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Fixed base operators (FBOs) are the primary service providers to general aviation aircraft operators. The FBO industry in the U.S. today comprises nearly 3,000 locations at airports around the country.
An FBO is defined as a business operating under a lease with an airport-owning authority that dispenses aviation fuel. In addition, FBOs provide other support services: line service, which may include tie-down and hangar services; technical services, such as airframe and engine maintenance; aircraft rentals, charters, aircraft management and/or aircraft sales; or flight instruction.
Fuel and maintenance are considered the top two services provided by U.S. FBOs. At some airports, FBOs have fueling contracts with commercial passenger and cargo carriers or with a government entity, such as a National Guard unit. Additionally, at certain locations, FBOs also perform line maintenance, cabin cleaning, and baggage handling for commercial airline customers.
FBOs may be classified as – single location, regional chain, or national chain. A chain is defined as an FBO company with three or more operations. To be considered a national chain in the U.S., an FBO must have facilities in at least two distinct regions of the country. A regional chain’s activities are concentrated in one specific geographical area, such as the Midwest, East Coast or Southwest.
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