Mercury opens new PHF FBO

 - September 14, 2006, 4:54 AM

Mercury Air Centers opened its new FBO terminal at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) on June 7, with new general manager Mike Agee at the helm. The 8,000-sq-ft, one-floor facility is representative of typical Mercury Air Centers facilities, according to company owner Kenn Ricci. The facility features a basic T layout with the ramp-side entry opening into a comfortable, spacious lobby flanked by a glass-fronted conference room. The sides of the building house a line office, kitchen, coffee room, offices and a crew lounge with ramp-facing windows. Mercury Williamsburg is part of Ricci’s chain of 24 FBOs, which also includes Corporate Wings and IX Jet Center.

All of the FBOs in Ricci’s stable participate in the chain’s Fuel On Demand program, under which operators prepay ramp and facility service fees in exchange for lower fuel prices. At Williamsburg, for example, a jet operator can buy a Fuel On Demand 12-pack (essentially paying 12 use-of-facilities fees at once) for $3,600, which saves $2.25 per gallon off Mercury’s retail jet-A price ($5.18 per gallon early last month). “If you buy 125 gallons on average,” Ricci said, “you might as well pay the fee.” Operators can use the Fuel On Demand packs at any of the chain’s 24 FBOs. Mercury hangar tenants pay a slightly higher rental rate, which includes participation in Fuel On Demand. Mercury’s Los Angeles FBO is due for upgrading later this year, and in June the chain was awarded rights to build a new FBO at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, according to Ricci.