Fly Around the Globe: What Are Fixed-Base Operators?

These days commercial flights have more security measures and restrictions than ever. Private jets and charter planes offer convenience and privacy you can’t get from a commercial flight. 

Luckily the number of fixed-base operators is steadily growing. These terminals for private jets and charter planes are more flexible than their commercial counterparts. Learn what fixed-based operators are and how to choose one with this article. 

What Is a Fixed-Base Operator?

What does fixed-base operator mean? A fixed-based operator, or FBO, is the name given to private jet terminals. These terminals operate on the grounds of a large airport and at smaller airports as well. 

When a person flies on a private jet they don’t use the main airport entrances that thousands of other airline passengers use. They skip the long lines and crowds and head straight for the entrance of the FBO. 

Although an FBO may be located at a large airport, they usually have a separate entrance for private jet customers and the aircraft crew. They also have their own parking and lounge area for guests. 

The FBO provides all the services your jet needs such as fueling, tie-down, and hangar parking. In a way, an FBO is like a small private airport for people who fly on private jets and charter planes. 

How to Choose a Fixed-Base Operator

Here comes the tricky part. There are over 3,000 FBOs that you can choose from in the United States alone. Over the next five years, that number can increase as much as 20%. With all of those FBOs, how to choose fixed-base operators for your next trip can be difficult. 

Take a look at the FBO’s customer service. When you fly on a chartered plane or your private jet, you should expect to get world-class service. Your fixed-base operator should have modern up to date facilities and a staff that is friendly and attentive to your needs. 

Look for an FBO that gives you a good deal on fuel. The price of fuel varies greatly from one airport to another and one FBO to another. Do your research on fuel prices and choose an FBO that gives you a good deal on fuel. 

Look for an FBO that has complimentary coffee, fresh pastries, and other refreshments. Some may have restaurants and other amenities for guests. 

If you are keeping your private jet at a hangar at the FBO, you want to make sure they also offer the essential services your aircraft will need. Do they empty the lavatories, refill water tanks, and clean the aircraft after each flight? 

Do they maintain and service the aircraft? Look for an FBO that can handle minor repairs as well as larger ones to keep your jet is good operating condition. 

Fixed-Base Operators Change the Way We Fly

Now is a great time to fly privately or to take a charter flight. With the number of fixed-base operators increasing, there is more selection than every for private flyers. Use this article to help your research your choices in FBOs and choose the one that is right for you.