While it may still be known officially as Lewis University Airport (LOT), the Chicago-area airport that has been owned by the Joliet Regional Port District since 1989 is continuing to shed its sleepy former image: the FBO on the field will be doubling hangar space to 42,000 sq ft and adding 11,000 sq ft of office space. The airport, which sees approximately 120,000 operations a year, is home to 15 jets and 10 turboprops. It has a 6,500-foot main runway with 130,000-pound capacity, as well as a 5,700-foot secondary runway.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » FBOs
New developments at FBOs including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers.
Angola’s booming economy, which saw 10-percent growth in gross domestic product last year driven largely by new oil discoveries and reconstruction after the southwest African country’s long civil war, is driving a rapid expansion in business aviation activity. In response, local handling and aircraft management group Bestfly has opened the country’s first real FBO at Luanda International Airport. It is building a 21,500-sq-ft hangar that it expects will be ready in July.
Florida-based FBO chain Galaxy Aviation expects to break ground this month on a new hangar complex at its Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) facility. Known as Hangar 1, the 75,000-sq-ft concrete tilt-wall structure will have 28-foot-high doors capable of accommodating aircraft up to the size of a G650, and will be divided into two bays of approximately 33,000 sq ft each. Designed to provide shelter against the worst Florida weather, its construction will exceed hurricane wind code requirements, and the 16 private office suites will have hurricane impact glass storefront entries.
Business aviation traffic at Lagos International Airport has increased almost three-fold over the past couple of years, according to Evergreen Apple Nigeria, which opened the west African country’s first purpose-built FBO in 2011. According to managing director and CEO Segun Demuren, average monthly movements numbered 82 in 2011, but that number this year stands at 220. Now the company competes with ExecuJet Aviation, which opened its own facility at the airport last year.
Bacacheri Airport in the city of Curitiba, approximately 150 miles south of São Paulo, has been named the third largest general aviation airport in Brazil. A survey conducted by ABAG (Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral, Brazilian Association of General Aviation) showed the airport handled 52,786 movements in 2011, trailing only Campo de Marte Airport in São Paulo and Jacarepauá Airport in Rio de Janeiro.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) announced last month that APP Jet Center at Hayward Executive Airport in Hayward, Calif., is the first FBO to complete the requirements for its Safety 1st Ground Audit Standard. Introduced more than a year ago, the standard is intended to promote best practices in the aircraft service industry, and the association believes the program will eventually become the bar by which all FBOs are judged.
Signature Flight Support began operations yesterday at a satellite base at Berlin Tegel Airport. The new facility gives operators an alternative to the company’s existing FBO at Berlin Schoenefeld Airport and closer access to the center of the German capital.
Jet Aviation has completed the refurbishment and expansion of its FBO at Geneva International Airport, Switzerland. The makeover is part of Jet Aviation’s brand redesign at the company’s worldwide FBO and MRO facilities. The newly refurbished Geneva FBO, which is nearly twice the size of the original at nearly 7,000 sq ft, is already welcoming customers and will be publicly unveiled at an opening celebration at EBACE this month. Jet Aviation Zurich will be the next FBO to be refurbished, with construction currently under way.
The current state of the global FBO sector is fairly easy to summarize: growth uncertainty, tight margins and blocked opportunities present challenges. Outside the Americas, Europe remains at best flat in terms of traffic volumes, while markets such as Asia and Africa continue to see strong growth. The Middle East is somewhere in the middle.
NetJets has filed lawsuits against Signature Flight Support and Landmark Aviation in an attempt to force the two FBO chains to extend contracted high-volume fuel discounts to Support Services clients at NetJets aircraft charter and management arm Executive Jet Management.