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Non-citizens cannot work with Jet Aviation

written by Naomi Neilson | June 4, 2024

Jet Aviation has supported the RAAF King Air 350 since 2002

An aviation company that works closely with the Department of Defence has restricted employment based on citizenship status.

Having been granted an exemption under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, Jet Aviation Australia restricted employment and internal transfers for current and previous citizens or permanent residents of countries other than Australia and the United States of America.

Appearing before the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, Jet Aviation said it needed the exemption so it could access defence-related technology and data from the United States of America and continue contracted works with Australia’s Department of Defence.

“I consider the limitation in circumstances of this matter to be legitimate and of sufficient importance to limit the human rights affected,” deputy president Catherine Marie Hartigan said.

Jet Aviation offers support to the Department of Defence and the Royal Australian Air Force with custom-designed maintenance, support solutions, engineering and specialised aircraft maintenance, mission system integrations, and specialised imaging equipment.


It is reliant on manufacturers from the US for military end-use engineering technology, parts, and products.

As part of its Defence contract, Jet Aviation must comply with a “strict condition” to follow US export and import laws, which includes a restriction on which individuals can access controlled technology.

A failure to comply with the employment restrictions could make the company liable to sanctions like “multi-million dollar fines”.

In its submissions to the commission, Jet Aviation said there were no alternative or less restrictive means of complying with the US laws.

Jet Aviation assured the commission this exemption would not be extended to employees who do not require access to controlled technologies, including human resources and administration staff.

It also promised to take steps to limit discriminatory conduct and ensure staff are not “unnecessarily identified or isolated”.

“I am satisfied that in order to fulfil its obligations with the department, Jet Aviation must comply with the US export control laws.

“I am also satisfied that in addition to any potential contractual obligation, Jet Aviation leaves itself and its workforce exposed to possible serious sanctions if the US export control laws are not complied with,” Hartigan said.

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Comment (1)

  • Graham Atkinson


    An alternative option of course would be for the Air Force to manage maintenance “in house” rather than outsource it to private contractors.

    Oh sorry – that’s what they did for almost 100 years.

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