If you frequently fly private jets, your departing and landing experience may be limited to walking across the hangar and into a waiting car. However, an airport’s fixed-base operator (FBO) offers many useful ground-support services you might not know about — services that can make your flying experience safe and low-stress:
Ground equipment — Fuel is a primary source of income for FBOs and an important service for jet owners. After a long flight, the FBO staff will refuel your aircraft so that you’re ready for your next destination. And many FBOs offer fuel loyalty programs, allowing customers to accrue points that can be used toward future purchases. FBOs also have deicing trucks, tow bars, ground power units (GPUs), and other equipment to assist your landing and departure.
Maintenance — In case of an emergency, all FBOs can provide maintenance services; it’s even an airport requirement. In a worst-case scenario, it is a comfort to know that an FBO can provide the assistance you need to get you on your way.
Amenities — FBOs offer several services to keep you and your crew comfortable, such as concierge services, in-flight catering, hangar space, and sales of aircraft parts and supplies. Facilities such as a pilot lounge with computers and weather-reporting services, showers, Wi-Fi, and other amenities are typically available as well. Full-service FBOs strive to exceed customer expectations — they may have a hot cup of coffee ready for you upon arrival or even food ordered in from your preferred restaurant.
Some airports have as many as six FBOs. To locate an FBO at your destination airport, use an FBO directory such as the one available at GlobalAir.com.
FBOs are a key perk of flying a private aircraft. A dedicated FBO, such as Orion Jet Center in Miami, works to provide services that make clients’ travel experiences comfortable and enjoyable.