Traveling by private jet is a complete experience from the ground up. Chances are at least one end of the journey includes the use of an FBO, short for Fixed Base Operator, and another term for a private terminal. FBOs are an integral part of private air travel, affording passengers a personal oasis in which to relax or get work done before hopping onto the aircraft. They are also vitally important to a large segment of the industry providing a range of services that go well beyond what the passenger sees.
The origins of the FBO actually date back to the late 1920s. A surplus of military aircraft and pilots at the end of World War I helped lay the foundation for modern air commerce. These early private fliers commonly flew from town to town, landing in farmer's fields as there weren't many established airports at the time. Any support infrastructure had to follow along by ground, and pilots, mechanics, and flight instructors made their life on the road. In the United States the Air Commerce Act of 1926 marked the beginning of the end of this regime by establishing new licensing, maintenance and flight training standards. Other countries enacted similar legislation. To meet the new regulations, aviation businesses began to spring up around airports. They distinguished themselves from their predecessors by taking the name, fixed base operations. Meanwhile, as the airline industry began to take shape, separate terminals were built to handle the formalities commonly associated with commercial air travel.
FBOs feature an extensive range of services catering to what is known as "general aviation". Depending on the location, one can find rest areas and flight planning rooms for pilots, comfortable waiting areas for passengers, hangars for storing and maintaining aircraft, fueling facilities, full aircraft handling services both inside and out, as well as flight training and sightseeing operations. For private fliers, modern FBOs compete for business and continue to outdo one-another with comfortable lounges and amenities for passengers and crew. Have a meal before boarding. Take a shower after you land. Get business done in state-of-the-art boardrooms. Arrange for a rented vehicle to be dropped off. Some FBOs also cater to families. When flying privately you can always count on the FBO to provide a quiet and welcoming experience far from the bustling airline passenger terminals. Charter your private jet today and experience end-to-end comfort.