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Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019 (2020)

Chapter: Chapter 5 - Private FBOs

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Private FBOs." 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:"Chapter 5 - Private FBOs." 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:"Chapter 5 - Private FBOs." 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:"Chapter 5 - Private FBOs." 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:"Chapter 5 - Private FBOs." 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:"Chapter 5 - Private FBOs." 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:"Chapter 5 - Private FBOs." 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:"Chapter 5 - Private FBOs." 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:"Chapter 5 - Private FBOs." 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:"Chapter 5 - Private FBOs." 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:"Chapter 5 - Private FBOs." 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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46 The majority of FBOs in the United States are owned and operated by private companies. At public-use airports, private companies operate 2,099 FBO locations or 57% of all FBOs (3,661) at these airports. For the purposes of this synthesis, private FBOs were divided into three groups according to the number of locations a company operated. As shown in Figure 23, the vast majority of FBO locations are operated by local companies in one or two locations. Table 23 identifies the number of companies in each group. Independents are primarily single- location companies. On the other end of the spectrum are large networks with an average of 24 locations per company. Because there is such a wide spectrum of companies operating in the FBO sphere, each group is described separately in this chapter. Independent FBOs Independent FBOs are still the largest group of FBOs. A total of 1,556 individual companies operate one or two FBO locations; 80% of these are located at publicly owned airports as Table 24 shows. Table 25 examines independent FBOs by NPIAS airport category and the incidence of multiple FBOs at an airport. Small-hub airports and national GA airports have the highest frequency of multiple independent FBOs; however, they still average only one or two FBOs per airport. Table 26 shows the geographic distribution of independent FBOs. Nationwide, independents represent 46% of all FBO locations. There appear to be higher concentrations of this type of FBO in the Alaska, Eastern, New England, Northwest Mountain, and Western Pacific FAA regions. The Southern FAA region, which has the largest number of FBO locations, has the smallest representation of this category of FBO. Table 27 shows the types of fuel products offered at independent FBO locations. In contrast with publicly owned FBOs, the top fuel offering is FS and SS jet fuel, representing more than one-third of all locations in this category. SS 100LL is another strong offering at 18% of loca- tions, followed by FS 100LL and SS jet and 100LL fuel at 13%. A total of 71% of independent FBOs sell a specific fuel brand; 29% purchase fuel in the open market or purchase fuel from multiple fuel suppliers. Figure 24 and Table 28 show brand market shares for this group of FBOs. Phillips 66 and Avfuel have a combined market share of 45%, followed by Shell (12%) and EPIC (8%). As shown in Table 29, the top five services, products, and facilities available at independent FBO locations include fuel, hangar rentals and leasing, courtesy transportation or crew cars, maintenance and repairs, and ground and line services. Aircraft rentals and charters and flight training are also among the core services at more than 25% of this group of FBOs. C H A P T E R 5 Private FBOs

Private FBOs 47 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Independents (1-2 locations) Small Networks (3-5 locations) Large Networks (> 5 locations) 1,666 94 339 Figure 23. Ownership patterns of private FBO locations. Number of Companies Number of Locations Average Number of Locations Percentage of Total Locations Independents (1-2 locations) 1,556 1,666 1.1 46 Small Networks (3-5 locations) 28 94 3.4 3 Large Networks (> 5 locations) 14 339 24.2 9 Total 1,598 2,099 1.3 57 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 23. Private FBO average number of locations per company. Airport Ownership FBO Locations Percentage of Airport Ownership Publicly Owned 1,336 80 Privately Owned 327 20 Military Joint Use 3 0.2 All Independent FBOs 1,666 100 Source: Compiled from FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records, as of December 5, 2018, and AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 24. Airport ownership where independent FBOs operate.

Airport Category Number of FBO Locations Number of Airports FBOs per Airport Primary Airports Large-Hub 5 4 1.3 Medium-Hub 14 11 1.3 Small-Hub 41 28 1.5 Nonhub 180 137 1.3 Total Primary 240 180 1.3 Nonprimary Airports National 102 57 1.8 Regional 344 262 1.3 Local 471 466 1.0 Basic 143 141 1.0 Unclassified 366 366 1.0 Total Nonprimary 1,426 1,292 1.1 All Independent FBOs 1,666 1,472 1.1 Source: Compiled from FAA, National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (2019–2023) and AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 25. Independent FBOs by type of airport. FAA Region Region Code Total FBO Locations Percentage of FBOs Independent FBOs Percentage Share of FBOs in Region Alaska AAL 78 2 53 68 Central ACE 358 10 141 39 Eastern AEA 366 10 178 49 Great Lakes AGL 736 20 335 46 New England ANE 148 4 87 59 Northwest Mountain ANM 389 11 209 54 Southern ASO 661 18 243 37 Southwest ASW 578 16 246 43 Western Pacific AWP 347 9 174 50 All FBO Locations 3,661 100 1,666 46 Source: Compiled from FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records, as of December 5, 2018, and AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 26. Regional distribution of independent FBOs. Fuel Services Jet A 100LL Number of Locations Percentage of Share Cumulative Percentage FS SS FS SS FS and SS Jet A Only X X 574 34.5 34.5 SS 100LL Only X 307 18.4 52.9 FS Jet, SS Jet A, and SS 100LL X X X 209 12.5 65.4 All Fuel Services X X X X 128 7.7 73.1 FS and SS 100LL X X 116 7.0 80.1 SS Jet A Only X 95 5.7 85.8 SS 100LL and SS Jet A X X 79 4.7 90.5 FS Jet A and SS 100LL X X 47 2.8 93.3 FS Jet A Only X 41 2.5 95.8 FS Jet, FS 100LL, and SS 100LL X X X 30 1.8 97.6 No Advertised Fuel Service 22 1.3 98.9 Other Configurations 18 1.1 100.0 All Independent FBO Locations 1,666 100.0 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 27. Fuel services at independent FBO locations.

Private FBOs 49 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Phillips, 389, 23% Avfuel, 365, 22% Shell, 206, 13% EPIC, 139 , 8% World Fuel Services, 65, 4% Texaco, 14, 1% Chevron, Exxon, and Tesoro, 4, 0% Independent or Undesignated, 484, 29% Figure 24. Brand market share at independent FBO locations. Fuel Supplier FBO Locations Market Share (%) Phillips 389 23 AvFuel 365 22 Shell 206 12 EPIC 139 8 World Fuel Services 65 4 Texaco 14 1 Chevron, Exxon, and Tesoro 4 0.2 Independent or Undesignated 484 29 Total 1,666 100 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 28. Brand market shares at independent FBOs. FBO Products, Services, and Facilities FBO Locations Percentage of Locations Fuel Services 1,644 99 Hangar Rental and Leasing 715 43 Courtesy Transportation or Crew Cars 674 40 Maintenance, Repairs, and Parts (including third-party) 601 36 Ground/Line Services, Cleaning, and Detailing 500 30 Aircraft Rental and Charters 466 28 General Aviation Terminal 423 25 Flight Training, Pilot School, and Ground Training 418 25 Aerial Tours and Photography 239 14 Aircraft Sales or Leasing 219 13 Airport Management 200 12 Aircraft Painting, Interiors, and Modifications 169 10 Avionics Sales and Service 168 10 Aircraft Management 130 8 All Independent FBO Locations 1,666 100 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 29. Key products, services, and facilities at independent FBOs.

50 Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018–2019 Small FBO Networks Small network FBOs are private companies that operate three to five locations, often oper- ating in a specific region in the country. Table 30 lays out some basic facts about the group. There are 28 companies in this category. They operate primarily as the single FBO on an airport but can offer some additional network services in the form of maintenance services, aircraft rentals and charters, and flight instruction if network facilities are located near one another. Some small networks have embarked on acquisitions programs and become large networks over time. Ross Aviation, Lynx, and Jet Aviation are examples of small networks that grew rapidly through acquisitions. They are no longer considered part of this group. Table 31 shows the location of small-network FBOs by type of airport. Most small-network FBOs operate at nonhub airports and at the larger nonprimary airports and are the single FBO provider at the airport. Table 32 presents the geographic distribution of small-network FBOs. They are numerically prevalent in the Southern and Western Pacific FAA regions and represent 3% of all FBO locations. Fuel services for small-network FBOs are shown in Table 33. The dominant fuel offering is FS and SS Jet A. Another 25 locations offer FS 100LL and SS jet and 100LL fuel. These two fuel configurations represent 73% of FBO locations in this category. Number of FBO Companies with Small Networks 28 Number of FBO Locations 94 Number of Airports 93 Number of Publicly Owned Airports 89 Number of Privately Owned Airports 4 Source: Compiled from FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records, as of December 5, 2018, and AirNav database, December 2018. Table 30. Small FBO networks by the numbers. Airport Category Number of FBO Locations Number of Airports FBOs per Airport Primary Airport Large-Hub 3 3 1.0 Medium-Hub 3 3 1.0 Small-Hub 8 8 1.0 Nonhub 19 18 1.1 Total Primary 33 32 1.0 Nonprimary Airports National 8 8 1.0 Regional 28 28 1.0 Local 17 17 1.0 Basic 4 4 1.0 Unclassified 4 4 1.0 Total Nonprimary 61 61 1.0 All Small Network FBOs 94 93 1.0 Source: Compiled from FAA, National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (2019–2023) and AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 31. Small network FBO locations by type of airport.

Private FBOs 51 Small-network FBOs sell a larger percentage of branded fuel (85%) than independent FBO locations. Avfuel and Shell have the largest market shares at 32% and 27%, respectively. Phillips 66 has another 15% of market share. Figure 25 and Table 34 show fuel brands for the small-network FBO locations. Small-network FBO services have similarly ranked services as independent FBOs, but propor- tionately offer a higher frequency of aircraft sales and leasing, avionics, aircraft management, and aircraft modifications, as shown in Table 35. Large-Network, Franchise, and Affiliate FBOs This category of FBOs is composed of FBOs with more than five locations. That said, the group is changing rapidly as different network arrangements develop. For example, as of September 2019, Signature Flight Support owns 124 FBOs and has formal affiliations with seven other independently owned FBOs in the United States that are part of the Signature Select branded program. In May 2018, BBA Aviation (parent company of Signature) acquired EPIC Fuels and considers its 205 privately owned FBOs as complementary to the Signature FAA Regions Region Code Total FBO Locations Percentage of FBOs Small - Network FBOs Percent Share of FBOs in Region (%) Alaska AAL 78 2 7 9 Central ACE 358 10 9 3 Eastern AEA 366 10 6 2 Great Lakes AGL 736 20 11 1 New England ANE 148 4 0 0 Northwest Mountain ANM 389 11 12 3 Southern ASO 661 18 22 3 Southwest ASW 578 16 6 1 Western Pacific AWP 347 9 21 6 All FBO Locations 3,661 100 94 3 Source: Compiled from FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records, as of December 5, 2018, and AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 32. Geographic distribution of small-network FBOs. Fuel Services Jet A 100LL Number of Locations Percentage of Share Cumulative Percentage FS SS FS SS FS and SS Jet A Only X X 44 46.8 46.8 FS 100LL, SS Jet A, SS 100LL X X X 25 26.6 73.4 SS 100LL Only X 7 7.4 80.9 All Fuel Services X X X X 7 7.4 88.3 FS 100LL and SS 100LL X X 4 4.3 92.6 SS Jet A Only X 2 2.1 94.7 SS Jet A and SS 100LL X X 2 2.1 96.8 FS Jet A and SS 100LL X X 1 1.1 97.9 FS Jet A Only X 1 1.1 98.9 FS 100LL Only X 1 1.1 100.0 All Small-Network FBO Locations 94 100.0 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 33. Small-network fuel services.

Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Phillips 66, 14, 15% Avfuel, 30, 32% Shell, 27, 29% EPIC, 6 , 6% World Fuel, 3, 3% Independent or Undesignated, 14, 15% Figure 25. Small-network FBO locations: Fuel brand market shares. Fuel Supplier FBO Locations Market Share (%) Avfuel 30 32 Shell 27 29 Phillips 66 14 15 Independent or Undesignated 14 15 EPIC 6 6 World Fuel 3 3 All Fuel Supplier Locations 94 100 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 34. Small-network fuel brand market shares. FBO Products, Services, and Facilities FBO Locations Percentage of Locations Fuel Services 94 100 Hangar Rental and Leasing 53 56 Courtesy Transportation or Crew Cars 50 53 Maintenance, Repairs, and Parts (including third party) 46 49 Ground/Line Services, Cleaning, and Detailing 43 46 General Aviation Terminal 39 42 Aircraft Rental and Charters 37 39 Flight Training, Pilot School, and Ground Training 27 29 Aircraft Sales or Leasing 21 22 Avionics Sales and Service 21 22 Airport Management 16 17 Aircraft Management 15 16 Aircraft Painting, Interiors, and Modifications 15 16 Aerial Tours and Photography 14 15 All Small-Network Locations 94 100 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 35. Key products, services, and facilities at small-network FBOs.

Private FBOs 53 Select locations, establishing another branch of non-owned network of branded fuel loca- tions. Avflight has a similar arrangement, with a network of FBOs and a fueling network that includes over 3,000 branded locations worldwide. Million Air operates 24 locations in the United States that are either owned or franchised under the same brand. Atlantic Aviation operates 68 U.S. locations and is the second-largest FBO network, as shown in Table 36. Early in the 2010s, BBA Aviation and Atlantic embarked on aggressive acquisition programs. Other companies are also actively expanding locations. In 2018 and 2019, Sheltair expanded into Colorado and TAC Air into Dallas, Ross Aviation acquired Rectrix Aerodrome in February 2019, and Lynx continued its expansion program. One of the characteristics of large-network FBOs is their ability to extend consistency of service, customer loyalty programs, and discounts across all locations. Some network com- panies, notably Ross Aviation and FlightLevel Aviation, along with 23 other publicly owned and private FBOs have joined in an independent network of affiliates called Paragon Networks. Paragon Network members are listed in Table 37. To become a network member, an FBO must submit to an audit and commit to a common set of standards that encompass safety, quality, reliability, value, and service performance. Other groups, such as the CAA, have formed a net- work of preferred FBOs that offer guaranteed discount pricing on fuel and a recognized high standard of service. Large-network FBOs are present at many primary airports and national GA airports. Table 38 shows the distribution of large-network FBOs by airport category and the frequency of multiple FBOs in each category. Multiple large-network FBOs are often present at medium-hub com- mercial airports and at national airports. Table 39 shows the distribution of large-network FBOs by FAA region. For the whole United States, large-network FBOs represent approximately 9% of all FBO locations. Larger concentrations of these FBOs exist in the Eastern, New England, Southern, and Western Pacific regions. Large-Network FBO Companies Number of U.S. Locations Percentage of Share Signature Flight Support and Signature Select 129 38 Atlantic Aviation 68 20 Million Air Corporate and Franchises 24 7 Avflight 19 6 Sheltair 18 5 TAC Air 15 4 Crowley 14 4 Ross Aviation/Rectrix Aerodrome 13 4 Jet Aviation 8 2 FlightLevel Aviation 7 2 Air Service Hawaii 6 2 Hawthorne Global Aviation Services 6 2 Leading Edge Aviation 6 2 Lynx 6 2 All Large-Network U.S. Locations 339 100 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 36. Large-network FBO companies and locations (as of December 2018).

Location ID Airport State FBO BFI Boeing Field WA Modern Aviation DAB Daytona Beach FL Yelvington Jet Aviation DAL Dallas Love Field TX Business Jet Center DPA DuPage IL DuPage Flight Center EDC Austin Executive TX Henriksen Jet Center FAR Fargo ND Fargo Jet Center FCM Flying Cloud MN Premier Jet Center FLL Fort Lauderdale FL National Jets GYR Phoenix Goodyear AZ Lux Air Jet Centers HIO Hillsboro OR Aero Air HPN Westchester County NY Ross Aviation ISM Kissimmee FL Odyssey Aviation JYO Leesburg Executive VA ProJet Aviation LGB Long Beach CA Ross Aviation LNK Lincoln NE Silverhawk Aviation OPF Opa-Locka FL Fontainebleau Aviation OQU Providence RI FlightLevel Aviation OSU The Ohio State University OH The Ohio State University Airport PSM Portsmouth International NH Port City Air RBW Lowcountry Regional SC Lowcountry Aviation TME Houston Executive TX Henriksen Jet Center TRM Jacqueline Cochran Regional CA Ross Aviation UTA Tunica Airport MS Tunica Air Center VNY Van Nuys CA Clay Lacy Aviation YIP Willow Run MI Odyssey Aviation Source: Paragon Aviation Group (2019). Table 37. Paragon Network members. Airport Category Number of FBO Locations Number of Airports FBOs per Airport Primary Airports Large-Hub 37 27 1.4 Medium-Hub 48 25 1.9 Small-Hub 66 47 1.4 Nonhub 74 69 1.1 Primary Total 225 168 1.3 Nonprimary Airports National 66 44 1.5 Regional 33 31 1.1 Local 8 8 1.0 Basic 4 4 1.0 Unclassified 3 3 1.0 Nonprimary Total 114 90 1.3 All Large-Network FBOs 339 258 1.3 Source: Compiled from FAA, National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (2019–2023) and AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 38. Large-network FBOs by airport category.

Private FBOs 55 Many large-network FBOs cater to business jet traffic and thus advertise FS and SS jet fuel. While sometimes not advertised, 100LL fuel service is also available. Table 40 confirms an emphasis on FS options, primarily for jet fuel. Figure 26 and Table 41 show brand market shares for fuel at large-network FBOs. Atlantic and Signature Flight Support do not advertise a specific brand of fuel, accounting for the large share (49%) of independent or undesignated brand. Given large sales volumes of fuel and deliveries, these two companies have substantial fuel requirements and buying power to pur- chase fuel. Avfuel and Shell are also brand participants with a combined market share of 34%. Phillips 66, World Fuel, and EPIC have a combined market share of 20%. What differentiates the large-network FBOs from other categories is reliance on other spe- cialized aviation-service providers (third parties) to offer specific FBO services such as main- tenance, repair, avionics, and aircraft modifications. Large-network FBOs typically purchase custom advertisements in online directories such as AirNav and will co-list other company’s expertise as third party services available to customers. Table 42 ranks the products, services, and facilities listed by large-network FBOs. FAA Regions Region Code Total FBO Locations Percent of FBOs Large- Network FBOs Percentage of Share of FBOs in Region Alaska AAL 78 2 16 21 Central ACE 358 10 16 4 Eastern AEA 366 10 51 14 Great Lakes AGL 736 20 39 5 New England ANE 148 4 17 11 Northwest Mountain ANM 389 11 27 7 Southern ASO 661 18 73 11 Southwest ASW 578 16 47 8 Western Pacific AWP 347 9 53 15 All FBO Locations 3,661 100 339 9 Source: Compiled from FAA Form 5010-1, Airport Master Records, as of December 5, 2018, and AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 39. Geographic distribution of large-network FBOs. Fuel Services Jet A 100LL Number of Locations Percentage of Share Cumulative Percentage FS SS FS SS FS and SS Jet A Only X X 258 76.1 76.1 FS Jet, SS Jet A, SS 100LL X X X 45 13.3 89.4 FS Jet A Only X 19 5.6 95.0 SS 100LL Only X 5 1.5 96.5 All Fuel Services X X X X 3 0.9 97.3 No Advertised Fuel Services 1 0.3 97.6 Other Configurations 8 2.4 100.0 All Large-Network FBO Locations 339 100.0 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 40. Fuel services at large-network FBOs.

56 Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018–2019 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Independent or Undesignated, 165, 49% Avfuel, 62, 18% Shell, 53, 16% Phillips 66, 26, 8% World Fuel, 27, 8% EPIC, 4 , 1% Tesoro, 1 No Fuel Figure 26. Brand market shares for fuel at large-network FBOs. Fuel Supplier Fuel Brand Market Share (%) Independent or Undesignated 165 49 AvFuel 62 18 Shell 53 16 Phillips 66 26 8 World Fuel 27 8 EPIC 4 1 Tesoro 1 0 No Fuel Service 1 0 All Large-Network Fuel Suppliers 339 100 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 41. Brand market share for fuel at large-network FBOs. FBO Products, Services, and Facilities FBO Locations Percentage of Locations Fuel Services 338 100 Hangar Rental and Leasing 255 75 Courtesy Transportation or Crew Cars 244 72 Ground/Line Services, Cleaning, and Detailing 240 71 Maintenance, Repairs, and Parts (including third- party) 169 50 General Aviation Terminal 130 38 Use of Third Party Maintenance or Other Services 84 25 Aircraft Rental and Charters 45 13 Avionics Sales and Service 33 10 Flight Training, Pilot School, and Ground Training 27 8 Aircraft Sales or Leasing 14 4 All Large-Network FBOs 339 Source: Compiled from AirNav Database, December 2018. Table 42. Key products, services, and facilities at large-network FBOs.

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Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019 Get This Book
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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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