In a fast-evolving world where the only constant changes and the successful people are the ones challenging the status quo, we’re challenging the history of aviation to not just redefine but reinvent the term Fixed Based Operator (FBO). We are initiating an opportunity for aviation experts and passengers alike to ask themselves what the term FBO means to them and to share what it means to us.
The description of an FBO labels it as a gas station for planes, but since its origin in 1918 it has progressed to meaning a relaxed and stress-free setting for busy travellers.
Towards the end of WW1 civil aviation was virtually unregulated and consisted of mainly transient pilots, operating military surplus aircraft that landed wherever it could.
This prompted pilots to set up temporary camps offering aircraft maintenance and flight training, which by 1926 when aviation regulations were put in place, then became what we now know one hundred years later as an FBO.
Since the launch of FBOs the need to travel for business has increased drastically and the demand for high standards even more so. Hence, I ask you to question whether you agree that the evolution of FBOs prompts a chance to rename them in order to fully celebrate the extent of what they now offer?
As FBOs formerly provided only operational support, there was a gap in the experience that the upmarket clientele who use private jets were receiving. FBOs now offer an assortment of services that include gym facilities, games rooms, quality food and beverage, concierge, movie theatres and not forgetting a fleet of cars to transport travellers comfortably over the tarmac to their jet.
The hospitality industry didn’t shy from producing unique names for places to stay. Whether guests visit a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast or hostel, they know the standard to expect from each, so why can’t we do the same for our global FBOs? The use of FBOs to solely take care of the operational logistics of travelling on a private jet is becoming a thing of the past and so should the name.
Change is inevitable and we believe that 100 years is enough. What would the natural evolution of the FBO as a name be?