Posted on July 28, 2022 linda strong aviation
With the constant demands placed upon general aviation aircraft, it is critical to have a robust ground operations network. With multiple actions needing to be accomplished between flights, owners often look for entities capable of efficiently providing a wide range of services. With the current air transportation model, owners of both private and commercial aircraft have numerous options for ground service operators, but most choose to depend upon a fixed-base operator (FBOs). To provide a better understanding of the role that FBOs play, we will discuss some of the services they offer, as well as the equipment that supports them.
A fixed-base operator (FBO) is a designation given to a company that has been granted disposition from the airport to provide various services to the general aviation community. For smaller airports in particular, an FBO may be the only provider of certain services to general aviation operators. In any case, FBOs lease land directly on the airport's property for the benefit of proximity, although some particularly small airports may feature FBOs that utilize the adjacent property. Commonly in the United States and in Europe, FBO facilities are run by public or privately-held aviation companies that operate independently of large airlines.
Commonly, FBOs are classified by their revenue and services provided. These categories are called "tiers," and the typical classification system comprises three, which will be covered below. While the descriptions of the various services offered at each tier are not comprehensive, they do encompass the majority of those found in regular operations.
As the smallest FBO type, tier 3 locations often distribute under 1 million gallons of fuel annually. In addition to aviation fuel, tier 3 facilities provide maintenance operations for piston and turboprop aircraft, often carrying the necessary parts to perform the most common types of repair. They may also charter the same, offering passenger and cargo rental options to interested customers. Many FBOs of this size also facilitate flight schools or at least provide the aircraft for an instruction facility.
Including most of the services mentioned, tier 2 FBOs also support customers needing to store their aircraft by providing hangar space. They are also more likely to maintain, manage, and charter larger turbine aircraft. In addition, tier 2 facilities commonly support customers with specialized missions, providing the space and resources for medevac and research aircraft. Distributing between 1.0-3.0 million gallons of aviation fuel per year, roughly 25-35% of tier 2 revenue comes from this source.
With sales of over 3 million gallons of aviation fuel per year, tier 1 FBOs are often stationed at large, busy airports. They generally support robust turbine aircraft maintenance operations, while also offering a more extensive fleet of vessels for charter. Another unique attribute is their part as an OEM-certified aircraft service center, delivering a broader scope of services and components. Due to their location and role as service providers at busier airports, tier 1 FBOs typically have much larger storage hangars and regularly offer long-term parking.
At Aviation Sourcing Solutions, we provide FBO and other ground service providers with all the equipment they need to continue effective operation. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we maintain an inventory of over 2 billion new, obsolete, and hard-to-find components for the civil and defense aviation industries. Use our advanced search engine to find the exact item you require or browse through our numerous part catalogs, which conveniently arrange components based on their NSN, manufacturer, type, FSC, and more. Once you have found an item you are satisfied with, you may begin the purchasing process at any time using our Instant RFQ service. With account managers available for customers 24/7x365, you will receive a competitive quotation within 15 minutes or less.
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