Choosing a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) Services Provider

An FBO services provider allows pilots to visit distant airports and access a wide range of services from aircraft preparation and repairs to accommodations and services for the people aboard while on the ground. Having a reliable, knowledgeable, and established FBO company on call is a critical component of long-distance aviation journey. Choosing the right provider can ensure that your aircraft is in top shape and ready to fly when you are, allowing you to get some valuable downtime or focus on other tasks while you’re in town. What services can you expect when you’re dealing with a local FBO provider? Here’s a closer look at what pilots need to know.

Routine aircraft preparation and maintenance

The most important services that an FBO services provider offers are those that prepare your aircraft to get back in the air when needed. The availability of fuel – including Jet A and AvGas – is absolutely critical to a pilot’s ability to refuel and take off on schedule. If your plane has an onboard oxygen system, your FBO will be able to refill both oxygen and nitrogen as required. If you have mechanical needs, a highly trained on-staff mechanic will be available to complete a walk-through of your plane, evaluate the situation, and if needed make repairs. When an FBO doesn’t have necessary parts on hand, they’ll usually manage the process of ordering and expediting the part to their location to solve the problem. From getting your systems online and working when you’re experiencing trouble to simply handling the details of turning over your aircraft, these experts take care of all the elements of navigating the local airport.

Lavatory and potable water services

Whether you’re flying a small commercial plane or you’re enjoying the comfort of a private jet, small touches make your experience more comfortable. In-flight lavatories and the availability of drinking water are key to the in-flight experience. A good FBO company will offer a range of services including lavatory pumping and the availability of aircraft safe cleaning chemicals. In addition, they’ll be able to measure the potable water onboard and refill as needed. Often the capacity on smaller planes requires that these systems receive attention each time a flight stops to refuel.

Generalized ground support

FBOs provide a wide variety of ground support services. These include the use of air stairs to exit and enter the plane, cargo loading and unloading services, the use of GPU units to power your plane, and more. If you need your food restocked or your plane professionally cleaned before take-off, an FBO can provide that support. Tie-downs and 24/7 security and monitoring of your aircraft are also part of the standard menu while you’re parked at the airport.

Meeting space and catering

When you’re flying into town for a meeting, your aircraft may not offer the ambience that you’re seeking. Sometimes you simply want the opportunity to stretch your legs. But leaving the airport and traveling to a nearby city can be an unwanted hassle. An FBO can handle the logistics of your meetings, from providing onsite conference rooms to taking care of details such as catering your event.

Partnering with the right FBO makes long distance flights easier. By hiring the most reputable FBO services provider in any destination, you’ll ensure both the quality of your stay and your peace of mind that your plane will be ready to go the moment you need to leave.

All About FBO and Aircraft Handling Services

The aviation industry is served by many service companies, but Fixed Base Operators or FBOs are of particular importance for private and commercial carriers. In this post, we will talk about FBOs in detail and understand some of their services and roles in the current industry.

The essential services

As the name suggests, FBOs and aircraft handling services offer fixed infrastructure and a wide range of different facilities at an airport. These facilities can be really diverse, from managing terminals and passenger services to immigration, aircraft fueling and maintenance services. The range of services offered by these companies depends largely on the size and location. In places like the Middle East, India and China these services are still developing at a rapid rate, while in Europe and North America FBOs already do prominent jobs at most airports.

Understanding aircraft handling services

Some FBOs do offer aircraft handling services, although such services can be provided by third parties as well. A ground handler usually has a direct license from the airport from which to offer these services. This may include both above and below wing services (discussed further in this post). Airport handling services are critical because these offer help and assistance with ground support equipment. Ground handlers must carry significant liability insurance and must have proper safety training in the field. In most countries they also need additional certification from different authorities.

Above and below wing services

“Above Wing” services are all about assisting the crew and passengers to and from the aircraft. This may include handling passengers at the airport, along with other services like transportation to the aircraft, in-flight catering and managing accommodation at hotels if needed. FBOs also manage concierge services to serve the passenger requirements of those using private aircraft. On the other hand, “Below Wing” services involve actual ground handling work, including baggage handling, towing, and coordinating with other parties for fueling, hangar and other services. Many of the companies also offer additional essential services, such as the supply of certain equipment such as tugs, ground power units and other equipment.

Other important areas

If you are a private aircraft owner and require FBO services, you need to find a company that has extensive experience in the field. You need to know the depth of experience they have providing FBO services and their current capabilities and capacities. For FBO services, it’s important to have a company that specializes in the field and has worked at major airports in America. You might also want to know their experience in the international arena, especially when you need to specifically plan for international operations.

Over the years, the demand for FBOs has increased considerably, although the roles can differ in different countries. These companies perform the technical requirements and handle other issues at major airports and streamline the work in a professional way, both for flight crews and passengers. Some of the FBOs even work with airport sponsors and other parties to manage and handle specific projects.