The Air Elite FBO network now numbers 30 locations worldwide with the addition of UK-based Harrods Aviation and the UAE’s Royal Jet. An offshoot of the group that owns the London department store, Harrods Aviation operates facilities at London Stansted and Luton Airports with luxurious guest and discrete VIP lounges, workstations, conference facilities and select Harrods merchandise. In addition to the standard crew amenities, the Stansted facility offers two private crew bunk rooms. Both locations can handle private bizliner-class aircraft, up to a Boeing 747-400 in Stansted’s case.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » FBOs
New developments at FBOs including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers.
Mexican service provider Asertec expects to break ground this month on a new FBO terminal at San Antonio International Airport in Texas, the company’s third location and its first in the U.S. Since last November, Asertec has been operating an FBO at the airport out of offices in the former Sino-Swearingen facility, now a hub of aviation businesses known as Skyplace Center.
APP Jet Center has broken ground on a new 20,000-sq-ft heated hangar at its Manassas Regional Airport facility near Washington, D.C. When completed in January, the FBO’s sixth hangar will be able to accommodate business aircraft up to the size of a Gulfstream G650. The addition will bring the total aircraft storage space at the facility to 150,000 sq ft. APP’s existing hangar space at Manassas is fully occupied, and the company said it continues to receive inquiries from operators based at Dulles seeking to relocate there.
Volo Aviation has been awarded a three-year contract to manage the FBO at Plattsburgh (N.Y.) International Airport, which serves the Plattsburgh/Montreal/Lake Placid Region, including northern New York State, southern Quebec and Vermont. “We are pleased to have been awarded this contract,” said Volo Aviation senior vice president for FBO operations Brian Ciambra. “By leveraging our FBO experience and market knowledge, we are confident that we can assist Clinton County in achieving its goal of enhancing the customer experience while expanding business at this location,” he added.
The Jet Centre at London City Airport (LCY) concluded a $500,000 renovation of its passenger facility last month. Aimed at streamlining the passenger experience, with improvements such as a relocated entrance adjacent to the car park and a new layout to facilitate interaction between staff and customers, the facility now offers a “60-second plane to car” arrival pledge.
Rectrix Commercial Aviation Services has acquired APP Jet Center’s FBO facility at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SQR), Fla., for an undisclosed cash amount. The move consolidates the Massachusetts-based company’s holdings on the field while reducing the number of service providers there to two. The Rectrix Aerodrome Center now encompasses 24 acres with more than 180,000 sq ft of hangars and passenger service areas. The addition allows the FBO to service up to four aircraft at a time, with space to accommodate another 60 aircraft.
Aviation services provider FlightLevel Aviation has signed a five-year lease to run the lone FBO at Cape May County Airport in Wildwood, N.J. The Delaware River and Bay Authority, which owns and manages the airport, ran the FBO on a limited basis for nearly a year after the departure of Big Sky Aviation in 2011. “A quality FBO is critical to an airport because it’s the first thing residents and visitors see when they arrive,” said airport director Steve Williams.
With its acquisition of Jet Aviation’s London Biggin Hill maintenance facility early this year, the 328 Group, which supports the worldwide fleet of Dornier 328 turboprops and jets among others, also acquired the former Jet Aviation FBO, which it is operating under its newly established Jets brand.
As part of a growing suite of noise- and pollution-control measures, France’s Nice Cote D’ Azur Airport will invest in the installation of a new underground power system that will reduce business jets’ dependency on auxiliary power units on the ramp. The system, the first of its kind in Europe, provides hatches under each aircraft engine start-up stand for access to a centralized power and heating/cooling system, greatly reducing the number of APU operation hours, as well as reducing exhaust emissions. The $2.7 million project is expected to begin this summer.
Following our June 28 report about a change of ownership at the Diamond Hangar FBO at London Stansted Airport, Mike Foley contacted AIN to explain that he had not, in fact, been managing director of the facility’s former owner, Eighteen Aviation, as the company had previously described him in official statements. Foley said that he had served as a “consultant director” in setting up the FBO before resigning this position last December.