The National Academies

ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic S01-15 [Active (Synthesis)]

Airport Operator Options for Delivery of FBO Services
[ ACRP 11-03 (Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 11/23/2015 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Gail R. Staba
Research Agency: KRAMER aerotek
Principal Investigator: Lois Kramer
Effective Date: 6/3/2016
Fiscal Year: 2016

Final Scope
Understanding the state of the industry and how your airport functions is important to successful delivery of FBO services. It is fair to say that the industry is evolving and continues to change, and the change is impacting the expectations and delivery of FBO services. One foundational change is that general aviation commercial service providers and airports are now focused on market share instead of market growth. Airports have encountered a changing FBO business model that requires significant collaboration between private business and airport management or an evaluation of a proprietary exclusive management of the FBO services by the airport operator, or a hybrid of both. There is real benefit to an airport evaluating its specific business climate, minimum standards, and local economic development goals prior to developing RFPs for FBO services.

The purpose of this synthesis is to describe tools that airports use to create a foundation which fosters¬¬ viable and a beneficial business environment, and to describe decision support processes that airports use to evaluate delivery of FBO services. The audience for this synthesis is airport operators, FBOs, and other industry stakeholders.

The synthesis researcher will survey literature and engage in data collection with both airports and FBOs through survey, interview and/or facilitated dialogue. Data collection entities will include a representative mix of public use airports that have transitioned between public and private delivery of FBO services, FBOs and their host airports, and stakeholder industry groups. A concise report will provide information on
• Background on the state of the industry, past, current environment, and outlook.
• Expectations of commercial operators and airports and what each needs from the other to foster a viable business environment.
• Airport business performance benchmarking (i.e., minimum standards, # ops, fleet mix, based aircraft, gals of fuel pumped Jet A and avgas).
• Business models and feasibility studies, and other effective practices used as basis for developing RFPs and minimum standards. • Federal obligations, grant assurances.
• Challenges, opportunities and work-arounds.
• Special considerations-national chain, mom & pop, proprietary exclusive public.
• Case examples illustrative of each airport-FBO business combination.
• Appendix materials such as checklists, RFPs, proposal evaluation guidelines, airport executive board briefing materials, leases/supplier agreements, industry white papers, minimum standards, performance specs, and other documents useful to acquiring delivery of FBO services for inclusion as appendices.

A strategic priority for ACRP is to assure quality improvement in its research projects. ACRP therefore encourages the principal investigator to participate in a 1-day Symposium on ACRP Research in Progress that will be held during the Transportation Research Board’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

Partial information sources:

Model of Minimum Standards for Fixed Base Operators (FBO), Texas Department of Transportation
Hodges, Michael A., Reconsidering How FBOs Operate, Airport Business, Aug 27, 2008.
SGU Municipal Airport, SASO Operating and Lease Agreement Model http://www.flysgu.com/docs/SASO%20Agreement.pdf
John L. Enticknap & Ron R. Jackson, Aviation Business Strategies Group, A Changing FBO Business Model – “You Can’t Give It Away”
ACI White Paper on Airport Investment and Lease Terms for FBOs
NATA White Paper, How Many FBOs is Enough?
ACRP LRD 8, The Right to Self-Fuel
ACRP LRD 11, Survey of Minimum Standards
FAA Order 5190.6B, Airport Compliance Requirements
ACRP Report 77, Guidebook for Developing GA Business Plans
ACRP Report 47, Guidebook for Developing and Leasing Airport Property 
Topic Panel
Curt G. Castagna, Aeroplex/Aerolease Group
Brett Fay, Hillsborough County Aviation Authority
Vivek Khanna, KSA Engineers, Inc.
Richard Lanman, Auburn-Lewiston Airport
Mary Miller, Signature Flight Support
Gary E. Schmidt, Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission
Thomas Vick, AAE, Federal Aviation Administration
Paul J. Eubanks, Airports Council International - North America
Alex Gertsen, National Business Aviation Association
Christine Gerencher, Transportation Research Board 

Gail Staba
Email: gstaba@nas.edu
Phone: 202-334-2442

First Meeting: April 28, 2016, Irvine, CA
Teleconference: June 3, 2016, 1:00 p.m. EDT 
Second Meeting: December 1, 2016, Irvine, CA 

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