Business Aviation Trip Planning Tips: Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix

Business Aviation Trip Planning Tips: Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix

This year’s Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place March 14-16 at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit – just a few kilometers south of central Melbourne. Always a popular event in the F1 circuit, the Australian Grand Prix is expected to draw over 300,000 visitors this year. Likewise, general aviation traffic is expected to be elevated. For those business aircraft operators planning to be in Australia during this race event, it’s best to begin making aircraft parking and crew accommodation arrangements as soon as possible.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Best airport choices

Primary airport choice for this event is Melbourne Int’l (YMML) at approximately 30 minutes from the circuit.

Melbourne Int’l (YMML)

  • Airport of Entry (AOE): Yes
  • Operating hours: 24 hours
  • Prior Permission Required (PPR): Not required
  • Airport slots: Not required
  • Aircraft parking: Available
  • Ground handling: Available
  • Aviation fuel (Jet A): Available
  • In-flight catering: Available


Stage 2 aircraft are banned from this airport.

2. Alternate airports to consider

Primary alternate for this event is Melbourne’s other airport – Melbourne Essendon (YMEN) at 20 minutes from the circuit. This is an AOE upon request, and PPR is needed. Be aware, however, that PPR approval for customs clearance may be difficult to obtain at this location.

Other, but farther out, choices for aircraft parking include Canberra (YSCB) at 270 nautical miles (NM) from Melbourne and Sydney (YSSY) at 389 NM from Melbourne.

3. Australia landing permit requirements

Charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights do not require landing permits. However, charter operators do require Charter Permission from the Australia Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Private non-revenue flights may require landing permits depending upon their frequency of operations to Australia, passenger loads, and aircraft noise status. For more information on permits for Australia, please read our blog article titled "Understanding Flight Permits and PPRs in Australia."

4. Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast system requirements

As of December 2013, Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) is required for all travel in Australian airspace. Aircraft not equipped for ADS-B operations must fly below 29,000 feet. For more information on requirements, please see our blog article titled "Upcoming ADS-B Requirements in Australian Airspace."

5. Customs and agricultural considerations for Australia

Australian Customs mandates that certain information be sent in advance of the flight in order to avoid delays while clearing customs. Required information includes:

  • Crew and passenger names
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Passport number and expiration date

Even though Customs, Immigrations, and Quarantine (CIQ) clearance is not required for domestic legs, Australia reserves the right to inspect aircraft, as well as crew and passenger documents, at any time. In Australia, by regulation, ground handlers are not permitted to pre-fill out CIQ forms for aircraft operators.

At least 24 hours’ prior notice is needed for CIQ arrangements, and notification must be provided if your itinerary changes by 30 minutes or more from original schedule. Keep in mind that a stamped general declaration (gen dec), from the previous airport, is required for all arriving aircraft, regardless of the country of origin. Australian customs is strict with these regulations, and no exceptions will be permitted.
By regulation, no fresh or unprocessed food can be brought into Australia. These types of foods will be put into quarantine waste bins upon arrival. Unless prior arrangements have been made for dry ice and unopened/sealed food, these items will be removed from the aircraft after landing.

6. Hotels and local transportation for the Grand Prix period

Plenty of 4- and 5-star hotel options are available in the Melbourne area, including large international chain hotels. As with any large event, it’s best to book accommodations in advance to ensure the best selection of preferred choices. During the Australian Grand Prix period, some hotels may increase room prices and extend cancellation policies, so it’s best to confirm such details in advance. Canberra and Sydney both offer a wide variety of hotel options, and we don’t anticipate issues with hotels selling out at these locations during the event.
For local ground crew transport, it’s best to arrange pre-paid (car with driver) transportation. Albert Park circuit, however, is very close to central Melbourne, and good public transit options are available to/from the race venue. Rental vehicles are available in Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney. Rental vehicles, however, are only recommended if you’re familiar with the area.

7. Check online for additional information

Additional information on the 2014 Australian Grand Prix can be found at the Australian Formula 1 website.


While operators who make arrangements early will appreciate preferred aircraft parking and hotel options, short-notice and last-minute trip planning for the Australian Grand Prix can be accommodated. Your 3rd-party provider and/or ground handler will confirm parking availability, permit, and CIQ considerations at your intended destination.

Universal is not associated in any way with the Formula One group of companies. F1, FORMULA ONE, FORMULA 1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX and related marks are trade marks of Formula One Licensing B.V.


If you have any questions about this article or operations into Australia, contact us at or