Operations resources


General information

Classes of airspace



Airspace administration in Australia is generally aligned with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)—prescribed airspace classes and associated levels of service, as set out in Annex 11 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (1944) (Chicago Convention). Differences to the ICAO classes of airspace in Australia are notified to ICAO and listed in the Australian Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP).

The various classes of airspace in Australia’s flight information regions (FIRs) are summarised in the table below:

Classes of airspace in Australia’s FIRs

ClassType of flightSeparation providedService providedSpeed limitationRadio communication requirementsSUBJ ATC CLR
AIFRAll aircraftATC serviceN/AContinuous two-wayYes
VFR not permitted (see AIP ENR 1.7 and VFRG 3.5)
C [alt]IFRIFR from IFR, IFR from VFR IFR from Special VFRATC service250 kt below 10,000 ft AMSL, except where specified in ERSA, DAP or varied by ATC (see note 2)Continuous two-wayYes
VFR [alt]VFR from IFRATC service for separation from IFR
VFR/VFR traffic INFO (and traffic avoidance advice on request)
250 kt IAS  below 10,000 ft AMSLContinuous two-wayYes
Special VFR [alt]Special VFR from special VFR, when VIS does not meet VMCATC serviceContinuous two-wayYes
DIFRIFR from IFR IFR from special VFRATC service, traffic information about VFR flights200 kt IAS at or below 2500 ft AAL within 4 nm of the primary Class D aerodrome  (see note 3)
250 kt IAS  in the remaining Class D airspace
Continuous two-wayYes
VFRNilATC service, traffic INFO on all other flightsContinuous two-wayYes
Special VFRSpecial VFR from special VFR when visibility is less than VMCATC serviceContinuous two-wayYes
E [alt]IFRIFR from IFRATC service and traffic info on VFR flights as far as is practicable250 kt IAS  below 10,000 ft AMSLContinuous two-wayYes
VFR [alt]NilFIS
SIS—flight following O/R (ATC workload permit)
250 kt IAS  below 10,000 ft AMSLContinuous two-wayNo
G  N*IFRNilFIS250 kt IAS  below 10,000 ft AMSLContinuous two-wayNo
following O/R
(ATC workload
250 kt IAS  below 10,000 ft AMSLVHF radio
required for
ops above 5000
ft AMSL and
at aerodromes
where carriage
and use of radio
is required
250 kt IAS below 10,000 ft AMSLVHF radio
required for ops
in reduced VMC
G S† [alt]IFRNilFIS O/R250 kt IAS  below 10 000 ft AMSLContinuous two-wayNo
VFR [alt]NilFIS O/R250 kt IAS below 10,000 ft AMSLNilNo

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New rules come into effect from 2 December 2021 that cover the general operating and flight rules. We are currently updating this guide to reflect the new rules. A new version will be available to download from 2 December.
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