Known primarily for its pilot-centric product sales business, AviatMall has opened its first FBO at Wilmington International Airport in North Carolina, where it will be one of two service providers on the field. The company was awarded a five-year lease through an RFP process to occupy the 13-acre former Aero Services facility, which includes a 3,000-sq-ft terminal and 21,000 sq ft of hangar space that can accommodate aircraft up to a Challenger 605.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs
New developments at airports and heliports, including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers of FBOs; AIN’s Annual FBO Survey Reports; and news, issues and concerns regarding fuel cards, fuel prices and alternative fuels.
Vision Aviation, the lone services provider at Louisiana’s Lake Charles Regional Airport for more than a decade, has sold its FBO business to Freeman Holdings Group, owner of 11 Million Air locations, three of them in the Bayou State, including one at nearby Chennault International Airport. At the company’s request, the airport authority terminated its agreement with Vision Aviation and approved the sale of its assets, before granting a new 50-year lease to Freeman Holdings. Vision Aviation will continue to operate several hangars at the airport.
Landmark Aviation has opened its new FBO terminal at Paris Le Bourget Airport. Constructed over the past year on its leasehold adjacent to the company’s current hangar, the 8,500-sq-ft facility includes a lounge, bistro, pilot lounge, passenger lobby, prayer room, flight-planning center and two conference rooms. “Our new facility is much more spacious and offers additional amenities that will allow us to provide a better experience for our customers,” said Denis Bourgois, the location’s general manager. Landmark also plans to add a covered parking structure for customers.
Port Columbus International Airport is slated to receive a new $1 million U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility dedicated for general aviation. The 2,740-sq-ft facility will be funded by Lane Aviation, one of two FBOs at the airport, which is also the home base for NetJets. Lane expects to break ground on the building this month, according to company president Brad Primm, who expects it to be completed by year-end. Currently international arrivals at the airport must first stop at the Port Columbus terminal before heading to one of the FBOs.
After more than two decades with Gulf Aviation as the lone FBO, Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas, received a second service provider when Sun Valley Aviation opened its doors at the end of June. The newly built facility has a 4,000-sq-ft terminal with two passenger seating areas, an eight-seat A/V-equipped conference room, a business center, pilots’ lounge, quiet room, shower, crew cars, complimentary Wi-Fi, onsite car rental and a canteen area. The building’s second floor has 4,000 sq ft of office space available.
Deer Jet, China’s largest private aviation services provider, opened its newest base at Changsha Huanghua International Airport in Hunan Province. Funded jointly by the company and Hunan Airport Economic Development, the facility occupies nearly 108,000 sq ft and includes a lounge and a customer parking lot. The FBO handled its first flight on May 31, but it will service only Deer Jet flights until its official opening next May, according to a company spokesperson.
Sonoma Jet Center at California’s Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport is the latest facility to go live as a member of Signature Flight Support’s Signature Select affiliate program, which allows FBOs to retain their independent brand while receiving support from Signature’s sales and marketing programs. Located in the heart of California’s wine country, the FBO features a well appointed passenger terminal and a newly built 22,000-sq-ft hangar capable of sheltering aircraft the size of a G650.
Myanmar received its first FBO this week when Myanmar MJets Business Aviation Center (MMBAC) opened at Yangon International Airport. The new venture is a partnership between Bangkok-based business jet and FBO operator MJets and the WahWah Group, which provides aircraft handling and aircraft parts distribution in Myanmar, with support from Myanma Airways, the country’s national airline.
Landmark Aviation completed the acquisition of Ross Aviation’s network of 18 U.S. FBOs on Friday. The former Ross Aviation facilities, which are now operating under the Landmark banner, are located in major cities and resort destinations within the U.S., including Denver; Santa Fe, N.M.; Miami; and six locations in Hawaii. The acquisition increased the size of Landmark’s network from 57 to 75 locations globally.
Air BP recently conducted its first off-airport-site aircraft refueling operation in the Middle East. In June, an Air BP operations team refueled HeliDubai’s Agusta 109e at the HeliDubai Festival City helipad, which was opened in September. Following the successful fueling, complete control of the fueling operations was handed over to HeliDubai’s operational team as the helicopter operator became the first Air BP customer in the Middle East to sign up for the fuel supplier’s Omega (operations manual for external general aviation) support and training program.