To build a modern FBO takes a great deal of time and resources. Airports will typically issue a request for proposals when an existing service provider’s lease ends or if the airport wishes to add another FBO. Once selected, a company will have to invest significantly in the design and construction of a new facility.
In the case of very high-end locations such as Million Air’s recently-opened new FBO complex at New York’s Westchester County Airport, that investment can extend into the tens of millions of dollars.
FBO operators hope to recoup that investment over the span of decades-long leases from airports, but know that at the end of that lease, the leasehold and any FBO improvement on it could revert back to airport control, and possibly be given to another company to manage under a new lease.
At a major airport with several providers, such as at Houston-area business aviation hub William P. Hobby airport, there can be significant competition among service providers, as Black Forest ventures found in the recent opening of its new Galaxy FBO there.