Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices. Topic S01-20. Compilation of Data on the State of FBOs

In the 1980’s an estimated 10,000 fixed-base operations (FBO) locations served a robust general aviation industry. Most of the FBOs were privately operated, many by individual families. Today there are approximately 3,500 FBOs. Of these, 47% are operated by airports. This enormous change is explained by multiple factors notably, the retirement of older single engine piston aircraft and replacement by newer more fuel efficient aircraft. In addition, many original individual FBO owners are close to retirement age and have either closed their establishment or sold leaseholds to another operator. Equally impactful, mobile technologies have made it possible for pilots and dispatchers to plan routes, evaluate tankering strategies, and view fuel prices available along a route. Despite enormous changes in how FBO services are provided, a private enterprise orientation continues to dominate industry organizations, network arrangements, and data collection. This orientation creates a dearth of collected data to characterize the industry subsector, despite the reality that more and more airports are engaging in FBO services, either by default or a desire to provide these services directly. The result is that airport operators tend to ‘fly solo’ on many FBO management and operational issues. The private FBO providers routinely collect proprietary market data. However, since airport operated FBOs are approaching 50% of all locations, it would be useful to know how many FBOs are operated by airports, individual owners, and network providers and set a defensible baseline with descriptive records. The audience for this data set is airport managers and FBO operators. The expected benefit of a public compilation is to assist understanding a current industry baseline and potentially awareness of potential and local changes over time that could affect FBO management decisions, including viability and profitability. This synthesis would result in a written benchmark of FBOs for 2017 in concise format and development of an accompanying database that could be updated periodically by others to track changes in the industry.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 11-03, Topic S01-20

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Staba, Gail

  • Start Date: 20180416
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01659864
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11-03, Topic S01-20
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Feb 12 2018 3:03PM