When business aviation is booming, as it is now, nowhere is it more evident than at FBOs, the place at airports where everybody ends up hanging out, working, planning, preparing, departing and arriving. FBOs are also the place where most people are introduced to non-airline aviation.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » FBOs
New developments at FBOs including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers.
BBA Aviation, the UK-based parent company of FBO network Signature Flight Support, released its preliminary annual report for last year and the results are positive. Signature augmented its portfolio by adding three bases–in California, Florida and at Paris Le Bourget. According to the company, continued investment in the quality and capacity of its FBOs will position it well to support the growing demand for business jet facilities.
Florida FBO focuses
Plenty of FBOs at popular destinations offer movie rooms with giant projector screens, comfortable seating and popcorn machines, but Avitat Boca Raton at South Florida’s Boca Raton Airport might be the only FBO with its own movie theater. The FBO is located next door to the Muvico Palace 20, a movie theater famous for its stadium seating, full bar and dinner-plus-movie balcony auditoriums.
NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) have submitted comments to the FAA about the proposed shortening of Santa Monica, Calif.’s single runway using an engineered materials arresting system (EMAS) and by implementing declared distances. The proposal would reduce the current 4,973-foot runway length to a landing distance available of 4,741 feet on Runway 21 and 4,156 feet on Runway 3.
Although Mercury Air Centers/Corporate Wings won the bid to build an FBO at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) early last year, it might be some time before the company can get started on the project. “The acreage for the new FBO has been identified,” explained Richard Michaels, vice president of marketing for the FBO chain; “however, the airport is in the process of modifying the airport master plan.
When big crowds transit through Wilson Air Center’s Charlotte, N.C. FBO it’s usually because there is a Nascar race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. On March 2, however, the 650 people who filled the Wilson hangar came to see not race cars but a gathering of very light jets and jet mockups.
Hanscom Field, Bedford, Mass., is now a gateway airport for companies that want to fly into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) permits corporate and charter flights to use DCA with certain restrictions, including arrival from one of 19 gateway airports, vetting of flight crews, screening of passengers and carriage of an armed security officer on board.
Following the name change of the former Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield, Colo., to Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport last October, the tower’s appellation was modified to “Metro Tower.” Pilots were asked to stop using the old “Jeffco Tower” moniker as of March 15.
A plan for Discovery Air to buy VIH Aviation Group, which would have included VIH affiliate YYJ FBO Services at Victoria International Airport in British Columbia, has been canceled, according to a Discovery statement.
The first phase of Elliott Aviation’s renovation of its Omaha, Neb. FBO (including 2,000 sq ft added to the lobby) should be completed next month. After the lobby is done, the passenger and pilot lounges, conference rooms and restrooms will be refurbished and 2,000 sq ft added to the maintenance facility. The second phase includes installation of a curved glass wall that allows visitors to see inside the maintenance hangar from the FBO lobby.