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Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018â2019 A Synthesis of Airport Practice Lois S. Kramer KRAMER aerotek, inc. Boulder, CO 2020 Research sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration Subscriber Categories Aviation â¢ Economics â¢ Planning and Forecasting A I R P O R T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M ACRP SYNTHESIS 108
ACRP SYNTHESIS 108 Project 11-03, Topic S01-20 ISSN 1935-9187 ISBN 978-0-309-48165-6 Library of Congress Control Number 2020938996 Â© 2020 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FTA, GHSA, NHTSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. Cover photo credit: Ziviani, iStock by Getty Images, Photo ID 186258169. NOTICE The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the Airport Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. 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The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the airport industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for ACRP was identified in TRB Special Report 272: Airport Research Needs: Cooperative Solutions in 2003, based on a study spon- sored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ACRP carries out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating agen- cies and not being adequately addressed by existing federal research programs. ACRP is modeled after the successful National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) and Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). ACRP undertakes research and other technical activi- ties in various airport subject areas, including design, construction, legal, maintenance, operations, safety, policy, planning, human resources, and administration. ACRP provides a forum where airport operators can cooperatively address common operational problems. ACRP was authorized in December 2003 as part of the Vision 100â Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. The primary participants in the ACRP are (1) an independent governing board, the ACRP Oversight Committee (AOC), appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation with representation from airport operating agencies, other stakeholders, and relevant industry organizations such as the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), the American Associa- tion of Airport Executives (AAAE), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), Airlines for America (A4A), and the Airport Consultants Council (ACC) as vital links to the airport community; (2) TRB as program manager and secretariat for the governing board; and (3) the FAA as program sponsor. 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ACRP produces a series of research reports for use by airport operators, local agencies, the FAA, and other interested parties; industry associations may arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, webinars, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by airport industry practitioners.
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C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR ACRP SYNTHESIS 108 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Marci A. Greenberger, Manager, Airport Cooperative Research Program Gail R. Staba, Senior Program Officer Demisha Williams, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Associate Director of Publications ACRP PROJECT 11-03 PANEL Joshua D. Abramson, Cypress Technology, Tullahoma, TN (Chair) Debbie K. Alke, Montana DOT, Helena, MT (Retired) Gloria G. Bender, TransSolutions, LLC, Fort Worth, TX David A. Byers, Quadrex Aviation, LLC, Melbourne, FL Traci Clark, Allegheny County Airport Authority, West Mifflin, PA David N. Edwards, Jr., GreenvilleâSpartanburg Airport District, Greer, SC Brenda L. Enos, Burns & McDonnell, Newton, MA Patrick W. Magnotta, FAA Liaison Liying Gu, Airports Council InternationalâNorth America Liaison Adam Williams, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association Liaison Christine Gerencher, TRB Liaison TOPIC S01-20 PANEL Courtney Beamon, Delta Airport Consultants Inc., Midlothian, VA David A. Byers, Quadrex Aviation, LLC, Melbourne, FL Richard Lanman, Auburn-Lewiston Airport (KLEW), Auburn, ME Marty P. Lenss, Eastern Iowa Regional Airport, Cedar Rapids, IA Gary E. Schmidt, MinneapolisâSt. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN (Retired) Cathryn G. Cason, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, D.C. Luis Loarte, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, D.C. Bill Dunn, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, Frederick, MD Megan Eisenstein, National Air Transportation Association, Washington, D.C.
ABOUT THE ACRP SYNTHESIS PROGRAM Airport administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which information already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This infor- mation may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to the airport industry. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the entire airport community, the Airport Cooperative Research Program authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing project. This project, ACRP Project 11-03, âSynthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices,â searches out and synthesizes useful knowl- edge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute an ACRP report series, Synthesis of Airport Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. FOREWORD By Gail R. Staba Senior Program Officer Transportation Research Board The fixed-base operator (FBO) industry provides aeronautical services to a wide spectrum of aircraft operators at airports. The aircraft operations include business and personal flying, charters, air medical, aerial applicators, firefighting, search and rescue, commercial, military, and air cargo support. Because FBOs operate in such different markets nationwide, there are many external and internal factors that influence scale of operations, demand for services, customers, competition, operating costs, and revenue potential. This synthesis report profiles the FBO industry as of December 2018. The Airport Cooperative Research Program funded this analysis of data to prepare a quantitative snapshot of the FBO industry that would serve as a reliable baseline of information and that would establish useful metrics to track FBO trends in the future. Elements from three databases were acquired and merged: (1) the FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records (5010); (2) the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems, 2019â2023, Report to Congress (Appendix A), October 2018; and (3) FBO data self-reported to AirNav Database as of December 2018. Data from the three sources were linked for each airport and for each FBO that operated at a public-use airport. The data were checked for anomalies and inconsistencies, updated, and used to generate the tables and graphs that appear in the report. Lois S. Kramer, KRAMER aerotek, inc., synthesized the information and wrote the report. The members of the topic panel are acknowledged on page iv. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.
1 Summary 5 Chapter 1 Introduction 9 Chapter 2 Key Factors Shaping the FBO Industry 9 Economic Conditions 14 Structural Changes Within Commercial Aviation 16 Changes Within General Aviation 21 Customer Efficiency Strategies and Expectations 21 Airport Operating Environment 22 FBO Responses to Industry Change 26 Ongoing Challenges for FBOs 29 Wrap-up on Trends 30 Chapter 3 FBOs Operating in the United States 30 Types of FBOs 32 Location of FBOs 39 Chapter 4 Profile of FBO Products, Services, and Facilities 39 Fuel Services 42 Other FBO Products, Services, and Facilities 45 Noncommercial Landing Fees and Other Fees 46 Chapter 5 Private FBOs 46 Independent FBOs 50 Small FBO Networks 51 Large-Network, Franchise, and Affiliate FBOs 57 Chapter 6 Publicly Owned FBOs 57 Types of Airports 57 Geographic Distribution 57 Fueling Profile 60 FBO Services, Products, and Facilities 61 Chapter 7 Roadmap and Conclusions 61 Current Status of FBO Analysis 62 Proposed Approach to Future Research 62 Issues to Resolve 63 Additional Data Sources 64 Future for Special Reports 65 Conclusions C O N T E N T S
66 Appendix A Overview of FBO and Airport Data 74 Appendix B Summary Tables 76 Appendix C References and Bibliography 78 Appendix D Glossary 79 Appendix E List of Acronyms Note: Photographs, figures, and tables in this report may have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.