Each year NBAA Convention News’ sister publication Aviation International News’ conducts a survey of readers who use FBOs and asks them to rate facilities in four key categories: line service, passenger amenities; pilot amenities and services; and facilities, using a one to 10 scale. For the 2009 survey, AIN invited 14,687 subscribers to participate and received 2,661 properly completed survey returns for a return rate of 18.1 percent. Readers rated a total of 41,098 facilities worldwide, averaging roughly 15 FBOs per respondent.
All of the FBOs in the survey’s top 10 list represent the cream of the crop, those rated the best by AIN’s readers and frequent FBO visitors. Many of these FBOs are here exibiting on the Convention center floor, providing an opportunity for NBAAers to get to know more about them.
For the 2009 FBO Survey, one surprising result was the toppling of perennial favorite Wilson Air Center’s Memphis FBO from the top spot, which it has held for many years. Now number two, Wilson Air Center is owned by Bob Wilson, son of Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson and no stranger to the need for stellar customer service. Wilson Air Center’s score of 8.97 remains high compared with the rest of the field, but it took more than 9.00 to beat the top FBO, Sugar Land Regional Airport (Booth No. 3259) near Houston. The city-owned and -run FBO garnered a 9.09 overall average, the only overall rating above 9.00.
There are 12 FBOs in this year’s Top 10 listing because a change was made so tied FBOs aren’t counted as more than one facility. For example, Million Air (Dallas, Booth No. 4671) and Texas Jet (Fort Worth, Booth No. 2613) tied for ninth place, so the next FBOs, also tied, are number 10. This avoids the confusion of jumping from one place to a higher number, say seventh to tenth, when there are multiple FBOs with the same overall rating.
Pentastar Aviation Million Air Pontiac (Booth No. 2649) almost scored the same as last year’s overall average with an 8.84, down slightly from 8.88, and with Sugar Land’s vault into first place, Pentastar is now ranked third.
AirFlite Long Beach (Booth No. 4621) remains in the top ten but moved down to sixth from last year’s third place, scoring a rating of 8.71 to last year’s 8.81.
Meridian Teterboro (Booth No. 1890) is a new addition to the top ten list with a rating of 8.74, up from last year’s 8.59, although it should be noted that under the new system, Meridian would have been number 10 last year.
Moving up from sixth to fourth place this year is Business Jet Center’s Dallas FBO (Booth No. 2613) with a slightly higher rating of 8.75.
Banyan Air Services of Fort Lauderdale (Booth No. 4029), celebrating its 30th year in business, remains in the number seven spot with a rating of 8.65, down slightly from last year’s 8.68.
Tampa International Jet Center made a huge jump this year, up from last year’s 8.24 and 35th place to 8.64 and eighth place.
Two Dallas-area FBOs–Million Air Dallas and Fort Worth’s Texas Jet–tied for ninth place at 8.63. This reflects a slight decrease for that Million Air FBO compared with last year’s 8.68, and an increase for Texas Jet from last year’s 8.54.
Finally, in the top 10’s tenth ranking are Arizona’s Scottsdale Air Center (Booth No. 3524) and Enterprise Jet Center of Houston. The Scottsdale FBO jumped to an 8.60 rating, up from last year’s 8.44 and 21st place.