Knowing The Relevance of Fixed Base Operators on Commercial Airports

For the uninitiated, FBO stands for Fixed Base Operator – a term that’s extremely relevant in both the general and commercial aviation sectors. The aviation industry is propelled by a number of companies and service providers, many of which are focused on helping different parties with vested interests. FBO basically cater to the needs of general aviation, and depending on their profile, they may work with commercial carriers and other individual companies that require on-airport services. In this post, we will talk about FBOs and how their services are important and pertinent for the sector.

The need for FBO

It is very hard to generalize the scope of work done by Fixed Base Operators, primary because their roles at different airports can vary tremendously. They are, however, extremely important to the aviation customers they serve. As mentioned, an FBO may choose to work with a regular commercial airline, or they might be involved in airport maintenance as approved by the airport sponsor along with the overseeing regulatory authority. FBOs are important because they provide a critical service, the supply of aviation fuels, at the airports they serve. Their services help in maintaining standards and services at an airport, and they can serve commercial carriers as well as the general aviation public. Many FBOs are described as full service, meaning they provide additional services such as Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and Aircraft Charter and Management (ACM) in addition to the core FBO services of aircraft handling, fueling and hangaring. It largely depends on the nature of the airport and local demand for services.

Things to expect

FBOs serve in different roles. Almost all FBOs provide the core line services of aircraft handling, fueling and hangaring. Most also provide facilities with amenities for the flying public and flight crews, including general aviation terminals with customer service desks and seating areas, flight planning and pilot lounges and rest areas, and other amenities. When it comes to commercial services, FBOs at many regional airports will provide commercial handling and fueling where there is not enough commercial service to rise to the level of a stand-alone third party provider. Although somewhat less frequent, FBO personnel can also provide some above wing services such as passenger ticketing, check in and gate agent services.

Working with a FBO

If you are an airport sponsor or someone who needs assistance with airport businesses, you should be careful about how you choose the best FBO management service. Expertise and experience matter the most in this sector, given that the cost of operations is getting higher as demand for higher service levels and better facilities continues to increase. You need a team that knows your business goals and can offer dedicated assistance with complex aviation logistics. As a prospective client, you should carefully diligence their experience and capabilities, and you should always be able to contact their references. FBOs are great at overcoming operational challenges, but working with the right service provider who understands your needs and meets your expectations is critical.

Check online now to find the best FBOs in business.

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.