DIA is committed to the implementation and continual improvement of a comprehensive Environmental Management System (EMS). In accordance with the Regulations the EMS is required to maintain consistency with relevant Australian and International standards. The ISO 14001 standard is now in a period of transition from the 2004 standard to 2015. DIA will implement a program to review its current EMS and aim to transition to the new standard by late 2018.

DIA’s EMS comprises the following main components:

  • Environment policy

  • Planning – including environmental aspect and risk identification and assessment, development of standards, procedures and guidelines

  • Implementation and operation – including environmental responsibilities, training and awareness, communication, document and operational control, and emergency preparedness and response

  • Checking – including monitoring, assessment and auditing

  • Management review - provides a health check of the system itself and look for areas to improve

NTAPL adopts the international standards approach of continual improvement through the Plan Do Check Act cycle. This promotes the review of current procedures and programs and identify areas for improvement.

The EMS applies to environmental aspects that the organisation can control and over which it can be expected to have an influence. The EMS takes into account relevant legislation, regulations, codes of practice and standards that relate to DIA’s activities.

Darwin International Airport (DIA) are the stewards of a large and environmentally significant parcel of land in the heart of Darwin, and it recognises the need to preserve and promote the ecological value of a site increasingly affected by a growing urban population. In line with our Environment Strategy, we have implemented some key projects to enhance our natural resources and ensure they can be enjoyed for generations to come, including the Matboerrma Garden and the Gurambai Trail, which showcases an array of native Top End vegetation and its traditional uses. The Larrakia people have been intrinsically involved in establishing this recreational and educational project.

DIA has also established two conservation sites within its three square kilometre property, aimed at preserving and managing the natural environment of Rapid Creek—Darwin’s only significant freshwater system—and its surrounding vegetation. The airport are aware of a range of pressures on the fragile ecosystem that threaten to degrade its ecological and recreational value including:

  • weedsDIA Environment

  • fire

  • Loss of natural habitat

  • Litter and dumping of waste

  • Provision of appropriate access

As a result DIA has created:

  • 75 metre wide buffer zone from the middle of the creek and our boundary to conserve the Marrara wetland

  • 15-hectare conservation site south of Collopy Rd, including an important wildlife corridor adjacent to the Rapid Creek catchment area.

  • Provision of opportunity for appropriate access by upgrades to pathways

  • This corridor has provided habitat and encouraged the movement of species between otherwise isolated populations, reducing the likelihood of extinctions.

DIA facilitate and implement a number of natural resource management measures and monitoring across the whole site which focus on monitoring the possible impacts to this sensitive ecosystem:

  • Ongoing conservation management by local experts

  • Annual water quality (including surface water and ground water) monitoring programs undertaken on a seasonal basis

  • Specific independent studies looking at the Rapid Creek Catchment Area

In 2016, DIA sought two audits of its water monitoring by independent researchers at Charles Darwin University, along with recommendations on how the airport could improve its environmental protection and water monitoring.

One review covered hydrocarbon monitoring data from 2000 to 2016, while the other analysed faecal bacteria results from upper Rapid Creek from 2009 to 2016.

This independent review found faecal bacteria levels to be similar to those found in Darwin creeks affected by urban stormwater runoff. The hydrocarbon monitoring review found all samples since 2004 to be below guidelines and the detectable limit and it was unlikely there had been any toxic levels over the past 12 years.

The two reports can be accessed here:

NT Airports has created a film series to share information about the organisation across a range of topics including environmental stewardship, sponsorship and community engagement, history, customer experience and more. 

To learn more about one of Darwin's most precious waterways click on the link below:

Rapid Creek | NT Airports

Solar Energy

Northern Territory Airports has made a long-term commitment to using renewable energy across its three airports in Darwin, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek. The organisation is mindful of the contribution the aviation industry makes to greenhouse gas emissions, and is keen to lead the way for other airports – both national and international – by reducing its carbon footprint. This continued focus aims to minimise the airport’s impact on the environment, optimize airside land use, increase non-aeronautical revenue and showcase new solar technologies, for the benefit of the organisation, stakeholders, community and the environment.

The series of solar power facilities across its three airports lead the way in development, innovation and investment. Northern Territory Airport’s flagship facility, Darwin Airport Solar Project, is the largest airside PV (photovoltaic) solar facility in the world. It is also Australia’s most northern multi-megawatt PV array and the largest BTM (behind the meter) system designed and built for a single building/facility in Australia.

The project was developed in two stages resulting in an impressive 5.5 megawatt facility. The development was managed entirely by the airport from beginning to end. This includes feasibility, design, construction and operation. Darwin Airport consumes all the solar power generated for its own use.

Click the link below to learn about NT Airports’ multi-award winning solar facilities in Darwin, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek:

Lighting the Way | NT Airports


Matboerrma Garden Fact Sheet

Matboerrma Garden and Gurambai Walking Trail

Darwin International Airport established the Matboerrma Garden to showcase the Top End’s unique native flora. The Matboerrma Garden welcomes visitors to Larrakia country, Darwin and the Top End and provides a great introduction to the wet-dry tropics and its plants. The Larrakia are the traditional owners of the greater Darwin region. Matboerrma (pronounced mat-berd-ma) is a Larrakia word referring to a "group of plants".

The Gurambai walking trail takes you alongside Rapid Creek and its associated wetlands. Gurambai is the Larrakia name for Rapid Creek and means 'elbow', referring to the shape of the creek at its mouth.


Matboerrma Garden Guide


Rapid Creek Reserve 

Rapid Creek flows through Darwin International Airport land. The Airport has established the Rapid Creek Reserve to preserve and rehabilitate this special place, Darwin’s only significant freshwater system.





 Conservation Reserve 

DIA Conservation reserveDarwin International Airport established the Conservation Reserve to protect native vegetation and wildlife on its land. The reserve is south of Osgood Drive and covers fifteen hectares, consisting of a large area of eucalypt woodland and an important wildlife corridor linking the woodland to Rapid Creek at Charles Eaton Drive.




 Landcare Awards Submission

This document provides comprehensive information on DIA's environmental management, conservation efforts and community partnerships. 






DIA Environment Strategy

DIA Environment Management Handbook 

Spill Management Handbook

Mosquito Surveillance and Control Information Sheet


Winner: Darwin International Airport 2016 Innovation and Excellence Award for Environmental Management, Australian Airports Association

Finalist: National Landcare Awards 2012; Urban Landcare Category

Winner: NT Urban Landcare award 2011

Winner: PowerWater Corporation Melaleuca Awards 2011; Commercial /Industrial category (Energy Reduction)

Winner: Power Water Melaleuca Awards 2008; Commercial/Industry category (DIA and Greening Australia NT Conservation Reserve)


If you have an environmental query or you have identified a potential hazard please contact our Environment Manager.

T: (08) 8920 1820