AIN Blog: FBOs Are Lifeblood of Business Aviation

 - January 18, 2018, 10:18 PM

Without FBOs, airports would be just fields of runways and ramps devoid of the creature comforts and necessities that business aviation passengers and crew need to accomplish their missions. FBOs are a critically important part of the aviation landscape—the welcome transition between ground and sky.

Throughout the world, the level of service and the quality of amenities and facilities at FBOs varies considerably, and AIN’s annual FBO Survey exists to help stimulate improvements by FBOs to help business aviation thrive and prosper. 

Countries that understand the need for FBOs do little to hinder their development. For example, in the U.S., FBOs belong to the sole segment of aviation—ground handling—that is not regulated by the FAA, and thus FBOs are able to serve a huge variety of customers with facilities that are uniquely adapted to each airport.

At busy general aviation airports—Teterboro and Westchester County near New York City or Van Nuys in Southern California are good examples—multiple FBOs are needed to provide all the necessary services. At smaller airfields, a single FBO is all that is needed, in most cases.

And the level of services varies. Some airports attract high-end, large-cabin business jets and clientele with an expectation of stellar service levels. Other airports are more workaday, catering to business aviation traffic that values utility over luxury, and that’s fine, too. Business aviation is, if anything, flexibly able to meet the needs of a wide variety of clients, and the FBO industry reflects this.

AIN launched the FBO Survey in 1981, with the goal of helping the FBO business elevate its game, and also to give readers an opportunity to rate FBOs in a survey that is consistent and transparently conducted. The survey is unique in that it limits participants to just one survey response per FBO, as opposed to others that allow multiple votes by the same respondent.

The AIN survey asks readers to rate the FBOs that they frequent according to five primary categories: line service; passenger amenities; pilot amenities; facilities; and customer service representatives.

AIN invites you to rate the FBOs that you have used during the past year. The survey is live all year long, and you can add your information at any time and even come back to add new responses. But the deadline to vote in the 2018 survey, which will be published in April, is February 9. The more responses the FBO survey gets, the better the resulting information. And it also allows you to express your opinion about your favorite FBOs, or even your least-pleasant experiences during your travels.

FBOs depend on the AIN survey to deliver feedback that helps them improve their service. And we at AIN appreciate your help in making our FBO survey a tremendous resource for business aviation.