Million Air, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Austin, Texas
Million Air expanded its network last October with the opening of its newest FBO at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas. This new location represents the FBO network's fourth in the state and its 31st globally.
Groundbreaking on the $40 million, 20-acre facility began in 2018, and the company began providing service from a temporary facility in summer 2019. The spacious two-story 14,500-sq-ft terminal is designed to look like a Texas Hill Country ranch home. The lobby atrium extends up to the exposed wooden rafters and roof, with limestone fireplaces, wood and granite features, as well as the private sky lounge bar, complimentary Starbucks-trained barista, and refreshment bars. Other features include pilot lounge with snooze rooms and shower facilities, business center, wraparound ramp-side balcony, flight planning room, a pair of a/v-equipped conference rooms with available fine dining service, concierge, and luxury crew cars. Like all of the company’s locations, Million Air Austin participates in NATA Safety 1st training and adheres to the organization’s Clean protocols for Covid safety.
The newest of three service providers at the airport, it also includes a 6,750-sq-ft aircraft arrivals canopy, more than seven acres of ramp space, and seven hangars ranging in size from 15,600 sq ft to 19,950 sq ft, each a stand-alone facility with independent secure parking and entries. With 28 foot-high doors, they can accommodate ultra-long-range business jets up to a Gulfstream G650.
Desert Jet, Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport, Thermal, California
In October 2019, the Palm Springs-area airport saw the long-anticipated opening of the permanent home of Desert Jet Center (DJC), the newest of its then three full-service FBOs. That was followed shortly after by the announcement of the sale of the Signature Flight Support location there to on-field rival Ross Aviation, which reduced the FBO number to two.
DJC features a 7,000-sq-ft terminal with passenger lobby and a refreshment area known as the “Dessert Bar” featuring local fruits and snacks; pilot lounge; shower facilities; a pair of eight-seat, A/V-equipped conference rooms; ramp-side observation deck; onsite laundry and dishwashing service; crew cars; pet relief area; onsite car rental; and complimentary customer vehicle detailing. In the summer months the company provides indoor vehicle parking in hangar space it rents for that purpose.
Adjoining the terminal is a 23,000-sq-ft climate-controlled hangar that can accommodate the latest ultra-long-range business jets. The company also offers a Part 145 maintenance shop. The DJC fuel farm is tended by a pair of 5,000-gallon jet refuelers and a 750-gallon 100LL truck, operated by the company’s NATA Safety 1st-trained and IS-BAH Stage II-registered line staff. DJC has received Safety 1st Clean registration and offers complimentary disinfection for all arriving aircraft.
Jet Aviation, Van Nuys Airport, Van Nuys, California
Jet Aviation opened its new FBO complex at Los Angeles-area business aviation hub Van Nuys Airport (VNY) in November 2019. Three years prior, the company was awarded a 30-year lease to redevelop the 17-acre site on the north side of the field, which was formerly occupied by the Pentastar Aviation/Basenet facility. Jet Aviation had been operating from a temporary facility during construction.
The $40 million location includes a 10,000-sq-ft terminal with passenger lounge, two a/v-equipped conference rooms seating eight and 10 respectively, pilot lounge with a pair of snooze rooms, shower facilities, flight planning area, and a 43,000-sq-ft hangar with 8,000 sq ft of office space and 30-foot clearance that can accommodate current and future ultra-long-range business jets, as well as a new co-located service center for sister company Gulfstream.
The facility was built to LEED Silver specifications using regional materials, energy-efficient lighting, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. The IS-BAH Stage 2 FBO is the first to offer sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at VNY, as well as the first of Jet Aviation’s locations to carry the blended fuel. The facility is certified under NATA’s Safety 1st Clean program, with all COVID-19 safety protocols in place, including social distancing measures, the requirement of masks, and regular cleaning and sanitization.
Carlsbad Jet Center, McClellan Palomar Airport, Carlsbad, California
The Carlsbad Jet Center, whose terminal was started more than a decade ago as Magellan Aviation, is finally operational at California’s McClellan Palomar Airport. The business was purchased in January 2019, and its new private owner appointed Josh and Julia Hochberg, owners of Sonoma Jet Center at Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, to manage it. The two-story terminal has 4,000 sq ft of space dedicated to FBO operations and another 6,000 sq ft of leasable tenant offices.
Located 15 minutes from the beach and decorated in Southern California style, with surfboards and art from local artists, it features an eight-seat a/v-equipped conference room; business center/flight planning area; passenger lounge with complimentary snacks and beverages including local favorite on-tap iced coffee, and given the proximity to Legoland, a refrigerator of juice boxes for children as well, a pilot lounge with widescreen TV and recliners; and concierge service through a dedicated hospitality manager and team.
Along with its NATA Safety 1st training, the location is also registered under the Safety 1st Clean program for Covid mitigation. Positioned just off Taxiway A, the facility offers 180,000 sq ft of hangar space that can accommodate aircraft up to a Gulfstream G650.
Galaxy FBO, William P. Hobby Airport, Houston, Texas
The flock of aircraft service providers at Houston William P. Hobby Airport grew more crowded with the opening of the long-anticipated Galaxy FBO in June. The $20 million facility, the sixth FBO on the field, is located on 19 acres on the south side of the airport, adjacent to the U.S. Customs facility at the end of Runway 4.
It features a two-story 23,000-sq-ft terminal with pilot and passenger lounges, concierge, snooze rooms, shower facilities, four a/v-equipped conference rooms seating between five and 25 people, onsite car rental, crew cars, and more than 2,000 sq ft of tenant office space. Additionally, the new facility is now home to Galaxy’s sister company—aircraft charter and management provider Wing Aviation, which offers its customers an exclusive 1,300-sq-ft Voyager Lounge.
The terminal building sits on nine acres of ramp and is flanked by a pair of 38,000-sq-ft hangars with 245-foot clear span doors, which can accommodate the latest ultra-long-range business jets. Making its debut during the initial surge in Covid cases, the company reconfigured its seating spaces to establish social distancing zones prior to opening, and while it complies with all of the protocols, it is in the process of obtaining its Safety 1st Clean certification. Galaxy, an Air Elite FBO Network member, which established its first FBO at Conroe North Houston Regional Airport in 2006, also operates a Houston-area heliport.
Sheltair, Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, Denver, Colorado
With September’s grand opening of its new FBO at Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, Florida-based Sheltair debuted the permanent facility for its first location west of the Mississippi. The company began operations last year from a temporary building, which made it the second service provider on the field.
The approximately $20 million, 11-acre facility with expansive views of downtown Denver on one side and the mountains of the other, includes a 10,400-sq-ft terminal with a land-side porte-cochere for passenger drop off and pick up and an airside 162-foot-span aircraft arrivals canopy with direct access to the terminal, which features pine, stone, and exposed raw steel as well as a radiant-heat floor for customer comfort.
Amenities include a pair of a/v-equipped conference rooms seating 18 and eight respectively, pilot lounge with snooze room and en-suite shower facilities, business center/flight planning area, concierge, crew cars, onsite car rental, and onsite dishwashing and laundry service. The main 31,050-sq-ft heated hangar can accommodate the latest business jets and has 4,500 sq ft of adjoining office space, and the company has a lease on an additional 20,000-sq-ft hangar.
Included in the FBO’s construction was a subterranean, glycol-based, defrosting system to keep its primary hangar entrance and walkways free of ice and snow.
Like all other locations in the Sheltair chain, the facility uses NATA’s Safety 1st training program and is registered under the Safety 1st Clean program.