15.2 How does airport facilitation work?

As procedures vary between airports, the following general advice should be read in conjunction with the airport guide for Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth or Sydney, as relevant.

15.2.1 International arrival for heads of state, heads of government and guests of government

An Australian Border Force (ABF) officer accompanied by one Protocol and International Visits Division (PIVD) official and one diplomatic/consular representative will meet the visitor at the arrival gate. The visitor will be escorted either to a VIP room, where entry formalities will be completed, or to the international arrival point for priority entry processing.

Except for spouses and children, persons accompanying the visitor will generally not receive facilitation, although reasonable efforts will be made to keep the travelling party together during arrival processing.

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources officers at the airport will be informed in advance of the visitor’s arrival so that mandatory quarantine procedures can be handled appropriately.

15.2.2 International arrival for foreign ministers

An ABF officer accompanied by one diplomatic/consular representative will meet the visitor at the arrival gate. The visitor will be escorted to the international arrival point for priority entry processing, unless the mission/post has booked a VIP room where the minister can be taken while entry formalities are completed.

Except for a spouse and children, persons accompanying the minister will generally not receive facilitation, although reasonable efforts will be made to keep the travelling party together during arrival processing.

15.2.3 International departure for heads of state, heads of government and guests of government

An ABF officer accompanied by one PIVD official and one diplomatic/consular representative will escort the visitor to the passport control point for priority processing; the ABF officer will then facilitate the head of state or head of government’s exemption from aviation security screening (if approved in advance by the airline – see below). However, the accompanying PIVD official, diplomatic/consular representative – and guests of government who are not heads of state, heads of government or foreign ministers – will be required to undergo aviation security screening. The ABF officer will then escort the visitor, the PIVD official and the diplomatic/consular representative either to a VIP lounge or an airline lounge in the departure area. When the aircraft is ready for departure, the ABF officer will escort the visitor, the PIVD official and the diplomatic/consular representative to the departure point. Once the visitor has boarded the aircraft, the ABF officer will return the PIVD official and the diplomatic/consular representative to the public area of the airport.

15.2.4 International departure for foreign ministers

An ABF officer accompanied by one diplomatic/consular representative will escort the minister to the passport control point for priority processing; the ABF officer will facilitate the foreign minister’s exemption from aviation security screening (if approved in advance by the airline – see below), then escort the minister and the diplomatic/consular representative to an airline lounge or the departure gate. The ABF officer will return the diplomatic/consular representative to the public area of the airport.

15.2.5 Transfer from/to international/domestic arrival/departure

Heads of state, heads of government and guests of government will be escorted by a PIVD official when transferring from an international to a connecting domestic flight, or vice versa. One diplomatic or consular official may accompany.

Visiting foreign ministers should be escorted from one terminal to another by the diplomatic/consular representative (ABF will not be involved). This is particularly important at Sydney and Brisbane airports, where international and domestic terminals are physically separate.

15.2.6 Private or transit visit by head of state or head of government

An ABF officer, accompanied by a PIVD official and one diplomatic/consular representative, will meet the visitor on international arrival and assist with entry procedures. The visitor will be provided with transport (maximum of two vehicles) to the first destination (usually accommodation) outside the airport, and for the transfer back to the airport for international departure.

Last Updated: 11 December 2018