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Protocol Guidelines

15.4 Aviation security screening

Provided the Protocol and International Visits Division (PIVD) and/or Protocol Branch is advised – by the submission of an Airport Facilitation Request form [PDF] – at least five working days in advance of the visit, the Australian Government will exempt the following visitors – for official, transit and private visits – from aviation security screening for international and domestic departures:

  • head of state and accompanying spouse and children
  • head of national government and accompanying spouse and children
  • foreign minister and accompanying spouse and children.

This exemption does not apply to accompanying delegations. The exemption may apply to the visitor's carry-on baggage, which must be clearly identified, although some airlines routinely decline to exempt carry-on baggage from security screening (Please see note below). All checked-in baggage will undergo security screening.

Important note

While the Australian Government may exempt a foreign visitor from aviation security screening, each exemption must be separately approved by each airline on which the visitor is travelling. An airline may require security screening as a condition of carriage and the Australian Government cannot override an airline's decision. This means that a foreign visitor exempted by the Australian Government must still undergo security screening if the airline so requires.

All airline passengers, including those exempted from security screening, are bound by aviation security regulations including those governing items prohibited from being carried on board an aircraft – either in carry-on or checked-in baggage.

Last Updated: 13 February 2019
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