What Does a Fixed Base Operator Do?

Base Operator

Did you know that there are nearly 3,000 locations at airports with fixed-based operators in the U.S.?

If you’ve never heard of an FBO, you may be wondering, “What Does a Fixed Base Operator Do?”

Fixed base operators are businesses found at an airport. The fixed-base operator provides airport and community access. They also provide a continuous supply of aviation fuel.


Read on to learn everything you need to know about fixed-base operators, or FBOs, and what they do.

What Is An FBO?

FBOs are ultimately private jet terminals. FBOs are organizations that are given the right by airports to provide services in the airports. If you book a private charter flight, you will be told which FBO your flight will leave.

FBOs are the main provider of services in private flying, recreational flying, and general aviation. They are typically found at public airports or a property right by an airport.

In bigger airports, FBOs are typically private companies. In smaller airports, FBOs may be run by the local government.

A good FBO features world-class facilities, outstanding service, a supportive airport sponsor, and a convenient location.

What Does a Fixed Base Operator Do?

FBOs provide smooth operation of private and charter plane operations in an airport. They do so by providing essential ground services.

Maintenance and fuel are the top two FBO services. But, they provide a range of aeronautical services that also includes hanging, tie-down and parking, flight instruction, and plane rental. Some FBOs also offer customer services, food and refreshments, ground transport service, mechanical services, plane storage, crew amenities, and a convenient location for busy passengers.

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While most FBOs solely focus on services surrounding maintenance, others can provide more than just basic services depending on the airport’s size. Some FBOs provide services that are less essential, but still useful. These services include aerial photography, taxi services, pilot’s lounges, conference facilities, sightseeing tours and flights, crop-dusting, aerial surveying and advertising, sales, and pilot instruction.

Some airport FBOs have fueling contracts with cargo carriers, commercial carriers, and government entities.

Without fixed base operators, aviation would not have as many flying options. Fixed base operators are facilities that serve local pilots. They also service links to community businesses that go beyond the airport.

Business owners must understand the importance of the services FBOs provide. If you are a charter or private plane owner, check out this article to learn how to pick the right FBO for your business.

Bottom Line: Fixed Base Operators Are Essential

Now, you have your answer to “what does a fixed base operator do?” You should understand the importance of FBOs and the services they provide. They are vital to airports because of the range of essential ground services they provide.

If you enjoyed this article on FBOs, you will enjoy our other articles on business and travel. Check them out today!

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