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How FBOs Work

A fixed base operator, or FBO, is a person or organization handling different types of services at any given airport. This is also known as a private jet terminal, handling everything from supplying fuel and maintenance to the aircraft, for providing access for passengers. Here is some vital information about how FBOs work so you can become better acquainted with them, using this information to determine how to find a good FBO to purchase.

History of FBOs

FBOs essentially began in the early 1900s, near the end of World War l in the United States. During this time, civil aviation was mostly unregulated and there were simply transient pilots that operated different types of military aircraft. There would be temporary locations throughout the country, such as in farmer’s large empty fields, to have camps where they could offer flight lessons or give airplane rides. The requirements changed in 1926, which is when FBOs started becoming apparent. They were permanent businesses handling pilots, maintenance, fuel and mechanics of aircraft.

Modern Day FBOs

Nowadays, fixed base operators are depended on by pilots and airports. They depend on their FBO for clients who are on business trips, maintaining their aircraft, offering certain amenities and handling flight classes and training. Some FBOs nowadays are independently owned and operated, while others are part of chains. Currently, there are a little over 5,200 FBOs in the United States. The quality of the FBO often determines exactly how well they can help the pilots with their daily operations.

The Role of FBOs

FBOs have an important role, though it often changes. In some airports, the role is to provide excellent service and amenities to the clients of a small, charter airport. In this case, they handle transportation, customer service, car detailing, catering requests, providing excellent waiting areas, and other special services. Other FBOs are mre about the maintenance and handling of the aircraft. If you are currently shopping around for an FBO, figuring out the primary role of the person or organization is important because it gives you a good place to start on your search.

Before purchasing an FBO for your airport, it is important to perform sufficient research. Make sure they have plenty of knowledge and experience with whatever role you are hoping to fill. This might be delivering aircraft fuel or catering to guests, but either way, they should be experienced with that specific service. Finding an FBO Consultant can help.

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