The Top 10 FBOs

 - October 1, 2008, 5:30 AM

The results of the 2008 FBO Survey conducted by NBAA Convention News’s sister publication Aviation International News show some interesting moves up and down the list of the Americas’ Top FBOs. Perennially top-rated Wilson Air Center’s Memphis, Tenn. base once again garnered the top spot on the list, and this year the FBO’s rating climbed to above the 9.00 mark, to 9.03, making it the sole Americas FBO to garner a rating above 9.00. In second place, Pentastar Aviation/Million Air Pontiac climbed one notch from last year’s third-place position, displacing Long Beach’s AirFlite, which moved down to third place.

Fourth place Falcon Trust Air of Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport entered the Top 10 for the first time.

The City of Sugar Land (Texas) took the fifth spot in the Top 10 list, up from eighth place last year and proving once again that a government-run FBO can wow its patrons. No other government-owned FBO made it on this year’s Top 40 list.

Two Dallas area FBOs–Business Jet Center and Million Air–consistently appear on the list of top FBOs, and this time both moved higher on the list. Business Jet Center was 15th last year and number six this year, while Million Air Addison moved to number seven from last year’s 11th position.

Two FBOs made strong showings this year–Banyan Air (Fort Lauderdale) and Premier Jet (Carlsbad, Calif.), joining the Top 10 list in a three-way tie for the number seven spot with Million Air at Addison, Texas. Both FBOs built elaborate new and attractive facilities recently and are likely enjoying the results of those efforts.

The annual AIN FBO survey is now in its second year using an online-only ballot form, and AIN has conducted the Survey of American FBOs 21 times thus far, soliciting readers’ opinions about FBOs that they visited during the previous year. For the 2008 FBO Survey, AIN sent a postcard inviting to 14,781 subscribers to complete the online survey form and e-mailed invitations to 11,151 subscribers. As always, for statistical purposes at least 40 ratings are required for a U.S. FBO to be listed in the final results, or 25 for non-U.S. FBOs.

Readers rate the FBOs that they frequent in four categories: line service, passenger amenities; pilot amenities and services; and facilities. For each of the four categories, the survey participant can assign a number from one to 10, with a one being lowest and a 10 the highest rating.

To arrive at the averages for the categories, each FBO’s ratings for each of the four categories are added, and the resulting sum is divided by the number of responses received for that FBO. The overall average is computed by adding the FBO’s four category scores and dividing that sum by the total number of responses received in all four categories.

AIN received 1,963 properly completed survey returns for a return rate of 13.3 percent, down from last year’s 22.6 percent, and 2,634 completed surveys. According to Forecast International, which designed and administered the survey in collaboration with AIN, “This response is still a quite valid basis for determining subscriber opinion.”

Readers rated a total of 33,725 facilities worldwide and added 185 via write-in opinions.

This year, AIN expanded the number of FBOs on the ballot to 1,420 facilities and service providers. Each year, AIN will add FBOs and facilities based on previous years’ write-ins. More rest-of-world facilities will be added every year because more AIN readers are traveling internationally.