Guide for Selecting an Aircraft Charter and Management Specialist

Aircraft Charter and Management is a highly regulated, highly specialized business. The relationship between an aircraft owner and their management company is unique; it is closer to a partnership then a traditional supplier/customer relationship. When it comes to selecting a company for aircraft management, most owners like to hire a company with deep experience, top safety ratings and one which understands and is aligned with the owner’s air travel requirements. In this post, we will discuss key areas that are differentiators when choosing and ACM company.

– Experience is one of the most important factors. When you are looking for an aircraft charter and management specialist, you have to consider their experience. This is extremely vital because it largely determines the kind of services you can expect from them. If required, ask the prospective company to offer references of past customers with similar aircraft and mission profiles.

– Consider their safety ratings. There are well known and respected organizations such as Argus, Wyvern, IS-BAO and the Air Charter Safety Foundation which rate ACM companies based upon their safety record. Ask potential management company for its ratings from these organizations.

– Who are their clients? While many organizations and individual aircraft owners prefer confidentiality, some may be available for use as reference. At a minimum an ACM operator should be able to provide a profile of their clients on a “blind” basis for review.

– What’s their expertise? A prospective management company should be able to provide you a summary of their Operations Specifications, or OPSPECS, so you can better understand their capabilities. This is especially important for owners who plan to travel outside of the U.S.

– How do they measure success? Another way of saying this is what type of reporting will you receive? Most owners of managed aircraft receive a monthly summary detailing every flight, every maintenance transaction, etc. As an owner, you have every right to receive whatever information you want, in whatever format you want it. If you are used to reviewing performance reports a certain way, you should be able to tailor your aircraft activity reporting this way as well. If desired, you can even have an automated data interface set up to electronically transfer this information to you as well.

Finally, you have to understand the value proposition. Not all companies can deal with management requirements efficiently, and it can only add to your overall costs. The whole purpose of hiring an aviation management company is to keep a tight control on the operations and increase efficiency and transparency. Unless the management company can meet your expectations in these areas, it is unlikely that you can expect good returns as far as customer service and delivery of execution are concerned.

Please consider these areas as your diligence aircraft charter and management companies for your potential use. If you would rather use a third part consultant, that can also provide the comfort you are seeking that the potential ACM companies have been properly vetted to meet your needs.

Quick Guide to The Basic Services Offered by Fixed-Based Operators

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.