‘Flexible Based Operations’ can accommodate FBO spikes

 - December 29, 2010, 5:49 AM

Business aviation consultancy Oriens Advisors has teamed with Spanish architecture group Cesar Martinell & Associates to promote a new design for temporary structures that can be used to provide additional capacity for FBOs during busy periods. The so-called Flexible Based Operations concept can also allow a ground handling provider to move ahead with rapid expansion while a permanent building is under construction.

The semi-permanent structures are intended to be able to accommodate all the usual services and facilities an FBO provides. They can be erected at a site in as little as two weeks and can be used for several years.

According to Oriens, the Flexible Based Operations concept is well suited to handle an influx of business aircraft traffic associated with a special event such as an Olympic Games or Super Bowl. The structures sell for prices starting at €850 per square meter (approximately $1,140 for 11 sq ft).

The design of the buildings was inspired by the Gaudi school of architecture, based in Cesar Martinell’s home city of Barcelona. “It is the intelligent fusion of geometry, economy and technology,” said Martinell, the architectural firm’s chairman. “The structure incorporates a strong environmental element as it is built with recyclable materials. The power used is generated largely from solar panels that form the roof, and water can be recycled as needed. The shape of the building maximizes the use of natural light, and the whole infrastructure contributes to reducing overall running costs and material waste.”

“With the increasing number of private airports upgrading their facilities, continued investment in airports around the world, and the development of Central and Eastern European military bases, we foresee a huge interest in the Flexible Based Operations facility,” said Oriens CEO Edwin Brenninkmeyer.

Oriens, which is based at London Biggin Hill Airport, is seeking to help airports to appreciate and exploit untapped value in the business aviation sector. It also provides advice and support to light jet operators to help them overcome the hurdles to successfully launching commercial services. Brenninkmeyer is an investor in Massachusetts-based Eclipse 500 operator Linear Air.

The Oriens team, which also includes Michael Ricks and Archie Garden, aims to help business aviation companies with challenges such as cost control and securing funding. In some cases, it can take a seat on the board of a company as it has with an undisclosed UK-based very light jet operator.

“We can help companies to demonstrate to investors that the operation is on the right scale and has a managed business model and can quickly get to cash flow,” Brenninkmeyer told AIN.