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Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019 (2020)

Chapter: Appendix A - Overview of FBO and Airport Data

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Overview of FBO and Airport Data." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25846.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Overview of FBO and Airport Data." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25846.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Overview of FBO and Airport Data." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25846.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Overview of FBO and Airport Data." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25846.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Overview of FBO and Airport Data." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25846.
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Page 71
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Overview of FBO and Airport Data." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25846.
×
Page 71
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Overview of FBO and Airport Data." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25846.
×
Page 72
Page 73
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - Overview of FBO and Airport Data." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25846.
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Page 73

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66 Sources of Data on FBOs Information about FBOs operating in the United States is available from multiple sources with many caveats. Unlike commercial air service and airport activity where the FAA requires regular reporting, many GA airports have no air traffic control tower; they estimate aircraft operations and based aircraft, and generally report financial activities to local airport spon- sors based on locally determined reporting requirements. Data on activity and the dimensional aspects of GA airports are available from six sources, all governmental: • Local airport master plans • FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records • State system plans • FAA’s National Based Aircraft Inventory Program (https://www.codot.gov/programs/ aeronautics/PDF_Files/FAA_BA_UserGuide) • National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) • FAA Air Traffic Activity Data System (ATADS) Data on FBO ownership, facilities, level and type of services, and fuel prices are left primarily to the private sector and exist primarily on a paid subscription basis or for advertising purposes. Table 49 lists the most prevalent sources of data about FBOs (including generic FBO services). Privately sponsored FBO directories primarily target aircraft pilots, flight departments, sched- ulers, and dispatchers. The information is available to paying subscribers or directed at specific customer segments, such as business aviation or personal flying. To a large extent, these websites and publications rely on FBOs to self-report and users to comment on facilities and services. There is a minimal amount of publisher checking, and some websites purchase data access from other information services. For example, AirNav provides fuel price data to 100LL.com, and 100LL.com sells the fuel data to AOPA. For the purposes of this synthesis, the AirNav data were purchased to work with, as the data had many airports and FBOs represented. The AirNav pricing model for listings allows for free FBO listings and paid listings and is updated regularly. AirNav’s core businesses include fuel prices and presentation on the Internet of airport reports that include basic FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Record airport data; FBO, fuel providers, and ground support companies; and aviation businesses, services, and facilities. To obtain an overview of the FBO industry for this synthesis, three data sources were used: 1. AirNav FBO locations, ownership, and service listings, December 2018 2. FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records for public-use airports, December 2018 3. NPIAS Report 2019-2023 (Nonprimary Airport Classification), Appendix A, October 2018 A P P E N D I X A Overview of FBO and Airport Data

Name Core Businesses Scope Audience Website Reference AC-U-KWIK Airport and FBO directories, advertising revenue Airports with hard- surfaced runways over 3,000 feet Corporate pilots, charter brokers, flight departments, fuel service buyers, dispatchers and schedulers, etc. https://acukwik.com/ AirNav Fuel pricing, airport information, FBO listings FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Record data, self-reporting fuel prices, FBOs, and specialized service providers Pilots, airports, and analysts http://www.airnav.com/ AOPA Education and training, advocacy, insurance, flight information and tools Airport directory, FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Record data, self-reported FBO and fuel and fee data Pilots, primarily small aircraft https://www.aopa.org/travel/flight-tools/airports-directory Corporate Aircraft Association Part 91 operator organization—fuel and vendor savings CAA-preferred FBOs CAA members, must own turbine/diesel aircraft https://www.corpaa.us/fbo-list-contact-info FAA Form 5010- 1, Airport Master Records Database of all public and private airports/generic service information Airport ownership, location, contact information, use, runways, lighting and approach aids, obstructions, services, facilities, based aircraft, operations Airports and airport users https://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_safety/airportdata_5010/ FBODatabase and Airplane Manager Software solutions for aircraft management and flight planning Daily scheduling, flight planning, discounts at preferred FBO network, discounts off retail fuel price, FBO service listing Private jet operators http://www.fbodatabase.com/ and https://airplanemanager.com/ Table 49. Sources of airport FBO information. (continued on next page)

Name Core Businesses Scope Audience Website Reference FlightAware Flight tracking Over 4,000 self- Private and https://flightaware.com/commercial/data/fbos reported FBO listings commercial air traffic ForeFlight Software solutions for aircraft management and flight planning Weather, destination information, route planning, electronic charts and maps, fuel and FBO information Pilots and flight departments https://foreflight.com/about/foreflight/ Garmin Pilot Interactive mapping and weather information, navigation, flight plans, logbook Full-featured navigation software Pilots and flight departments https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/115856 GlobalAir.com Airport, fuel, FBOs, aircraft resale, and weather data aggregator 934 FBO listings, fuel cards, fuelers, ground handlers, international, fuel prices Research tool for owners, operators, and flight departments looking for up-to-date fuel prices and airport information https://www.globalair.com/directories/FBO-13.html Table 49. (Continued).

Overview of FBO and Airport Data 69 Managing and Analyzing the Data The objective of this synthesis was to investigate FBO locations, ownership patterns, and service offerings. No single data source provided a comprehensive and verified set of informa- tion about FBOs. The three data sets selected for this synthesis required sifting, sorting, and organizing the data in a systematic fashion. The effort began with the FAA Form 5010-1, Air- port Master Records, as they contain the most comprehensive set of information about airport facilities in the United States. Simultaneously, the AirNav database was acquired to develop a list of FBOs at public-use airport facilities; identify FBO ownership; and report on services, products, and facilities that FBOs provided. As a first step, private FBOs at private airports were eliminated from the inquiry. To determine FBO ownership, each record was individually scrubbed. Services were coded from text file descriptors. In addition, airports were linked to FBO locations and to NPIAS airport categories. All data included were published in the third and fourth quarters of 2018. As comprehensive as this might seem, the three data sets over- lapped but did not always coincide. To fully understand the resulting tables in this report, it is useful to describe each data set beginning with FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records. Airport Facilities in the United States: FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records The most inclusive database of airport facilities in the United States is the FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records. The FAA collects and publishes data about 19,622 airport facilities, as shown in Figure 29 and Table 50. Most of these facilities are privately owned and for private use only (13,502). There are also publicly owned facilities, primarily helipads for public hospitals, law enforcement, and other specialized agencies that are not available for public use (1,028). The remaining 5,092 airports, owned by public or private entities, are open for public use and are the airport facilities of interest for this FBO census. Table 51 provides more detail on airport facility ownership, particularly facilities owned and operated by branches of the U.S. military. The military owns 305 landing facilities; only 20 are available for public use. Source: Compiled from FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Record, as of December 5, 2018. Private Airports/Private Use, 13,502 Public Airports/Public Use, 4,142 Public Airports/Private Use, 1,028 Private Airports/Public Use, 950 Figure 29. 5010 public and private landing facilities.

70 Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018–2019 The other key factor to understanding the scope of 5010 facilities is the breakdown of landing facilities by type. This includes airports, balloonports, gliderports, heliport, seaplane base, and ultralight. Figure 30 shows facilities reported in the FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records, with air- ports and heliports accounting for 97% of all facilities. Figure 31 digs deeper into the 5,092 public- use facilities. Airports dominate, making up 95% of all public-use facilities. Lastly, Table 52 shows the distribution of different types of facilities by owner and by use and demonstrates the great number of privately owned and privately used aviation facilities in the United States. Data from the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) The NPIAS report is prepared by the FAA, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and submitted to Congress every 2 years. Its main purpose, according to U.S. statute [Title 49, U.S.C., Section 47103, National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems] is to “include the kind and estimated cost of eligible airport development the Secretary of Transportation considers neces- sary to provide a safe, efficient, and integrated system of public-use airports adequate to antici- pate and meet the needs of civil aeronautics, to meet the national defense requirements of the Secretary of Defense, and to meet identified needs of the United States Postal Service.” The NPIAS contains data about 3,321 existing public-use airports. Of use to this report is the NPIAS category of airports. Historically, airports that have scheduled air service with 10,000 or Table 50. 5010 landing facilities: owners and use. Owner/Use Landing Facilities Private Airports/Private Use 13,502 Public Airports/Private Use 1,028 Public Airports/Public Use 4,142 Private Airports/Public Use 950 All 5010 Airports 19,622 Source: Compiled from FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records, as of December 5, 2018. Table 51. Ownership of 5010 landing facilities. Owners Public Use Private Use Total Coast Guard - 7 7 Air Force 10 86 96 Navy 1 68 69 Army 9 124 133 Private 950 13,502 14,452 Public 4,122 743 4,865 Total 5,092 14,530 19,622 Source: Compiled from FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records, as of December 5, 2018.

Overview of FBO and Airport Data 71 Source: Compiled from FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records, as of December 5, 2018. Airports, 13,096 Balloonports and Gliderports, 49 Heliport, 5,864 Seaplane Base, 501 Ultralight, 112 Figure 31. Public-use airport facilities. Airports, 13,096, 67% Balloonports, 14, 0% Gliderports, 35, 0% Heliport, 5,864, 30% Seaplane Base, 501, 2% Ultralight, 112, 1% Source: Compiled from FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records, as of December 5, 2018. Figure 30. Airport facilities reporting in 5010 records. Ownership Use Type Coast Guard Air Force Navy Army Private Public Total Private Public Total Airports 4 92 54 62 8,817 4,067 13,096 8,284 4,812 13,096 Balloonports 14 - 14 13 1 14 Gliderports 33 2 35 30 5 35 Heliport 3 4 15 71 5,108 663 5,864 5,804 60 5,864 Seaplane Base 369 132 501 290 211 501 Ultralight 111 1 112 109 3 112 Total 7 96 69 133 14,452 4,865 19,622 14,530 5,092 19,622 Source: Compiled from FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records, as of December 5, 2018. Table 52. Types of landing facilities, ownership, and use.

72 Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018–2019 more enplaned passengers are considered primary airports and grouped as large-, medium-, small-, and nonhub airports. Nonprimary airports include commercial service airports (with between 2,500 and 9,999 enplaned passengers per year), reliever, and GA airports. Beginning in 2012, the FAA further divided GA airports into five categories: national, regional, local, basic, and unclassified. The new GA categories provide a comprehensive way to consider FBO size and services performed at individual airports. Activity indicators considered in grouping an air- port’s category included the following: • Based aircraft • Based jets • Instrument flight rules flights (e.g., total, international, Interstate, and flights over a 500-mile radius) • Enplanements • Cargo landed weight • Metropolitan or micropolitan statistical area • Remote location and limited access • Nearest NPIAS airport • Commercial service • Public interest supported by government agencies (e.g., firefighting, U.S. Postal Service, Customs and Border Patrol, and Essential Air Service) • New or replacement airport • Owned by a public sponsor or privately owned, but designated as a reliever As of 2018, 243 GA airports remained not categorized. Airports are unclassified because they do not have enough validated based aircraft or there is no other documented public use (including remote access). Also, of note, the FAA and participating stakeholders determined that runway length, while important to the type and size of aircraft using an airport, “didn’t mean that there was a common minimum length required to meet a specific aeronautical func- tion” [NPIAS, Appendix C]. Similarly, the presence of an instrument approach and control tower, while advantageous, related to local airspace, metrological conditions, and safety con- cerns, and did not necessarily relate directly to specific aeronautical functions, which was the main reason for the new categories. The new categories for GA airports are reasonable proxies to study FBO characteristics at different types of airports. Table 53 presents the NPIAS categories. NPIAS does not include all public-use airports. FAA Order 5090-5 establishes internal guide- lines for managing and maintaining the NPIAS and the Airport Capital Improvement Plan (ACIP). Some GA airports are disqualified because of inadequate sites; inability to expand or improve to meet safety standards; or location within 20 miles of another NPIAS airport. Ultra- light, gliderports, and balloonports are also excluded. Table 54 shows the numerical differences between 5010 public-use airports and NPIAS airports. AirNav Database Behind the AirNav online reports is a continually updated database. AirNav updates its 5010 data monthly in step with FAA updates to this data. Fuel prices, FBO information, and other business listings are largely self-reported and updated whenever an FBO provider submits information. AirNav prices a basic listing at very low cost, determined by the type and amount of traffic at an airport. For business listings, preferred position on the page, custom copy, logos, and advertisements on other airport report pages cost more. The use of a tiered pricing schedule makes for an inclusive database. However, when it comes to services listings, lower-fee customers choose from a list of keywords describing FBO services;

Overview of FBO and Airport Data 73 higher-paying customers can post their own service descriptions, resulting in some records that are easy to compare; other records are more free-form. As of December 2018, AirNav had list- ings for 3,661 FBO locations at public-use airports and 57 FBO locations at private-use airports. For purposes of this analysis, FBOs at private-use airports were culled from the list. It is important to make the distinction between FBO locations and airports with FBOs. In the AirNav database, there are 299 public-use airports with multiple FBO locations operating on the field. For example, Centennial Airport (APA) in Colorado lists five FBO locations and Teterboro Airport (TEB) in New Jersey lists six FBO locations, which includes three Signature facilities and three other companies with FBO locations at TEB. Dallas Love Field Airport lists six FBO locations reflecting six different companies. Most airports with multiple FBOs, how- ever, have two or three FBO locations at the airport, and one FBO location is the norm. AirNav data were used to identify FBOs at public-use airports; to determine fuel services and brands; and to compare aviation products, services, and facilities offered. Airport Category Number of Airports Primary Airports Large-Hub 30 Medium-Hub 31 Small-Hub 72 Nonhub 247 Total Primary Airports 380 Nonprimary Airports National 88 Regional 492 Local 1,278 Basic 840 Unclassified 243 Nonprimary Airports 2,941 Total NPIAS Airports 3,321 Source: Compiled from FAA, National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (2019–2023). Table 53. Airports in the NPIAS by category. Facility Type Public-Use Airports NPIAS Airports Airports 4,812 3,273 Heliport 60 10 Seaplane Base 211 38 Balloonports 1 - Gliderports 5 - Ultralight 3 - Total 5,092 3,321 Source: Compiled from FAA, National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (2019–2023) and FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records, as of December 5, 2018. Table 54. Comparison of 5010 public-use airports and NPIAS airports.

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The fixed-base operator (FBO) industry provides aeronautical services to a wide spectrum of aircraft operators at airports. The term FBO is defined by the FAA as “a business granted the right by the airport sponsor to operate on an airport and provide aeronautical services . . .” The most basic FBO offers its customers self-service fueling, as well as a set of core services such as use of hangars, ground services, and, sometimes, aircraft maintenance.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Synthesis 108: Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019 profiles the FBO industry as of December 2018. This analysis of data provides a quantitative snapshot of the FBO industry intended to serve as a reliable baseline of information for tracking FBO trends in the future.

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