The FBO situation at New York’s Westchester County Airport (HPN) remains unresolved as Million Air vies with Signature Flight Support for the purchase of the Million Air Westchester franchisee location on the field, and the FBOs and the county wrangle over tax-exempt status.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » FBOs
New developments at FBOs including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers.
While the North American business aviation market has shown signs of recovery of late, for many other parts of the world fortunes have continued to fluctuate, making for a mixed outlook for the global FBO industry. Emerging bizav markets across regions such as Asia and Africa have seen encouraging traffic growth, even if opportunities to expand FBO services in these places have been somewhat limited. Meanwhile, service providers in Europe’s more mature market have yet to see sustained recovery from flight activity dips in recent years, but there are some notable exceptions.
Jetex Flight Support (Booth H706) has set up a new handling facility at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines. The Dubai-based group will provide a full range of support services for private jet operators in Manila, as well as being able to supervise ground handling at other Filipino airports.
Deer Jet, which owns four of the six FBOs currently in operation on the Chinese mainland, expects to at least double that number by the end of this year, according to Peng Zhang, company vice president.
“We are talking with several different airport authorities [who] want to cooperate with Deer Jet (Booth P424) to have an FBO facility on their field,” Zhang told AIN. This includes Beijing Capital Airport, where the company is awaiting permission to begin operations from a facility that was last used for the 2008 Olympics and would be the second FBO on the airport.
Korea Airport Corp. (KAC) recently announced a deal with Avjet to build and manage an FBO at Seoul’s Gimpo Airport, close to the city center, with the aim of making it the country’s main business aviation hub. The main airport, Incheon, is some 30 miles from the city center.
U.S. aviation services provider Castle & Cooke has been an ABACE exhibitor since 2012, explaining the role of a fixed-base operator (FBO) to show attendees who might not be familiar with the fueling and ground-handling services such a company provides to private aviation. As the company returns to the Shanghai show for the third time, it is providing a translator (Booth H431) to more fully answer attendee questions.
An independent study commissioned by New York’s Dutchess County recommends the county privatize its airport, the third busiest general aviation facility in the state in terms of operations and based aircraft. The airport, which has a 5,000-foot main runway, is owned and subsidized by the county.
The UVair FBO Network has enlarged its North American footprint with the addition of five new members: Gateway FBO at Stanfield International Airport in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Castle and Cooke Aviation in Van Nuys, Calif. and Everett, Wash.; Kaiser Air at California’s Charles M. Schulz/Sonoma County Airport; and the airport-owned FBO at Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport in Angleton, Texas, taking to 23 the total number of FBOs in the network–a joint venture between Universal Weather and Aviation and Epic Fuel.
France’s Biarritz Airport last month concluded a more than $1.4 million upgrade including total refurbishments to its FBO and business aviation terminal. The beach resort is a noted fuel stop for Fortune 500 corporate aircraft transiting between North America and the Middle East, and its airport has a nearly 7,400-foot-long main runway and features customs and immigration support, lounges, on-site car rental and other amenities. Last year, the airport reported 2,000 corporate-jet movements, ranging from ACJs to Citation CJ1s.
Signature Flight Support agreed last month to purchase the FBO component of Metro Flight Services at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW). Metro Flight was one of two FBOs at the airport, the other being owned by Signature sister company ASIG, which also provides the airline fueling and ground handling at DTW. Once the acquisition is complete, the FBOs will be combined into one Signature Flight Support location, leaving the BBA Aviation subsidiary the lone general aviation services provider on the field, while ASIG will continue to handle the airline traffic.