06 Feb Choosing a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) Services Provider
An FBO services provider allows pilots to visit distant airports and access a wide range of services from aircraft preparation and repairs to accommodations and services for the people aboard while on the ground. Having a reliable, knowledgeable, and established FBO company on call is a critical component of long-distance aviation journey. Choosing the right provider can ensure that your aircraft is in top shape and ready to fly when you are, allowing you to get some valuable downtime or focus on other tasks while you’re in town. What services can you expect when you’re dealing with a local FBO provider? Here’s a closer look at what pilots need to know.
Routine aircraft preparation and maintenance
The most important services that an FBO services provider offers are those that prepare your aircraft to get back in the air when needed. The availability of fuel – including Jet A and AvGas – is absolutely critical to a pilot’s ability to refuel and take off on schedule. If your plane has an onboard oxygen system, your FBO will be able to refill both oxygen and nitrogen as required. If you have mechanical needs, a highly trained on-staff mechanic will be available to complete a walk-through of your plane, evaluate the situation, and if needed make repairs. When an FBO doesn’t have necessary parts on hand, they’ll usually manage the process of ordering and expediting the part to their location to solve the problem. From getting your systems online and working when you’re experiencing trouble to simply handling the details of turning over your aircraft, these experts take care of all the elements of navigating the local airport.
Lavatory and potable water services
Whether you’re flying a small commercial plane or you’re enjoying the comfort of a private jet, small touches make your experience more comfortable. In-flight lavatories and the availability of drinking water are key to the in-flight experience. A good FBO company will offer a range of services including lavatory pumping and the availability of aircraft safe cleaning chemicals. In addition, they’ll be able to measure the potable water onboard and refill as needed. Often the capacity on smaller planes requires that these systems receive attention each time a flight stops to refuel.
Generalized ground support
FBOs provide a wide variety of ground support services. These include the use of air stairs to exit and enter the plane, cargo loading and unloading services, the use of GPU units to power your plane, and more. If you need your food restocked or your plane professionally cleaned before take-off, an FBO can provide that support. Tie-downs and 24/7 security and monitoring of your aircraft are also part of the standard menu while you’re parked at the airport.
Meeting space and catering
When you’re flying into town for a meeting, your aircraft may not offer the ambience that you’re seeking. Sometimes you simply want the opportunity to stretch your legs. But leaving the airport and traveling to a nearby city can be an unwanted hassle. An FBO can handle the logistics of your meetings, from providing onsite conference rooms to taking care of details such as catering your event.
Partnering with the right FBO makes long distance flights easier. By hiring the most reputable FBO services provider in any destination, you’ll ensure both the quality of your stay and your peace of mind that your plane will be ready to go the moment you need to leave.