What is a fixed-base operator and why might you need one? What should you look for when choosing one and what should you avoid? Keep reading and learn more about fixed-base operator services and how to choose them properly.
What You Need to Know About a Fixed-Base Operator
Suppose you own a private or chartered plane. Fixed Base Operators are an important part of the private aviation and buiness aviation community. This is because an FBO can provide you with many critical services that private air travel requires.
FBOs provide important services and amenities. Without these services and amenities, the private travel experience may not be as great for you or your passengers. No one wants to fly on a plane that is devoid of modern and convenient services. They also don’t want to fly into an FBO that can’t provide great service and amenities.
Flying a plane without an FBO is a drag as well. It might also waste precious time and money. An FBO’s purpose is to provide high-quality ground services and aircraft handling once your plane lands at an airport.
Both private and charter planes use this option to make it easier to stay on track. The main benefit of an FBO is that it provides a wide variety of impressive amenities and services. Some of these services are reserved for the plane and the plane’s crew.
Others may extend to the passengers to make their flight more enjoyable. Some basic services that an FBO would provide include hangar services or another location to put your plane while it remains on the ground. No matter what space is granted to you, the space will always be safe so that your plane won’t run into any risks.
This location will also be close to nearby destinations so that your passengers won’t be left in an inconvenient area. A fixed-base operator airport may also have customer services such as food and refreshments.
An FBO Offers an Array of Services
Aircraft refueling is arguably one of the most important fixed-base operator services. Aircraft refueling obvisously is necessary to make an aircraft go but who handles it and what they are pumping into the plane are important. Depending on the type of aircraft, refueling can be a multi person job and require thousands of gallons of fuel. An FBO can make this process much more efficient.
This ensures that no time will be wasted when the airplane is on the ground. Once the plane’s fuel is filled up again, the plane will be ready to go. An FBO can also offer ground transport services.
This is especially important if the airport you land at is very large. It would take too long to cross the airport without these ground transport services. These services ensure that you get where you need to be on time.
Many FBO services also offer crew amenities.
This is important because a relaxed well rested crew is the best type of crew to fly with. On certain types of stopovers, it’s also nice that a crew has a place to relax and be at the ready.
An FBO can help you with aircraft servicing and maintenance as well.
This is important if your plane hasn’t gotten a tune-up in a while. It is also important if the plane has sustained damage from turbulence or a rough landing. FBO services offer many other helpful options, but these are the main ones.
An FBO offers so many great services that might be thinking about getting one right away. But you first need to figure out how to choose the right option for your needs. This is because FBO services are not made the same.
But what should you look for when choosing and what should you avoid?
Look for New Passenger and Aircraft Amenities
An FBO isn’t just to make your flight more efficient. It also helps improve the flight experience for your passengers. Making your passengers happy should always be among your top priorities.
But your passengers won’t be happy if they are deprived of basic amenities. Your plane might already have plenty of luxurious amenities for your passengers to enjoy. But your passengers should continue to enjoy various amenities even when they get off the plane.
This is where an FBO can help. An FBO can optimize the experience of your passengers once they land and get into the airport. An FBO can make sure that the airport lounge is ready to go and full of amenities when the passengers arrive.
The lounge might be full of comfortable seats, clean floors, charging ports, and so on. Some lounges might also offer fresh food for the passengers to indulge in once they arrive. This is important since many passengers may be hungry after getting off a plane, especially if it’s a long flight.
Fast Wi-Fi is also important for passengers. This is important if you know that many of your passengers are flying for business reasons. They might need to check reports or messages after they land.
This won’t be possible if there isn’t any Wi-Fi service or if the connection is very slow. This can also be frustrating for passengers who are traveling for leisure instead of business. They may be used to having a good Wi-Fi connection.
Having no choice but to use a very slow connection is frustrating and can degrade the passenger’s experience. But your passengers won’t have this problem if the FBO already provides a high-speed internet connection. The lounge may also be equipped with other impressive amenities such as televisions, music, and so on.
The Best Amenities for Passengers and Aircraft
An FBO may also offer services specifically for business passengers such as conference rooms. There may also be media equipment available. This would make it far easier for your business passengers to group up and have important meetings or business conversations.
Some FBO services offer chauffeur services too. This ensures that your passengers can get to where they need to be on time. If there are any new and improved passenger amenities out there, they should be made available by your FBO.
This ensures that your passengers will have a wonderful time once they get off the plane. The happier your passengers are, the more likely they will be to book another flight with you in the future. They may tell their friends and family about how great their flight experience was too.
This may lead to more people considering your aircraft for future flights. Aircraft storage is also important.
This is more of a benefit for you as the private or charter plane owner than the passengers. Storing the aircraft in a hangar or ramp is a great way to make sure that your aircraft is safe.
Check for Deals on Fuel Prices
No one can deny that airplane fuel prices are very expensive. Airplane fuel is one of the most expensive types of fuel in the world. Planes also require a lot of it to get to their destinations.
This is especially true of large planes. Such planes may need tens of thousands of gallons of fuel. This large amount is needed to generate enough power to lift the plane off the ground.
More fuel is then necessary to power the plane through the sky for hundreds or thousands of miles. Even small planes still use hundreds of gallons of fuel. Refueling every time you land can be very expensive.
Fuel prices are also very different depending on where you land. The last airport you were at might have had relatively agreeable fuel prices. But the next airport you arrive at may have outrageous fuel prices.
You can solve this problem with an FBO. This is because an FBO can help you get deals on fuel prices. Some FBOs have very different prices and some are much more expensive than others.
If money is a concern for you, choose an FBO that offers more affordable fuel. But you also need to think about how the fuel’s price correlates with its quality.
What You Need to Know
You might find an FBO that offers very cheap fuel.
But that fuel might not be very high quality. This may make the plane burn through the fuel faster than usual. It would then be necessary to get more fuel to make sure the plane arrives at its destination as it should.
More expensive fuel is often more efficient. While it is more expensive per gallon, you might not need to pay for as many gallons. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Many people find that it is best to pay for better fuel even though it is more expensive. This is because the price may be subsidized with extra services or amenities. Some FBOs also offer rebates or waivers if you pay a large amount of fuel.
There are also FBO loyalty programs you can consider. This may allow you to earn points, rewards, or discounts according to how much you pay for fuel. This would make it easier to enjoy substantial deals on fuel in the future.
It may be possible to exchange what you earn in these loyalty programs for merchandise. You can save a lot of money on fuel if you choose the right FBO. This will make your job much easier and more efficient.
High-Quality Refreshments and Customer Service
Food is important after getting off a plane. You and your crew will likely be hungry after a long flight. You don’t want to be left scavenging for food from an airport vending machine after all that.
You should instead opt for an FBO that offers plenty of great refreshments. Many FBOs serve fresh food and have a variety of many different dishes. They may also offer a wide range of drinks such as tea, coffee, juice, and so on.
Some FBOs have restaurants where you can sit and dine. This is great for unwinding after a long flight. It also ensures that you will have all the right nutrition to stay alert for the rest of the day.
Many of these restaurants also come with table service to ensure that you don’t have to lift a finger. Some of the refreshments might be complimentary too. This is often true with coffee, tea, and bottles of water.
If you’re not hungry, sipping on one of these drinks may be all you need to get re-energized. Or they can help you relax if you’re already stressed from a long flight.
Don’t forget about the FBO’s customer service either. FBO customer service should apply not only to the passengers but also to the pilot and crew. Good customer service is essential for making everyone happy.
If anyone has any questions, the FBO’s customer service will have the answers. The customer service workers will also have a good attitude and are always ready to help. This positive attitude improves the customer experience even more and helps smooth out any issues in the process.
The better the customer service is, the more satisfied your customers will be. Talented customer service workers know how to handle various situations to make sure that any problems are resolved. This does wonders for improving the overall flight and airport experience.
All About Choosing a Fixed-Base Operator
A fixed-base operator is a great way to improve your passengers’ experience once they land. It can also help you and your crew have a more pleasant experience. An FBO is great for making sure that all the most modern amenities are available.
It can also give you the best deals on fuel prices. You can enjoy fresh food and great customer service too. To learn more about how it works, check out our services.