisure, business or medical purposes, for many WA regional communities air travel is often the preferred alternative to driving vast distances. Furthermore, as a State of significant natural resources and mining activities WA depends on air services to meet the needs of the resource sector for its fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforce.

From a tourism perspective, interstate and international flights also foster tourism growth in WA by transporting visitors to various regional hubs in the State.

Note: The RPT air service maps represent pre-COVID-19 pandemic air routes and are subject to change during the COVID-19 crisis.

  Objectives of intrastate air services

In view of the objectives of the Western Australian State Aviation Strategy, the State Government has developed a policy to support the social and economic resilience of communities through safe, affordable, efficient and effective aviation services.

The State Government's policy objectives for intrastate regular public transport (RPT) air routes in WA are to:

  • Ensure an adequate level of RPT air services on regional routes in WA;
  • Foster competition on RPT routes, potentially leading to reduced airfares, more frequent services and greater choice for consumers;
  • Ensure charter air services do not detract from the viability of RPT air services;
  • Minimise costs on the resources sector and charter operators in WA;
  • Reduce administrative 'red tape'; and
  • Minimise direct costs to the State.

Governance of intrastate air routes

The Minister for Transport has powers under the Transport Coordination Act 1966 to license aircraft and place conditions on aircraft licenses to control where and when airlines may fly within the State. Any condition placed on an aircraft licence may refer to the provision of RPT services, charter services, or both where applicable.

Under the Western Australian Transport Coordination Act 1966 and the Transport Coordination Regulations 1985 the Minister for Transport has the authority to issue aircraft licences for up to 12 months, free of charge, to airlines operating within the State for commercial purposes (hire or reward), other than for medical emergency purposes.

The purpose of the Act and Regulations is to ensure that Western Australians are provided, as far as is practicable, with reliable, efficient and economic transport services.

  Aircraft licensing requirements

All aircraft owners operating commercial passenger services within Western Australia are required to hold a WA Aircraft Licence unless exempted under the Transport Coordination (Part III Exemptions) Order 2016.  The Exemption Order, initially gazetted by the State Government on 15 July 2016, was revised and the amended version gazetted on 22 December 2020.

The exemption order reduces the regulatory burden on aircraft operators for aircraft licensing in WA.

An aircraft is exempt from Part III of the Act if -

(a) it is being operated to carry people or goods on a flight that starts and finishes at the same airport and does not land at any other airport; or
(b) it is a helicopter being operated to carry people to or from their workplace and the people themselves do not pay for the flight; or
(c) it is being operated solely for any of these purposes -

(i) aerial mustering;
(ii) aerial spraying;
(iii) crop dusting;
(iv) spreading fertiliser or seed;
(v) spreading baits to control animals;
(vi) aerial photography or surveying;
(vii) spotting whales or fish;
(viii) providing medical services;


(d) it is an unmanned aircraft; or
(e) it is being operated on a flight to or from an airport not listed. Refer to Transport Co-ordination Act (Part III Exemptions) Order 2020 (below) for the list of airports.

View the Transport Coordination Act (Part III Exemptions) Order 2020 (below) for more information.

Aircraft licence applications can be made by completing the application form downloadable below and returning it to DoT.

Under the Transport Coordination Act 1966, aircraft licences for fully regulated air routes may be issued from 1 to 5 years at the discretion of the Department.

For more information on aircraft licences, airlines can contact the Department on (08) 6551 6197 or by emailing us, refer to full details in the table below.

Service Type Suburb Business Name Phone number Phone number (secondary) Fax Pre-booking required Business Hours Email Street address Postal address Business Type Vehicle type Comments
Aviation contact Air Services (Aviation) (08) 6551 6197 (08) 6551 6001 No Monday to Friday 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. (excludes public holidays) P.O. Box C102, Perth WA 6839 Department of Transport Air Services in Western Australia, including regulation of RPT air services, closed charter operations, and aircraft licences
Aviation contact Aviation Infrastructure (Aviation) (08) 6551 6196 (08) 6551 6001 No Monday to Friday 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. (excludes public holidays) P.O. Box C102, Perth WA 6839 Department of Transport Aviation Infrastructure in Western Australia, including the Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS)

  Fully regulated RPT air routes

Air routes in WA which have insufficient passenger demand to support airline competition are regulated by the State Government by granting monopoly rights to a single airline to operate on a particular RPT route. Currently, air routes to and from the following regional airports in WA that receive RPT air services are fully regulated.

Fully regulated air routes Airline
Broome-Fitzroy Crossing-Halls Creek Skippers
Karratha Broome Newman Paraburdoo - Learmonth Aviair
Kununurra - Halls Creek - Balgo Aviair
Perth - Albany Regional Express (Rex)
Perth - Esperance Regional Express (Rex)
Perth - Monkey Mia - Carnarvon Regional Express (Rex)
Perth - Laverton - Leonora Skippers Aviation
Perth - Mt Magnet - Meekatharra - Wiluna Skippers Aviation
  • Aviair operates the Kununurra Halls Creek Balgo subsidised air services until 30 June 2020.
  • Regional Express (Rex) operates under deed of agreement on the Albany and Esperance air routes until 30 June 2023.
  • Regional Express (Rex) operates under deed of agreement on the Monkey Mia-Carnarvon air routes until 30 June 2023.
  • Skippers Aviation operates under a deed of agreement on the Mt Magnet-Meekatharra-Wiluna and Laverton-Leonora air routes until 30 June 2023. Collectively known as the Northern Goldfields routes.

DoT regularly monitors performance on these routes.

Note: The RPT air service maps represent pre-COVID-19 pandemic air routes and are subject to change during the COVID-19 crisis.

  Lightly regulated RPT air routes

The following RPT routes to and from Perth are lightly regulated by the State Government:

Lightly regulated air routes Airline
Broome - Kununurra Airnorth
Kununurra - Kalumburu Aviair
Perth - Broome Qantas and Virgin
Perth - Exmouth (Learmonth) Qantas
Perth - Geraldton Qantas
Perth - Kalgoorlie Qantas and Virgin
Perth - Karratha Qantas and Virgin
Perth - Kununurra Virgin and Airnorth-seasonal
Perth - Newman Qantas and Virgin
Perth - Onslow Virgin
Perth - Paraburdoo Qantas
Perth - Port Hedland Qantas and Virgin

  Closed charter air services

The State Government's long-standing objective has been to ensure that charter air services do not detract from the viability of RPT air services in WA as a matter of public interest.

The State Government's position is to ensure the viability of RPT services for regional communities, while also seeking to meet the needs of the resources companies and minimise any cost on the resources and charter industries. In the context of seeking to balance both the needs of the resource industry and the needs of the community, the objectives of the DoT's charter policy are to:

  • Maintain an adequate level of air services to regional communities;
  • Foster economic development for the resources sector in WA;
  • Minimise costs for the resources and charter industries; and
  • Adopt a consistent and transparent State Government policy in the interest of fair charter assessment and management.

For more details on charter air operations in WA please refer to the Charter Policy below  

To apply for a closed charter service on RPT routes complete the application form below and submit the application to DoT via

Charter operators should note that:

  • Assessment of charter applications may take 4-6 weeks.
  • Special conditions may be placed on the licence of charter operators in line with the Charter Policy.
  • An application for a closed charter service operating on an RPT air route may be given a temporary approval (e.g. 3 months) while further assessment is undertaken to determine any potential impact on the RPT air service.
External Link Chartering of aircraft on regional regular public transport air routes circular

Regional Airfare Zone Cap

The State Government committed $19.8 million in the 2021 State Budget to introduce capped price airfares for regional Western Australian residents to make air travel to and from Perth more affordable and increase regional liveability.

The Regional Airfare Zone Cap Scheme will cap the cost of one-way flights to and from Perth at $199 for Western Australians living within 1000km of Perth, and $299 for those who live further than 1000km.

The $199 and $299 zone cap fares will be available for personal travel reasons such as to visit friends and family, attend special events like weddings, sport and concerts, and to attend medical appointments.

It is expected that zone cap fares for regional residents will go on sale in the second quarter of 2022, for flights starting from mid-2022.

  Review of regulated air routes in WA 2013-15

The existing 2015 State Aviation Strategy outlines the States framework for policy setting and future planning and investment in Western Australian international and domestic air services and airport infrastructure. A copy of the report can be downloaded below.

  Fully regulated air routes in WA: Snapshots

  Air Routes in WA: Media

External Link 16/08/2021: First flight between Derby and Broome takes to the skies
External Link 24/06/2021: Wheels up on Derby to Broome flights from August
External Link 18/05/2021: New flight option for travel between Perth and Kalgoorlie
External Link 12/05/2021: Flight frequency back to pre-COVID levels on some regional routes
External Link 31/03/2021: McGowan Government welcomes more flight options for Pilbara residents
External Link 10/02/2021: Rex to continue operating Albany and Esperance air routes until mid-2023
External Link 10/12/2020: McGowan Government welcomes new Virgin fares for regional residents
External Link 05/10/2020: Historic regional flights deal lands 50,000 tickets for WAs north
External Link 19/08/2020: Regional aviation continues on the flight path to recovery
External Link 21/07/2020: Cheaper airfares a big boost to Kimberley tourism in WAs recovery
External Link 10/02/2020: New funding boost for WA tourism and regional aviation
External Link 20/08/2019: McGowan Government welcomes capped airfares for Kalgoorlie and Karratha residents
External Link 16/08/2019: Inter-regional flights take off from today, improving connectivity in the north
External Link 05/08/2019: Affordable community airfares encouraging more people to the regions
External Link 29/07/2019: Regional workshops provide innovative ideas for lower airfares
External Link 28/06/2019: Tender for Derby air service trial finalised
External Link 11/03/2019: Response to regional airfares inquiry continues to progress
External Link 11/12/2018: Community fares land on the Northern Goldfields routes
External Link 18/11/2018: Upgraded resort creates new tourism opportunities for Monkey Mia
External Link 22/08/2018: Direct Perth to Derby flights closer to reinstatement
External Link 25/06/2018: Carnarvon and Monkey Mia to benefit from community airfares
External Link 19/06/2018: New regional flights to further connect the Kimberley
External Link 10/04/2018: Regional airfare inquiry recommendations supported
External Link 27/02/2018: New airline agreements for Carnarvon, Monkey Mia and Northern Goldfields
External Link 21/12/2017: Preferred airlines announced for Carnarvon-Monkey Mia and Northern Goldfields air routes
External Link 07/07/2017: New approach leads to cheaper airfares for Albany and Esperance
External Link 20/10/2016: Airline agreement continues to benefit regions
External Link 13/10/2016: Aircraft licence exemptions making life easier
External Link 27/02/2016: Start of Rex flights welcomed
External Link 09/12/2015: Airline deed signed for Albany and Esperance
External Link 18/11/2015: Airline agreement extended
External Link 13/11/2015: New airline to operate in WA's regions
External Link 16/07/2015: Perth to Exmouth air route opened up
External Link 16/07/2015: Regional air routes to be tendered
External Link 31/07/2014: Public comment sought on intrastate air review
Page last updated: Fri Dec 24 2021 10:50:39 AM