This month marks the end of an era for Orlando-bound business aviation travelers, as Atlantic Aviation announced it has agreed to acquire Showalter Aviation, one of two service providers at Orlando (Fla.) Executive Airport. The family-owned Showalter FBO recently celebrated its 70th anniversary, and the facility had hosted the static display at every NBAA Convention in Orlando since it was first held in the central-Florida city in 1996.
The clock runs on everybody and my social security card has worked for a couple of years now,” said chairman Bob Showalter, son of company founder Howard Showalter, adding that age was only one of the factors that influenced the decision to sell. “The chains have grown to a critical mass that really works in their favor and they buy things a lot better than we can; they’re just very hard to compete with.” Discussion about selling had been under way for several years among family members, Showalter noted, crediting his wife and company president Kim Showalter for much of the success the FBO has seen over the past 18 years.
Though none of the family will remain with the business after the deal concludes, Bob Showalter said that the contract with NBAA to host the static display (which has options through 2024) will transfer to Atlantic, and that he’s had talks with the chain about helping with the next Orlando show, slated for next year. “One of the more exciting things about acquiring us, I think, is the opportunity to host the NBAA Convention,” Showalter told AIN. “It’s a great opportunity for a chain.”
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, subject to approval by the Greater Orlando Airport Authority. For Atlantic, which until this year had no FBOs in Florida, the Orlando facility will mark its sixth in the state and its 69th facility in the U.S.