The Royal Victorian Aero Club seeks expressions of interest from capable, innovative catering professionals to operate its Flight Deck Bar and Grill.

The venue

The Flight Deck Bar and Grill located on Moorabbin Airport, Mentone, and is the airport’s only fully licensed venue.  It is situated meters from the main runways and taxiways.  Apart from the control tower, which is next door, there is no better place from which to watch movements on one of Australia’s busiest aerodromes.

The venue comprises a bar, a partitionable seating area for 100 patrons and a fully equipped kitchen and adjoins some of the Club’s training facilities and meeting rooms.  There are garden areas airside and at the rear, and dedicated parking for 22 vehicles.

The caterer operates under a license agreement with the Club.  Terms are negotiable and incentives will be considered to attract a capable, innovative operator, including necessary updates or refurbishments to the site and interior.

Who we are

The Royal Victorian Aero Club was founded in 1914, only eleven years after the Wright Brothers flew.  Today, it is a not-for-profit institution with over one hundred years’ history, operating a club for around 400 aviation enthusiasts, a flight school, a fleet of aircraft and a maintenance facility.

Flight Deck is RVAC’s clubhouse, where members, staff, students and the general public can meet and socialise over a drink or meal.  It hosts club events such as Dawn Patrol, Young Eagles and Able Day, as well as functions and regular meetings of other bodies, such as the Phillip Island Auto Racing Club and the Sport Aircraft Association.

Local market

A rising tide lifts all boats and the Moorabbin aviation community is benefiting from a massive increase in demand for flight crew.  The Boeing Company estimates that the world will need 640,000 pilots over the next two decades, half of those in the Asia Pacific region.  Even now, airlines both domestic and overseas are struggling with pilot shortages.

At Moorabbin, one major flight school has invested in new training and accommodation facilities, particularly responding to demand from China.  Another has announced significant expansion plans.  All flight schools, including ours, are busier.

Moorabbin’s population is swelling with new students, many from offshore, instructors and others who provide the services that keep the planes in the air.  They need places to eat, drink and hang out.

More broadly, Moorabbin Airport Corporation’s development of the airport, whilst controversial among pilots, is also drawing more people into the local economy.

Whilst there are no other venues on the airport itself, the mix of residential, business and manufacturing activity in the area sustains a number of restaurants and bars.  Flight Deck’s main competition is arguably the Naked Racer on Grange Road.  This is a combination of motor cycle shop, museum, bar and café, with music on weekends.

Newly renovated venues at the Cheltenham RSL and the Dingley International Hotel have similar offerings to Flight Deck’s.

For more casual eating, there is a range of restaurants, cafes, fast food outlets and foodcourts at the DFO shopping complex on the corner of Grange and Centre Dandenong Roads.


If this sounds like a great opportunity for your business, call Club President Stuart Rushton on 03 8586 7777 to arrange a tour of the facility.  It is fully operational under the current caterer licensee until 31 December, by which time we aim to have a new operator in place.

Choosing to proceed, the next step would be meeting RVAC’s Board to present your plan for Flight Deck:

  • Business model and format;
  • Value proposition – why will people want to come to Flight Deck?
  • What, if anything, you would ask RVAC to do to help make Flight Deck succeed under your business model;
  • Your proposed timing, promotion, and any administrative issues.

The Board will assess which submission has the greatest chance of success and fits best with the Club’s object and culture, and then enter further discussions with that proponent.

Image credit: Tasteful Dinners