Like any other industry, the aviation services sector is propelled by a number of specific functions. In North America and parts of Europe, the concept of Fixed-Based Operator (FBO) services is understood to consist of certain components. So what’s a FBO? What kind of services do they offer? In this post, we will discuss these attributes and more.
What are Fixed-Based Operator (FBO) services?
To understand the services provided by FBOs, it is important to understand the process of entering an airport and using general aviation. FBOs provide a welcoming, private general aviation terminal for those passengers flying in general aviation aircraft. Unlike their commercial counterparts, there are no security lines or lengthy check in procedures. Instead, the FBO staff assists the flight crew for the general aviation airplane to prepare the plane for departure. This can consist of handling (moving) the airplane from the hangar or ramp standing area to the terminal for departure, as well as fueling the airplane and provisioning the airplane with sundries and other specific requests of the passengers (such as catering, other cabin supplies, etc. Since the passengers are known to the flight crews and the flight crews and the passengers are known to the FBOs, the boarding process is very fast and efficient. FBO personnel assist the flight crews in expeditiously helping the passengers board the aircraft, assisting with baggage stowage and ensuring any other pre-flight requirements are met.
What additional services do FBOs provide?
Pretty much everything needed by the flight crew or passengers. They are responsible for the facilities through which general aviation flights take place. These include hangar facilities at most airports and general aviation passenger terminals and other facilities. Within the definition of general aviation facilities, the FBO ensures that the flight crew can do their flight planning, check the weather and do all of the necessary preparation for the aircraft and passengers. The FBO also provides areas for the flight crew to rest and relax when they not actively preparing for a flight. Depending upon the airport and local regulations, passengers themselves may use the facilities for staging before a flight or they may be driven or escorted out directly to the aircraft by the FBO staff.
What other services do FBOs provide?
The short answer is whatever the passengers and flight crews need for a successful trip. Often this includes arranging or providing ground transportation for the passengers and crew, whether this using a ride hailing service or rental cars or taxis. It can also entail helping passengers with other concierge arrangements, such as booking hotels, finding restaurants, etc. FBOs usually have conference rooms for private meetings and may offer additional facilities for passengers and flight crews as well.
If you would like to learn more about Fixed-Based Operator (FBO) services and FBO management, you can search online to find service providers and management companies. You should diligence their experience and service offerings and ensure that they have the capabilities and capacity to meet your needs.