When you’re looking for a private aircraft rental, you want to be sure that all of your needs are taken care of. Instead of waiting in line and dealing with the crowds, you need to know that a professional crew will take care of you, your aircraft, and all of the services you need.
When you’re about to take off on your next private jet flight, you’ll be given the name of an FBO where you’ll need to go when you arrive at the airport. Your pilot will know what to do, but what about you?
If you don’t know the term “FBO,” here’s everything you need to know about FBO services for your private flight.
What Is FBO?
When a private FBO client lands, they don’t use the same terminal as commercial airline customers. Instead of dealing with the crowds and long lines shared by general aviation and consumer flights, they head for the fixed-base operator (FBO).
The term FBO refers to fixed base operator or a private terminal at an airport designed to service private jet customers and provide them with a wide range of amenities. In some airports, business aviation is an altogether separate airport terminal away from the main passenger terminals.
At smaller airports, the FBO may be a separate pier or other building. While sometimes the FBO is built from scratch by the airport authorities, others adapt existing terminal space and facilities for their FBO.
When flying into smaller or more remote airports, it can be a challenge to find reliable fuel, top-notch hangar facilities, and an excellent ground handling crew. These are all provided by the fixed base operator, which are business operations that have been granted the right by an airport authority to operate on that airport and provide services to the civil aviation community.
Arriving At The Fixed-Base Operator
Private charter customers are given details of the FBO they need to go to when they arrive at the airport. Some of the small private executive airports will only have one FBO, while other FBOS will have two or more; some travelers have a preferred and specified FBO to arrive or take-off from.
When you land at the airport, you will probably be met by the crew pilot of your flight at the FBO who will guide you to your aircraft. The truth is that private flight customers move through the airport much faster than standard business flight customers and will almost always be the first on and off the plane.
Many travelers are in and out of the FBO so fast that they don’t even get to experience the FBO amenities in the first place. They just come in, grab their bags, and keep moving.
FBOs Benefits and Services Offered
A private jet aircraft is the only way to get to 75% of the country’s airports. Additionally, public airlines can’t fly to smaller airports with shorter runways. Flying private allows you to fly directly into these secluded destinations.
Only private jet travel ensures you have access to the most destinations across the country. With a private jet, you can fly to more places in the United States without wasting time on layovers or alternative transportation. Overall, charter jet travel has access to thousands of airports that public flights don’t have access to. Fewer airline terminals mean less wasted time on flights and more time doing what’s important, even if that means just relaxing at the FBO until your next takeoff.
A large part of FBO services is to provide a comfortable experience for its patrons. That’s why many FBOs support their customers with amenities like wireless internet, light refreshments, and bathroom facilities. Larger or more specialized FBOs offer luxury concierge, hotel rooms, and conference facilities—they want their customers to feel right at home.
An FBO supports a wide range of aeronautical activities:
- Aviation fuel
- Air charter
- Scheduled or nonscheduled flight carrier and support
- Pilot training
- Aircraft purchase, management, and leasing
- Jet card membership programs
- Maintenance repair and overhaul services
- Flight training
From a security perspective, the relative ease and convenience of private aviation reduce your exposure risks. Private aviation is typically comprised of less than 10 touch points door to door. And in comparison to a typical public flight, private aviation is much safer with fewer refueling spills, stranded passengers, canceled flights, and unfiltered communication from pilots.
Above-Wing and Below-Wing FBO Service
FBO service is split into two categories, so make sure you know what you’re paying for when you hear different terms.
“Above wing” aviation services include managing flight crew and passengers through customs and immigration process, as well as arranging for flights, hotels, transportation, and catering directly from the aircraft operator. It also includes concierge service for crew and passengers, which is delivering top-notch customer service by arranging for the best amenities and services for your clients.
On the other hand, below-wing service includes luxuries like special aircraft push-back and towing, baggage handling, air taxi, hangar space, aircraft parts, flight crew training standards, bathroom facilities and water services, and fueling coordination, as well as provisioning of GSE equipment, including tow bars, stairs, and ground power units.
International FBO Service Outside Of United States
The FBO concept, which was popularized in New York, United States, and Canada over the past century, has gained popularity around the world.
In Europe, FBOs are essentially the same as they are in the United States. FBOs are the place where pilots park their aircraft, refuel, and receiving.
Several full-service FBOs have emerged in Asia including in Hong Kong and Singapore aviation services. These facilities offer concierge service and in some cases even offer a full-blown chauffeur service, allowing you to travel in luxury anywhere in the world.
Australian base operator FBOs aren’t all that different from their North American counterparts. Landing, parking, ramp services, hangar leasing, and other services are all pretty similar.
The FBO decision is the most important decision to make before arriving at an airport. It’s critical to have all the necessary plans already in place before you land, including flight planning, fuel, ground transportation, and catering.
Book your next private journey with Charter Jet Airlines so you don’t have to worry about your fixed base operator arrangements. We’ll help you make all the major arrangements for your aircraft hangar and concierge service so you can spend more time enjoying your trip in comfort and luxury.
Regardless of your flight’s destination, a personal concierge at the FBO will meet you upon arrival and help you through the entire process. From taking care of all of the paperwork to coordinating your luggage, we take the hassle out of flying private and providing an exceptional user experience.