Senators and Members are entitled to the use of special purpose aircraft, as approved by the Minister for Defence, for travel in Australia for purposes related to Parliamentary or electorate business.1
The Minister for Defence has issued the Guidelines for the use of Special Purpose Aircraft (the Guidelines).
Under the Guidelines, the Minister for Defence will only approve travel where he or she is satisfied that travel by special purpose aircraft is warranted by special circumstances such as there is a need for the Senator or Member to travel and no suitable alternative means of transport is available.2
Senators and Members may also be approved to travel on special purpose aircraft where an aircraft has already been approved for a particular journey for a Minister or Opposition Office-Holder.3
Requests for special purpose aircraft should be made to the VIP Operations Cell on the Special Purpose Aircraft Request form.4 The Prime Minister’s approval of overseas tasking is required to be passed to the VIP Operations Cell no later than 14 days prior to the overseas task commencing to minimise the risk of having the task unable to be supported.
Senators and Members are not to request specific aircraft types.5
Following travel on special purpose aircraft, the Department of Defence sends the list of all passengers to Ministerial and Parliamentary Services.6 Ministerial and Parliamentary Services identifies travel that would otherwise be met from a capped entitlement and debits the appropriate budget accordingly. The Department of Defence recovers costs for travel beyond the limits of capped budgets or for travel that is otherwise outside entitlement.
The Department of Defence tables the Schedule of Special Purpose Flights in Parliament each June and December.7
The contact telephone number for the Office of the Minister for Defence is available to Senators, Members and their employees from the Ministerial and Parliamentary Services help desks or on the Senators and Members Portal on the Extended Parliamentary Network.
1 Item 8(c) of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to, the Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990.
2 Paragraph 2(b)(j) of the Guidelines for the use of Special Purpose Aircraft.
3 Paragraph 8(e) of the Guidelines for the use of Special Purpose Aircraft.
4 Paragraph 5 of the Guidelines for the use of Special Purpose Aircraft.
5 Paragraph 6 of the Guidelines for the use of Special Purpose Aircraft.
6 Paragraph 23 of the Guidelines for the use of Special Purpose Aircraft.
7 Paragraph 24 of the Guidelines for the use of Special Purpose Aircraft.