Melbourne Jet Base is the luxurious gateway to Australasia
A look at the opulent private aircraft terminal located at Tullamarine Airport
Having your own private aircraft means embarking and disembarking at some of the most exclusive terminals in the world and just like the aircraft that they service, these terminals have been outclassing each other in the comfort and services they offer. After all, if you’re in the business of servicing the best flying machines owned by the most discerning people in the world, it pays to be truly exceptional.
Raising the bar
Terminals such as the newly opened Melbourne Jet Base are opulent, like six-star hotels complete with lounges, great food, and even accommodation for passengers’ and crew’s exclusive use. Opened in October 2018, Melbourne Jet Base is one of the latest and most luxurious entrants in the market. The AUD$100 million private aircraft terminal aims to be the destination of choice for VVIP travellers arriving on their private aircraft via Melbourne’s curfew-free international airport.
Located at Tullamarine Airport, the facility raises the bar for service providers in Australia and beyond. Melbourne Jet Base is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and features in-house customs and quarantine processing, with the option for passengers to be cleared onboard the aircraft.
“By creating a facility that accommodates exceptional private aviation travel, we hope to encourage more global VIPs to visit and experience all of Australia’s unique sights and scenes,” says Melbourne Jet Base, CEO, Murray Rance.
The facility has capacity to hangar 18 business aircraft and a sizeable 60,000sqm apron complements the hangars, offering clients flexible hangar and apron parking options.
A separate hangar displays the Jet Base’s fully restored DC-3, “Kanana”, one of the first DC-3 aircraft to be operated in Australia. Built in 1938 “Kanana” is the oldest, airworthy DC-3 in the region and is a true piece of aviation history.
Since it opened, the reception to Melbourne Jet Base has been, “overwhelmingly positive,” says Rance. “In the nine months since we’ve opened, Melbourne Jet Base has handled over 1,500 flights, and this trend is expected to continue in the future,” he said. Rance credits the state-of-the-art facility’s world-class service, amenities and features for the terminal’s success. Designed by Cox Architecture, Melbourne Jet Base is an exceptional piece of architecture, starting with its exterior, which spreads out in an elegant wing form – “a play on the poetic tension of earth and sky,” says the firm, which used “redefining travel” as a design guideline. And what a facility it is; stylish furnishings throughout the interior space subtly incorporate elements of Australia, like the deep red of Uluru, while the seemingly random lines of stonework coalesce into a koala’s face. Overall, the colour scheme hews to subdued black and brown tones, with polished black Brazilian marble on the floor as the unifying element that ties all the features together.
The idea for the facility emerged from the vision of prominent Australian businessman and philanthropist Paul Little AOO to deliver an exceptional experience for global VIP travellers. The businessman, who owns and operates a Gulfstream G650 internationally, has visited and experienced private terminals all around the world.
“Having travelled the world for business, Paul had experienced private terminals across the globe and noticed that many of the facilities inadequately met the specific needs or matched the expectations of the travellers and operators. Thus, Melbourne Jet Base was created to offer a bespoke private facility specifically designed for the requirements of the distinguished travellers of the world,” says Rance.
The bespoke character is really just a means to an end. Melbourne Jet Base allows high net worth individuals to avoid the crowds and queues of public terminals for a smooth and stress-free journey. Passengers can arrive discreetly in their chauffeur-driven limousines, have access to private customs and immigration screening, dine a la carte, or indulge in a luxurious day spa.
Those seeking to relax and refresh can do so within luxurious hotel-style suites. Passengers arriving into Melbourne can opt to take a helicopter transfer service to the city or to one of the wondrous destinations Melbourne has to offer. On hand is a dedicated concierge who can recommend activities, book tickets for a show or reserve a table at one of Melbourne’s award-winning dining establishments.
“Clearly, given the significant investment in the facility, projections for business aviation in the region are promising,” says Rance.
“We predict consistently strong growth for the business aviation sector in the foreseeable future as we see a shift between segments in new aircraft deliveries – towards large private aircraft such as the Gulfstream 650 and the Global 7500.”
Melbourne Jet Base has some exciting developments in the pipeline which they are not quite ready to release but they have assured us that they will be the first of their kind for Australia if not the world and will help cement their status as a gateway into Australia.