Truman Arnold Companies announced the addition of Knoxville to its TAC Air FBO network. The Texarkana, Texas-based chain now has 11 FBOs across the U.S. Located on the McGhee Tyson Airfield for more than three decades, the new facility has three large hangars, three rows of T hangars, and plane ports.
Scottsdale (Ariz.) Air Center and its sibling, Santa Fe (N.M.) Air Center will soon have new ownership. Current owner Herb Marchman has signed a purchase agreement with Ross Aviation for the two facilities. Backed by private equity firm Centre Partners, Ross Aviation is on the acquisition trail and recently bought its first FBO at Jefferson County (Jeffco) Airport outside Denver.
TACAir has shelved plans to build a new FBO at Little Rock, Ark. Adams Field (LIT), citing “inability to obtain an attractive lease” and escalating costs associated with the proposed leasehold.
Decades ago, AIN published one pilot’s mathematical formula for calculating the conditions that made fuel tankering viable. It was back when the first fanjets were entering the market and, for the first time, business jet pilots could choose where and when they bought fuel on the road.
With more than 1,700 employees worldwide, including 300 in Europe, Signature Flight Support handles nearly one million aircraft movements and provides more than 110 million gallons of fuel to business, general and commercial aircraft each year. Over the last five years the group has invested more than $100 million to design, restore and equip 15 FBOs.
To paraphrase the sentiments on a popular plaque, FBO owners in these changing economic times need the courage to change business practices that need to be changed; the serenity to accept those that cannot be changed; and the wisdom to know the difference.
Signature Flight Support, which recently lost its lease for an FBO at New York La Guardia Airport and is expected to lose its leasehold at Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C., has more than made up for these setbacks. Last month the BBA Group subsidiary agreed to acquire the 10 Execair FBOs from the Menzies group.
Fifteen years ago, one of my first assignments for AIN was to travel to the NATA Convention in Las Vegas. (You are now reading one of my last assignments.) The schedule called for me to arrive in Glitter Gulch on Friday, April 5, 1991, for the final day of the convention.
Signature Flight Support has steadily stuck to its strategy since its founding
in 1992 and has grown to become the largest multiple-base FBO company in the world. The chain’s beginnings lay in the merger of Butler Aviation and Page Avjet, and it is owned by publicly traded BBA Group of the UK.
Another aviation association is forming, this time to serve FBOs with three or fewer facilities. The Independent Fixed Base Operators Association (IFBOA) is the brainchild of John Wraga Jr., president and CEO of the Cambridge Group of Bedford, Mass. “I visit a lot of small FBOs,” said Wraga. “They all had the idea. They need an association that can support them.”