‘FBO’ may be a term you have heard while walking to your gate at the airport. Still, in a highly technical industry like aviation, it’s hard to know what each acronym means. FBO stands for Fixed Base Operator and refers to a satellite facility separate from the main terminal where private jet passengers gather to wait for their flights. Upon booking a private flight, you will be given detailed instructions of where the FBO is, when you need to arrive, etc. Smaller airports will generally have only one FBO, but most will have two or more and provide you the choice of which FBO to use.
Once you arrive at the FBO, you will be greeted by the reception staff and usually meet your captain. There is a waiting area, but generally speaking, private jet passengers move through in a matter of minutes, not seeing much of the FBO. The average FBO provides its patrons with wifi, refreshments, and bathrooms, but larger FBOs provide more luxurious amenities such as concierge, conference rooms/workspaces, as well as rooms to sleep and facilities for those traveling with pets this contains use of various jet FBO parts
The term FBO dates back to the 1920s when civil aviation was, for the most part, totally unregulated. The large surplus of aircraft retired after WW1 meant that aircraft were much more affordable to the average consumer. Casual aviators everywhere took advantage of this and the industry took off. However, in 1926 the United State Air Commerce Act was enacted. This was the dawn of a more rigid era in aviation. Each pilot was required to be licensed, training became highly rigorous, and aircraft maintenance standards became markedly more stringent. This laid the groundwork for what would become the fixed base operator. Mechanics and pilots everywhere started businesses to address the new requirements and provided services including refueling, security, hangar
management, and more. While FBOs are much different today, they still provide much of the same important service.
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