Master Plan

Darwin International Airport Pty Ltd (DIA) obtained a 50-year lease, plus 49-year option from the Commonwealth of Australia to manage and develop Darwin International Airport under the Airports Act 1996.  DIA is also a joint-user airport under the Act, and a joint-user deed with the Department of Defence governs the co-located operation of DIA and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin.

The 2010 Master Plan (MP) retains the fundamental concepts of the 1999 and 2004 MP and AES.  The changes that have been made largely reflect:

  • the developing aviation industry structure with low cost carriers, the Darwin hubbing strategy and projected growth of aviation activity;
  • the evolving airport business, the needs of business partners and community requirements;
  • the potential to diversify airport income by expanding the property portfolio; 
  • the sharpened focus on achieving more measurable environmental results.

The 20-year MP provides a 2030 development concept for long-term development for DIA as an airport with an optimal mix of aeronautical and non-aeronautical uses. The MP assists and encourages progressive, orderly and strong growth of the airport land.

The 2010 Master Plan is available from the following link:

Amendments to the Airports Act 1996 in 2011 incorporated the Airport Environment Strategy into the Airport Master Plan. The Federal Minister subsequently aligned the expiry dates of the DIA Master Plan and Environment Strategy.

On 2 February 2015 the DIA Master Plan, because of Defence considerations, was extended by the Federal Minister to 30 June 2017. This means the existing Airport Environment Strategy is valid until 30 June 2017.

Major Development Plan

The Major Development Plan process under the Airports Act 1996 is the development consent process for major projects at federally leased airports.

Air Traffic Control Upgrade Project

The draft Major Development Plan for the Air Traffic Control (ATC) Upgrade Project was released for the 60 business day public comment period on 24 November 2016, in accordance with the requirements of the Airports Act 1996.

The Department of Defence and Airservices Australia have partnered to deliver the OneSKY Program, a joint solution that will bring together civil and military air traffic control under a single harmonised air traffic management system. As a result, significant upgrade is required of the existing air traffic control facilities at the airport, including construction of a new ATC tower and demolition of the existing ATC tower.

To view the draft Major Development Plan, please click here.

Written comments on the draft Major Development Plan can be submitted:

  • by email to

  • by mail at PO Box 40996, Casuarina, NT 0811

  • in person at Darwin International Airport Management Centre, 1 Fenton Court, Eaton, NT 0820

Comments must be received by COB Monday 27 February 2017.