Australia Transportation - 2023


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National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 25 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 583

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 75,667,645 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,027,640,000 (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix



418 (2021)

Airports - with paved runways


civil airports: 29

military airports: 17

joint use (civil-military) airports: 2

other airports: 301

note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports - with unpaved runways


note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control


1 (2021)


637 km condensate/gas, 30,054 km gas, 240 km liquid petroleum gas, 3,609 km oil, 110 km oil/gas/water, 72 km refined products (2013)


total: 36,064 km (2022) 3,448 km electrified

standard gauge: 18,007 km (2022) 1.435 mm

narrow gauge: 11,914 km (2022) 1.067 mm

broad gauge: 2,685 km (2022) 1.600 mm

other: 35 km (2015)


total: 873,573 km (2015)

urban: 145,928 km (2015)

non-urban: 727,645 km (2015)


2,000 km (2011) (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling River systems)

Merchant marine

total: 587

by type: bulk carrier 2, general cargo 77, oil tanker 6, other 502 (2022)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s):
Indian Ocean:
Adelaide, Darwin, Fremantle, Geelong, Melbourne
Pacific Ocean: Brisbane, Cairns, Gladstone, Hobart, Newcastle, Port Port Kembla, Sydney

container port(s) (TEUs): Melbourne (2,909,288), Sydney (2,761,648) (2021)

LNG terminal(s) (export): Australia Pacific, Barrow Island, Burrup (Pluto), Curtis Island, Darwin, Karratha, Bladin Point (Ichthys), Gladstone, Prelude (offshore FLNG), Wheatstone

dry bulk cargo port(s): Dampier (iron ore), Dalrymple Bay (coal), Hay Point (coal), Port Hedland (iron ore), Port Walcott (iron ore)

Transportation - note

Australia operates one PC 3 or 4 class medium icebreaker based in Tasmania in support of operations in Antarctica
note - PC indicates a Polar Class vessel: PC 3 - year-round operation in second-year ice which may include multi-year ice inclusions (ice thickness up to 2.5 m); PC 4 - year-round operation in thick first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions (ice thickness up to 120 cm)

NOTE: The information regarding Australia on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Australia 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Australia 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.