Melbourne Airport could soon have a VIP terminal dedicated to the highest of high-flyers including celebrities, rock bands, cashed-up ‘whales’ bound for Crown Casino and others belonging to the private jetset.
The terminal, which would be Australia’s first such facility, will be built on a 20 hectare (49 acre) site currently occupied by John Holland Aviation Services and first developed by Ansett Airlines before that airline collapsed in 2001.
Melbourne business tycoon Paul Little’s company Little Aviation has bought the John Holland site for an estimated $10 million, reports The Sydney Morning Herald, with plans to spend another $10 million upgrading the space to house a VIP terminal by the middle of 2015, subject to approval by Melbourne Airport.
“‘We think the types of people that will use the facilities are private aircraft owners through to rock groups to sporting people that come to Melbourne for the grand prix” Little said. “It is the sort of world-class facility that Melbourne just doesn’t have at the moment.'”
John Holland Aviation already holds several private jet contracts, including those run by the Crown Casino.
Little also has eyes beyond the domestic market, suggesting the VIP terminal could include its own quarantine and customs operations for handling international travellers.
Under Melbourne Airport’s current arrangements, all arriving international travellers are fed through the same channels, although the airport offers a ‘VIP room’ in the international arrivals and baggage reclaim hall where selected passengers can gather before braving the scrum to exit into the public area.
However, for some VIPs the airport does allow ‘tarmac transfers’ based on safety and security requirements.
A spokeswoman for Sydney Airport said the airport “has well-established VIP facilitation arrangements.”
“Several fixed base operators are located at Sydney Airport’s general aviation area to facilitate private jet movements away from the airport’s main terminals” she told Australian Business Traveller.
“We have five VIP lounges in our International terminal which are handled by Sydney Airport’s dedicated VIP manager.”
Source : Australian Business Traveller