The principal source of flight support services to General Aviation, including Business and Corporate Aviation, is the FBO (Fixed Based Operator). Business aviation in Canada, Europe, and the United States takes the FBO for granted. When they arrive at any international or regional airport, they invariably locate one or more FBOs. Special General Aviation or Executive Terminals are provided for business aviation operations at several of these airports.
What are airport ground handling services for?
The nuts and bolts of the airport industry are airport ground handling services. What precisely does that imply? Various are the service organizations that combine several specialized jobs into an interdisciplinary organization that completes these duties in a synchronized way.
This is a general overview of airport ground handling and the service companies involved. Ground handling service companies do not all serve the same market segment. We can categorize these into a few more manageable groups:
- Service providers
- Equipment providers (sales)
- Logisticians and planners
- Fuel supply
The firms that give direct support to the apron are known as ground handling service providers. They are the companies that bring together the required skills and supplies to run airport ground operations.
What are ground handling services, exactly? Refueling planes, hauling planes, marshaling and parking, and luggage handling, among other things. Line maintenance services, which include system servicing and line maintenance items like tire and brake replacements, window changes, and other normal aircraft maintenance, are provided by some service providers.
Ground handling Equipment providers and sales
These are the companies that provide ground handling services and either manufacture or sell the equipment that makes airports run. A widespread misperception is that airport ground service and handling include simply the physical equipment and machinery employed on the apron, however, this is far from the case.
Ground handling Logisticians and planners
The lean idea has been around for a long time and has gained a cult-like following in the manufacturing and production industries. In a word, lean streamlines operations by eliminating unnecessary movement and waste, as well as consolidating activities.
Ground handling logistics and planning services give intelligence. They enable airport planners and airlines to simulate which measurements they’ll need to improve efficiency, save costs, plan routes, estimate economic activity, and decide on capacity and revenue.
Aviation Fuel suppliers
Aircraft fuel providers are responsible for a lot more than just delivering gas and loading it onto planes. Fuel is aviation’s lifeblood, and the process is complicated, involving cryogenic storage, bulk fuel storage, fuel testing and sampling, and, of course, aircraft refueling.
You may be able to find a single provider for aircraft maintenance and fuel tank farm assistance, or you may need to hire on numerous contracts to guarantee you have all your bases covered when it comes to fuel. Fuel is the lifeblood of your airport, so pay close attention to it; it will make or break you.
Airport security is a different beast in the post-9/11 era. Some of you may remember general aviation before 9/11. vehicles could drive directly off the street and onto runways and taxiways at small, quiet airports that didn’t even have a fence surrounding them. Today? Unthinkable. Tall security walls and encryption gates encircle the entire airport. It’s a whole different planet now.
All Western nations have implemented significantly stricter security standards and physical security requirements, and this is inextricably linked to fuel support, which is the most essential ground service at an airport and has a direct influence on fuel services.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the technical and hard skills required to manage an airport. While this is critical, soft skills must also be considered. These are the enticing elements that entice visitors to return. It’s critical to hire a high-quality concierge service to represent the airport and the surrounding town, an airport service that fosters favorable public relations between airport visitors and the neighborhood.
Airports, particularly international airports, depict the blending of cultures and the interconnected global society. In many circumstances, it is a traveler’s only memory of an entire town, and in extreme cases, an entire nation. The necessity of hiring the proper concierge is related to all other levels of airport ground handling services since if customers skip the airport because of bad service, the rest of the services are irrelevant.
Fixed Base Operator (FBO)
General aviation’s backbone is the FBO. The services provided by an FBO vary, but they often include fuel, maintenance, parking and mooring, flight training, aircraft rental, and other services. It’s a one-stop-shop for anything related to flying.
It’s critical to understand the differences between FBOs and other ground support firms and service providers. Although FBOs nearly always have an aircraft mechanic on staff, this does not imply that they have the capabilities of an MRO facility or a specialty shop. FBO maintenance has two functions: first, it provides regular maintenance services such as oil changes, periodic and isochronal inspections of light aircraft, and general servicing; second, it serves as a form of triage for transitory aircraft. The FBO technician will assist you in getting back in the air if your aircraft loses brakes, springs, or oil leaks, or if the alternator fails.
Fuel farms are seldom available to FBOs. Other airports feature below-ground or tiny above-ground tanks, while some smaller airports rely entirely on trucks for their fuel supply. Light aircraft on station and light transient traffic is the focus of their fuel services.
FBO (Fixed Based Operator) is the leading provider of flight support services to general aviation, including business and corporate aircraft. Business aviation in Canada, Europe, and the United States takes the FBO for granted. When they arrive at any international or regional airport, they invariably locate one or more FBOs. Special General Aviation or Executive Terminals are provided for business aviation operations at several of these airports.
However, the situation in other regions of the world is different. For example, in Africa, which is becoming a more popular location for business aviation operations, FBOs are only accessible in a few of the 55 nations that make up the continent. Only a few African nations have FBOs: South Africa, Angola, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Morocco, and Seychelles.
In Asia, a similar problem prevails. In truth, many nations lack the FBO infrastructure required to deliver the level of service required by corporate aircraft and travelers. Numerous CIS and South American nations, as well as South Korea, Pakistan, Oman, and Sri Lanka, as well as many airports in China and India, are missing the FBO part of business aviation.
As a result, big worldwide trip planning organizations enlisted the help of local private flight support companies, which engaged supervisors in certain airports to fill the vacuum in service. The following services are usually provided by these local supervisors:
- Coordination between all parties at the airport — the ground handling firm, the airport authority, the civil aviation authority (CAA), the aviation fuel provider, customs and immigration, and the caterer – to guarantee the smooth operation of the aircraft and on-time departure. Station managers and airport services workers are often hired by airlines and commercial operators to handle this cooperation. This privilege is not available to business and corporate aviation due to the mission, scale, and unplanned nature of their operations, hence assigning a private local supervisor to handle station manager duties is more than necessary.
- Meeting passengers and crew and aiding them with customs, immigration, and security processes at the airport, particularly at airports without dedicated terminals or facilities for business aviation operations. As a result, travelers must use the same amenities as other passengers, not to mention the fact that many airport employees only speak their native long since a result, the function of the local English-speaking supervisor is critical, as he interacts with passengers and crew, as well as coordinating with local workers and government officials in their tongue.
- Assist passengers and staff with land-side services that are outside the purview of services provided by standard ground handling businesses, such as transportation, hotel accommodations, or catering from hotels (when no specialized catering company is available in the airport, which is still the case in some countries).
- Due to the non-acceptance of credit cards and regulatory requirements that many services be paid in cash before the aircraft departs, the local supervisor arranges for the payment of all services, whether in local or foreign currency (according to country regulations), aggregates all invoices, and sends the international trip planning provider a single invoice containing all the amounts settled to all the parties.
- Assuring that all flight plans are submitted with ATC and that the flight crew receives all briefings.
- When time is of the essence, as it is in the commercial, charter, air ambulance, and VIP flights, it is critical to ensure on-time service delivery and departure. The primary reason is that, with limited equipment, conventional ground handlers, who lack a station manager to promote the operator’s interests, are more likely to focus on planned commercial operations. The local supervisor makes sure that the business aircraft receives the attention and service that the operator expects.
- Appointing a local supervisor may indeed add to the overall cost of the travel. However, the time saved, the increased efficiency, and the predicted issues avoided as a result of having one much outweigh the added expense.
When a commercial flight is flying to an airport with no FBO, local supervisors cannot fully compensate for the absence of infrastructure. Their presence, on the other hand, can compensate for the insufficient level of service coming from a ground handling culture that promotes commercial schedule operations, as they can entirely transform the passenger and crew experience into one that is highly friendly, seamless, and hassle-free.
How iJET flight support can help:
The quality of ground handling services (Passenger, Cargo, and Baggage Handling, among others) provided by iJET’s well-trained team, which faces all possible challenges in an efficient and timely manner, is worthy of your trust, as we ensure that successful flights are completed and that the needs and requests of clients are fully met.
Ground Services’ key competency is handling airplanes promptly and effectively. As a result, the interdependent relationship between air operators, airports, and ground handling sector providers is critical in addressing the long-term challenges that ground handling service providers face, as well as knowing how to use modern technology wisely and strictly so that they can provide exceptional ground handling services for private and general flights.