Our services
  • Communications strategy
  • Issues management
  • Media and client partner relations
  • Strategic marcomms positioning and amplification
  • Copywriting and content curation
  • Event ideation and support
  • Marketing and owned channels support

Moorabbin Airport Corporation

Moorabbin Airport is Australia's preeminent general aviation flight training airport, situated in the south-east of Melbourne. The expansive 294-hectare airport is a hub for various aviation activities, including flying training, flight charter, aviation maintenance, and general and recreation aviation operations. The airport also houses a thriving non-aviation commercial centre, contributing significantly to the local economy. Facing challenges in gaining approval for its 2021 Master Plan, Moorabbin Airport Corporation (MAC) sought the expertise of Communications Collective (CC), to navigate the complex landscape of stakeholder communications in the lead-up to the Master Plan’s resubmission in 2023.

Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne. Image byJosh Brnjac Photography


MAC’s preliminary draft Master Plan faced rejection from the Commonwealth Minister in March 2022, citing concerns about the potential loss of existing aviation infrastructure. Given Moorabbin Airport’s status as Australia’s second busiest airport and a key location for aviation training, opposition to the Master Plan due to the ‘squeezing out’ of the aviation land was evident among aviation tenants and the aviation industry, with local residents also concerned about safety with the proposed increase in commercial infrastructure. In response, MAC aimed to address community feedback and revise its Master Plan, necessitating a strategic communication plan to mitigate reputational damage and potential opposition during the Master Plan’s resubmission and approval process. 


Working with MAC as its strategic communications partner, CC devised a comprehensive communications strategy for effective communication with diverse stakeholders. This included both a proactive public relations approach, including brand positioning and key messages, as well as facilitation of good news articles for the local community, and further encompassed a robust issues management program including holding statements, FAQs, site maps, contact sheets, and escalation plans. Additionally, CC provided strategic advisory on proactive communication tactics to counter potential issues and promote positive engagement as false narratives were circulated in the lead-up to the Master Plan’s announcement, circulated by key opposers and sensationalist media titles. CC’s proactive communication strategy highlighted the benefits of the Master Plan and countered inaccuracies circulating in the community and media. Collaborating with key media outlets, CC aimed to announce the Master Plan decision and share positive stories about local aviation customers and Airport initiatives to increase positive public regard for the precinct and MAC as a custodian for one of Australia’s leading flight training airports. 


CC executed a robust and impact communications program, encompassing community ‘good news’ articles, issues management collateral, and stakeholder relations tactics. By creating compelling narratives around MAC’s core content pillars and values, CC aimed to build brand equity and inform audiences about the airport’s significance in the City of Kingston and the broader aviation landscape. CC successfully facilitated positive news stories about small aviation businesses, community partnerships and aviation activities with key journalists, showcasing not only MAC’s positive contribution to its stakeholders but also its commitment to transparency through consistent and timely communications. Community consultation workshops, private media tours, letterbox drops, and potential community grants were also proposed to further engage the local community. CC also produced a series of tailored direct communications for MAC’s diverse audiences, including e-newsletter frameworks and copy, marketing and owned channel advisory (including website audits), comprehensive review of Master Plan collateral, brand positioning recommendations, as well as case studies to simplify complex information included in the 350-page-plus Master Plan. 


CC’s strategic proactive communications and issues management efforts yielded significant results and positive regard for the Airport as a leading aviation base for flight training, as well as a key activity centre and place of state significance in Victoria. With over 18 pieces of media coverage generated in a few months, CC successfully conveyed the truthful, positive narrative of MAC’s Master Plan to the community. This strategic approach allowed ‘fence sitters’ to understand the full picture, fostering healthy relationships between MAC, its stakeholders, media, and the local council. The outcome was a neutral to positive reputational positioning within the community, showcasing the effectiveness of CC’s tailored communication strategy for MAC’s longterm regard within both aviation circles and its local context. 


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Daniel Pockett, Moorabbin Airport, Paul Ferguson
Moorabbin Airport