School operations

Managing and Reporting School Incidents (Including Emergencies)

Helicopter landings on school grounds

Emergency landings

School grounds may be used as helicopter landing sites for emergency services aircraft during emergencies for the purpose of:

  • air ambulance duties
  • fire response and reconnaissance
  • public order response
  • crime response or prevention.

Emergency services aircraft will generally provide advance notification to the school and police will attend to provide ground marshalling activities.

The urgent nature of an emergency may however preclude advance notification. In these circumstances the pilot is responsible for ensuring that the:

  • area chosen for landing is suitable
  • safety of those on the ground is not compromised.

If a landing occurs during school time the school is responsible for ensuring that students remain at a safe distance, clear of the departure and approach paths, and should consider utilising lockdown procedures to ensure the safety of staff and students.

Non-emergency landings

The department has not given approval for media, commercially or privately operated helicopters to use school grounds. They must obtain permission from the principal before landing.

Unauthorised helicopter landings on school grounds must be reported via eduSafe Plus or by calling the departments Incident Support and Operations Centre on 1800 126 126 and may require a report to police and/or to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Where a principal is considering approving helicopter arrivals or departures from the school grounds for non-emergency purposes, there are stringent requirements for the safety of spectators and protection of the environment that must be considered. Schools must contact the department's Security and Emergency Management Division at for advice.

This guidance chapter covers helicopter landings on school grounds including both emergency and non-emergency landings

Reviewed 21 March 2024

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