Everything you need to know about Fixed-Based Operators

If you’re an equity sponsor or an investor in the aviation sector, you probably have many questions about the on-airport services. In some parts of Europe and North America, the roles of different FBOs and service providers are well-defined while in some countries local ground handlers are associated with most of the roles played by FBOs. This post focuses on the overview of FBOs and all the other basic things you should know.

What are FBO services?

Fixed-Based Operator (FBO) services operate important facilities and infrastructure in aviation normally under long-term lease directly from the airport. These services vary depending on the size and nature of an airport. However, the core profile of the FBOs doesn’t change.

It’s important to note that the FBOs play a number of roles. They offer critical line service functions such as the hanging of private aircraft, handling, fuelling, managing the passenger terminals, and more. FBOs can also provide a specific level of aircraft maintenance and repair services.

The location and size of an FBO determine its services to a larger extent. In Europe and North America, full-service FBO services are more popular than in Asian countries and Australia where the demand for such services is increasing.

Who are ground handlers?

On the other hand, ground handlers are licensed by the airport management as a concessionaire. The ground handlers may offer different services needed in the aviation sector, majorly in airports which lack the requisite infrastructure for full Fixed-Based Operator services. In most cases, these companies (ground handlers) deal with below-wing services. However, in some circumstances, they may also deal with over-wing services.

More about the FBOs

Fixed-Based Operators (FBOs) specialize in various fields when it comes to aviation infrastructure management, though these companies are expected to perform specific core line functions. These are companies that must understand the requirements of the private aviation, whether recreational or corporate and offer direct help to the flying people.

Some FBOs may have extra experience in facility management. That means you own aviation assets and you’re looking for professional management, you must closely check and review the prospective service provider’s breadth, depth, and the experience in the services they are providing. After all, the last thing you need is getting your aviation assets mismanaged and misused by anyone claiming to be an FBO. For investors and other individuals or corporates seeking help for international aviation assets management, then, the FBO must have a proven track record in worldwide operations.