FBO and charter/management company Key Air is building a new FBO at Anoka County-Blaine Airport in Minneapolis. Key Air sister company Keystone Aviation Services operates a large FBO at Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Connecticut, and the Minnesota FBO will also host Key Air charter/management, aircraft sales and maintenance operations.
At face value, there has never been a better time to be in the international FBO business. With North America a mature marketplace, the lion’s share of growth in business aircraft fleets and flying activity is found in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Blue City Aviation has been appointed to handle all FBO operations at Coventry Airport, in recognition of growing business aviation traffic at the UK airport. Blue City facilities include a private lounge, wireless Internet access, satellite tv and Blue City Engineering, which offers line and heavy maintenance services for turboprops and jets as well as secure, heated hangar space. FBO services are available 24/7.
This is an FBO? In the office Mozart plays softly on the radio, and the warm smell of fresh coffee drifts across the room from the corner kitchen. Under an antique wooden desk, a contented English spaniel snores softly, ignoring the occasional static from the nearby unicom. At the desk, owner and manager Barbara Loehnert works quietly. As an FBO, Service People has more in common with grandma’s kitchen–warm, comfortable and friendly.
Aircraft flying in to this month’s Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga., will have a new hangar/office complex at which to park. The new construction at Augusta Bush Field (AGS) increases total storage capacity at the FBO to 32,000 sq ft. Construction crews started work on the new 16,000-sq-ft hangar/office complex last spring and it opened for business early this year.
Opened in 1997, Thunder Aviation at Spirit of St. Louis Airport (SUS) in Chesterfield, Mo., recently completed a 39,000-sq-ft storage hangar. The new hangar includes 9,000 sq ft of office space that can be tailored to the needs of tenants. With the new addition, the FBO now has more than 100,000 sq ft under roof. Thunder offers maintenance and avionics service to aircraft of all sizes, as well as hangar storage for based corporate customers.
FirstAir, an FBO with two existing locations, is adding its third branch at Addison Airport serving Dallas. The company acquired an existing 24,000-sq-ft hangar that is being renovated and should open later this month. Envisioned as a full-service FBO, FirstAir at Addison will provide fueling and other line services.
Just over four years after London Stansted Airport FBO Inflite opened its new Jet Centre facility back in March 1999, the company reports growing volumes of traffic.
Stockholm City Airport is set to get its first purpose-built FBO when Grafair Jet Center opens early next month. The facility will consist of a 2,800-sq-ft, two-story terminal building and an 8,600-sq-ft hangar connected by some offices for maintenance staff. The terminal will include a lounge, flight planning offices and a range of FBO services.
Aviation–and more particularly business aviation–is increasingly becoming the dominant component in the portfolio of UK public company BBA Group. The London-based group aviation holdings on both sides of the Atlantic now account for close to 60 percent of its worldwide business (out of approximately $2.3 billion total revenues recorded last year).