What is a fixed based operator

What is a Fixed Base Operator?

FBO stands for a fixed base operation or fixed base operator. So what exactly is an FBO or a fixed base operator? They are your right hand when you are in corporate aviation, handling everything on the back end and making the flight attendants’ and the pilots’ jobs easy, and providing customer services to the passengers.

In general, they handle fueling, parking the aircraft, or putting your airplane in a hangar if you have an overnight. If you are flying and your plane has a mechanical problem, maintenance is available by an FBO.

Fixed base operators also offer VIP lounges to the passengers and a comfortable place to relax while the crew gets the airplane ready. Basically, an FBO does everything.

Furthermore, a fixed base operator is an organization granted the right by an airport to operate at the airport and provide aviation services such as hanging tie-down, fueling, parking aircraft, top maintenance, flight instruction, and similar activities.

In common practice, an FBO is the primary provider of support services to general aviation operators at a public-use airport. It is on land leased from the airport or, in rare cases, adjacent property as a “through the fence operation.”

fixed based operator is an essential part of smooth flight operations. Today, we will summarize the different services they offer.

Services Provided to Airlines

Typically, an airport will be owned by the government or city, and then they’ll lease out the business space to private companies. So, FBOs are typically owned by a private company, but they are renting the space from the airport.

FBO provides integrated solutions to hundreds of airlines from around the world, including passenger handling operations, ramp services, cabin cleaning, ground handling, and spot services at international airports. 

It ensures the on-time departure of all running flights with precession, accuracy, safety, and efficiency to minimize turnaround time.

FBOs deliver services at the highest possible quality and applies to every aspect of the business from cabin cleaning to baggage, ramp handling, passengers, cargo handling, and training.

FBOs also give basic airport, public access, and a steady, reliable supply of aviation fuel. Without this basic framework, general aviation would have fewer flying opportunities and more hurdles to our vital and shared mission of increasing the GA pilot population.

Moreover, FBOs compete vigorously with each other on service, price, and quality of facilities.

Major Services Provided

The fixed base operator provides two significant services:

  • Ground Handling Services
  • Field Operation Services

Ground Handling Services

Ground handling addresses the service requirements of a passenger aircraft between the time it arrives at the terminal gate and the time it goes on its next flight.

Efficiency, speed, and accuracy are critical in ground handling service in order to minimize the turnaround time (turnaround time is the time during which the aircraft must remain parked at the gate).

Cabin Service

Cabin services include cleaning of passenger cabin and replenishment of onward consumable or washable items such as soft pillows, tissues, blankets, etc. 

Catering Service

Catering services include the unloading of new drinks and food from the aircraft and the loading of fresh drinks and food for passengers and crew. 

The Airline typically delivers meals in trolleys, and the freshman replaces the trash-filled trolleys from the previous flight. In order to reduce the amount of preparation required in the air, the airlines mostly prepare meals on the ground.

Ramp Services

This includes services on the ramp or an apron, such as lavatory drainage and air-conditioning (more common for smaller aircraft).

Ramp services also include refueling, passenger stairs, air start unit, luggage handling, air cargo handling, catering trucks, de-icing, and ground power units.

Passenger Services

It includes services inside the airport terminal, such as providing gate arrival, check-in counter, and departure services. The FBO agents are required to meet a flight on arrival as well as offer departure services, including boarding procedures, closing the flights, etc. It also includes staffing the transfer counters, staffing the customer service counters, airline lounges, etc.

A large part of FBO services is to provide a comfortable experience for its patrons. That’s why many FBOs support their customers with amenities like wireless internet, light refreshments, and bathroom facilities. Larger or more specialized FBOs offer luxury concierge, hotel rooms, and conference facilities—they want their customers to feel at home.

Field Operation Services

This service dispatches the aircraft, maintains communication with air traffic control, and the rest of the airline operation at the airport.

Services Provided to Customers

Many fixed-base operators provide much more than basic repairs and maintenance for their customers. Most of the FBOs also have a VIP lounge within the airport terminal, or it can involve a large facility built specifically for private jet usage offering a range of services for private jet customers, aircraft, and crew.

Crop-dusting taxi or car services, aerial pictures, and filming and baggage handling are some services FBOs might offer. Also, a Fixed Base Operator commonly has lounge facilities like restrooms, showers, and conference rooms. A number of them even provide food and drinks as well as a place to relax.

They are also great at arranging car rentals. If you have just day trips, they will give you a crew car. This way you can leave the airport for a little while. Get some fresh air, go to a restaurant and have a nice meal and not have to sit around in the FBO all day long. When passengers arrive, there is a screening process for them that is different than general airport security.

Most of them supply baggage services and security screening, and some have concierge services for passengers, pilots, and flight crews. So FBOs strive to bring top-quality maintenance facilities and conveniences for customers to make the air travel experience as pleasant and hassle-free as it can be.

Other common FBO services include maintenance of aircraft, sale of aircraft parts, aircraft rental and or sales, basic aircraft line services, aircraft charters, and aerial advertisements.

airplane hangar rental

Choosing the Right Airplane Hangar Rental and FBO Service

Choosing the right airplane hangar rental, FBO service, and location for your needs is an important part of aircraft ownership. As any private jet owner knows, finding the right aircraft hangar is just as important as finding the right aircraft management company to work with.

There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when choosing a hangar, including location and utilization. We’ve assembled a list of considerations that you will need to think about when choosing the right airplane hangar rental and FBO service.

Choosing the Right Airplane Hangar Rental

Where is your airplane going to be based? Will it be easily accessible?

Part of the joy of owning your own airplane is the flexibility to travel whenever you choose. It seems remiss to lose this benefit if you have to undertake a massive logistical operation every time you want to fly.

While it may seem like good value to base your airplane at a smaller and cheaper regional airport, it could be a false economy.

The cost of fuel alone each time the airplane is repositioned to the correct starting point could easily outweigh the difference in costs to base your airplane at your normal departure point.


The type of hangarage you need will vary depending on the size of the airplane. Operators with diverse fleets will tell you, they all have different requirements. And it isn’t just about ‘making the plane fit’ either.

You may need extra room for equipment such as ground power units or tugs. Further to this, certain types have specific maintenance requirements, tools, equipment. You’ll need to consider whether there is room for this as well.


If the airplane develops a technical fault, will your choice of location have the facilities and means to deal with it? An airport in the middle of nowhere is unlikely to have dedicated maintenance staff on hand 24/7. Even if personnel are available, have they got the expertise and training to handle your particular type of aircraft?

It isn’t all about maintenance either. There are other things that you will almost certainly need.

Flying in the winter? Are de-icing services available at your chosen destination? What about refueling services? It might not be obvious, but not every airport has the means to cater to larger private jets.

Is Chartering an Option?

You can often offset the costs of your own airplane by offering it out for charter when you are not using it.

There is a caveat, however.

Ideally, it is most cost-efficient if the jet is already in a location where people want to travel from and to. You’ll find that metropolitan centers are much more popular than airports out in the back and beyond.


This covers several key areas.

First, let’s talk about the weather. The main reason you will want your airplane in a hangar is to protect it from the natural elements. In fact, some manufacturers specify that a private jet must be in a hangar when it is not in use.

This may seem trivial, but get it wrong, and it could be costly. Dirt, dust, water, and other elements (such as saltwater if you are stationed near the coast) can cause significant damage when left to sit on airplane parts and components.

The elements aren’t the only threat. Unauthorized personnel have always been a significant threat to aviation. You must ensure that you aren’t a victim of unauthorized access. The easiest way to negate this threat is to choose a hangar space with a sturdy and established perimeter. Features like dedicated security staff, monitored CCTV, and secured entryways should come as standard.


Just like renting a house, renting hangar space gives you flexibility. It would be a shame to purchase or build a hangar, only to discover that it wasn’t working out as you’d hoped.

Hangar rental affords you a degree of flexibility. Depending on your agreement, you would be tied in for far less time than if you permanently bought a hangar. If you upgrade (or downsize), you safeguard yourself against the hangar being unsuitable to fit your aircraft.

Renting Hangar Space

There are lots of options open to you when choosing the right airplane hangar rental: –

Shared Airport Hangars

This is generally considered the cheapest option. You rent a ‘parking space’ within a hangar that is owned by a fixed base operator (FBO). Depending on where the aircraft is based, this could include certain maintenance and handling fees.

Shared Private Hangars

This is an alternative if you are looking for a less costly option. It is quite similar to the above. However, instead of renting from an airport authority or a fixed base operator (FBO), you will be renting from a private individual.

Individually Rented Hangars

If shared airport hangars equate to renting a hotel room, individually rented hangars are comparable to renting the entire hotel.

The advantages include greater convenience, and can even house multiple aircraft if you own more than one.

The downsides are that it is (naturally) more expensive. You might find that the hangar is much bigger than you require, yet you will likely be responsible for the upkeep and MX. In addition to this, you will tend to find that the availability is limited in busy and popular areas and therefore will be priced at a premium.

The Easy Way to Choose the Right Airplane Hangar Rental?

With all the above in mind, you have an ideal solution. Sun Air Jets provides secure hangar storage for private jets that ticks every box in the requirements above. In addition, we offer a great level of luxury and sophistication. Our hangars offer excellent facilities, including maintenance, offices, meeting rooms, private lobbies, and gated parking.

Choosing the right airplane hangar rental or FBO service isn’t just about finding a place to park your aircraft. Your choice can have a direct implication on the overall costs of the airplane. Contact Sun Air Jets for more information.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel

A safe & affordable way to reduce your impact on the environment.

The business aviation industry has long been dedicated to reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft. With a proven record of advances in carbon reduction, the business aviation community has aspired to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2050 (relative to 2005).

Sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, is an important element to help the aviation community reach its goal and reduce its environmental impact. But what is SAF?

About Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Clean Alternative

Sustainable aviation fuel is a clean substitute for conventional jet fuel. Rather than refined from petroleum, SAF is made from organic & renewable materials and can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 23%.

Safe for all Jet Aircraft

SAF has been tested and approved by manufacturers of aircraft, engines and components to assure their reliability and safety.

Ready to Use

Equally important, SAF can be blended with current fuels, so manufacturers do not have to redesign engines or aircraft – the fuels can simply be “dropped-in” whenever they are available.


SAF is currently offered at the same rate as conventional jet fuel at the Sun Air Jets’ FBO in Ventura County. Requesting SAF instead of conventional fuel is an affordable & safe way to reduce your impact on the environment.

SAF is now available at Sun Air Jets in Ventura County.

For more information or to request SAF, contact our FBO at (805) 389-9301 or info@sunairjets.com.

sustainable aviation fuel

Sun Air Jets Offers SAF in Southern California

SAF will be offered at the same rate as conventional jet fuel

(Greater Los Angeles Area, California – February 9, 2021) – Signature Select member FBO Sun Air Jets is pleased to announce it will be blazing new trails, offering sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at their full-service FBO in Ventura County. Sun Air Jets will be one of the first FBOs in the Signature Select network to offer SAF.

With the rising need for environmental sustainability, Sun Air Jets is excited to join the private aviation industry’s efforts to reduce its impact on the environment. As a clean substitute for conventional jet fuel, SAF is made from organic and renewable materials rather than refined from petroleum and can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 23%.

“Now, more than ever, it is important for everyone to do their part,” says Brian Counsil, President and CEO of Sun Air Jets. “We’re thrilled to partner with Signature Select and Epic Fuels to be one of the first companies to offer SAF and help our company and clients reduce their carbon footprint.”

SAF will be offered at the same rate as conventional jet fuel

Sun Air Jets will begin offering SAF at KCMA in Ventura County at a special low rate. Due to a generous donation by an anonymous benefactor, the company will offer SAF at the same rate as conventional jet fuel while supplies last.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to extend this unique partnership to our Signature Select FBOs, and we will continue to focus on environmental stewardship and safety, paving the way for a more sustainable future,” said Marius Ronge, President of EPIC Fuels and Signature Select.

To encourage the purchase of this alternative fuel source, Sun Air Jets is offering Signature TailWins loyalty program members five times the amount of Signature TailWins reward points for SAF orders. This offer is available for a limited-time during February and March 2021.

To learn more or make a reservation for SAF in Southern California, contact us today.

Call (805) 389-9301 | Email info@sunairjets.com

About Sun Air Jets: Sun Air Jets operates one of the safest rated private jet fleets in the nation with a flawless safety record spanning over 20 years. Serving the greater Los Angeles area, Sun Air Jets, a SIGNATURE SELECT™ member FBO, provides aircraft management, maintenance, private luxury hangars, and private charter jet services on a diverse fleet including Gulfstream, Bombardier, Citation, Hawker and Falcon aircraft. Along with maintaining the highest safety standards in the industry, Sun Air Jets remains dedicated to serving clients with the highest levels of operating expertise and personable customer service. With bases located in Camarillo and Van Nuys, California, including a full-service FBO at the company’s KCMA headquarters, Sun Air Jets is a fully certified Part 145 repair station and 135 charter operator.

To learn more about Sun Air Jets, visit sunairjets.com.

About Signature Select

Signature Select is the leading FBO network affiliation program enabling third-party FBOs to join the world’s most traveled network.  Select FBO licensees (Select Partners) can access a multitude of network programs aimed at existing and new Signature Flight Support end-user customers that enhance the value and service delivery at Select Partner FBOs.

For more information, please visit www.signatureaviation.com

jet fuel prices available at sunairjets.com

FBO Special: Jet Fuel Price at $2.20

Jet fuel price valid Dec 24 – Dec 31

Sun Air Jets will offer a special jet fuel price for the end of the year at their Ventura County FBO – Jet A at only $2.20 per gallon (out the door). 

This end-of-the-year fuel special will be available starting Christmas Eve, December 24, 2020 and run until New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2020.

The Sun Air Jets FBO is located at the company’s Ventura County location: Camarillo Airport (KCMA), 855 Aviation Drive, Camarillo, Ca 93010.

This aviation fuel special coincides with the Signature Tailwins promotion that is offered throughout the entire month of December 2020. As a member of the Signature Select FBO network, Sun Air Jets is offering 5-10 times the amount of Signature rewards points on purchases of 300+ gallons of fuel to Signature Tailwins loyalty reward members.

Don’t miss out on the last fuel special for 2020. Make a reservation today!

Call (805) 389-9301 | Email info@sunairjets.com

The Sun Air Jets Fixed-Based Operator (FBO) serves private and business aviation needs. The full-service FBO provides luxury hangar space, refueling, parking and other invaluable services to the general aviation community.

To learn more about the FBO and its current fuel prices, ramp fees and other fuel programs, please call (805) 389-9301 or email info@sunairjets.com.


jet a fuel truck

Black Friday Jet A Fuel Sale

Jet A Fuel Sale in Southern California

This holiday season, Sun Air Jets is offering a Black Friday Jet A fuel sale at their full-service FBO. Jet A fuel will be available for purchase at only $1.97 per gallon (out the door).

This jet fuel sale is only offered from Thursday, November 26, 2020 to Saturday, November 28, 2020. This special is offered at Sun Air Jets’ Ventura County facility at Camarillo Airport, 855 Aviation Drive, Camarillo, Ca.

As a Signature Flight Support location, Sun Air Jets provides fuel discounts and other promotions throughout the year to better serve customers. The company is also currently offering an end-of-year promotion to Signature Tailwins members. Those participating in the loyalty program can earn 5-10 times the amount of Signature rewards points on purchases of 300+ gallons of fuel.

Take advantage of these great fuel sales. Call (805) 389-9301 or email info@sunairjets.com to make a reservation today!

To learn more about the FBO, other fuel programs, or how ramp fees may be waived, contact our Customer Service Department at (805) 389-9301.

Located in Southern California, Sun Air Jets offers award-winning FBO amenities. As a full-service, 24/7 FBO, Sun Air Jets provide essential support services for business and private aircraft, including refueling and luxury hangar space. The company also provides a comfortable private crew lounge, maintenance services, and a variety of other necessities.

Jet fuel trucks at Sun Air Jets' FBO in Ventura County

Jet Fuel Special: 5-10x More Tailwins Points on Purchases

Earn 5-10x more Signature Tailwins points on jet fuel purchase

Sun Air Jets is partnering with Signature Flight Support and Epic Fuels to bring clients a special deal on jet fuel purchases for the end of 2020.

While purchasing jet A fuel at Sun Air Jets’ FBO in Ventura County, guests can take advantage of the following fuel program.

  • For orders of 300-499 gallons of fuel, earn 5 times the amount of Signature Tailwins points
  • For orders of 500 and more gallons of fuel, earn 10 times the amount of Signature Tailwins points

The Signature loyalty program, Signature Tailwins provides an opportunity for pilots to earn points for purchases within Signature’s FBO network. These points can be redeemed as a reloadable cash card or as gift cards to a variety of well-known retailers, including Starbucks, Amazon, Apple and more.

The fuel special is available during November and December 2020. This special is offered at Sun Air Jets’ Ventura County location at Camarillo Airport, 855 Aviation Drive, Camarillo, Ca.

To learn more about the fuel special discount or to make a reservation, call (805) 389-9301 or email info@sunairjets.com.

The Sun Air Jets FBO in Ventura County provides a variety of services to guests, including private luxury hangar space, refueling, private crew lounge, and more.

Guests can view the most current jet fuel prices at sunairjets.com. Other fuel discounts are available. Ramp fees may also be waived with fuel purchase. Call (805) 389-9301 to learn more.

EPIC Fuels “Reach Tour”

Celebrating EPIC Fuels FBO Partners 
Reach Tour Spanning Coast-to-Coast 


Dallas, Texas – As the aviation industry and world grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, EPIC Fuels is doing its part to reignite the economy by encouraging people to fly responsibly by providing passengers, crew, pilots and FBO staff the absolute safest experience while traveling by private aviation.

Today, this leading supplier of aviation fuels and services launches its Reach for the Sky, We’ve Got the Ground campaign. The goal: to inspire FBO partners – and their customers – to achieve at the highest levels, knowing EPIC Fuels will be there, providing a solid foundation of partnership and support through its trusted people, products and services.

Taking an Uplifting Message on the Road – and to the Sky
The campaign kicks off with EPIC’s coast-to-coast Reach Tour, featuring world-class aerobatics pilot and competitor Anthony Oshinuga. He will be making appearances and fuel stops at 44 FBOs from August 17 through September 3. The tour covers 6,000 nautical miles in 18 days. 

The tour consists of appearances at EPIC Fuels-branded FBOs and Signature Select FBOs, all part of Signature Aviation. 

Anthony Oshinuga will appear at Sun Air Jets’ FBO at Camarillo Airport on Wednesday, September 2.

“FBOs have communicated great enthusiasm for this campaign,” said Marius Ronge, President, EPIC Fuels and Signature Select. “We all need encouragement right now, and this is our way of supporting our FBO partners, reminding businesses that these FBOs have been open all along, providing services essential to growth and our nation’s economic health. We are suggesting that with safety protocols in place, business and general aviation aircraft can safely return to the skies.” 

The value of business aircraft is well documented. The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) reports that 97 percent of business aircraft registered in the United States are operated by a broad cross-section of organizations and businesses large and small. Aircraft have a direct impact on businesses’ success. EPIC Fuels has worked alongside its FBO partners on the ground for 80 years – providing safe, reliable fuels and such valued offerings as its EPIC Card and QTpod.

Motivation You Can See
For the fourth year, EPIC Fuels has partnered with Oshinuga to promote EPIC Fuels and general aviation. Oshinuga will conduct touch-and-goes with smoke at multiple locations with his custom Pitts Special S-1S single-seat biplane. The main draw is the man himself. The Nigerian-born aviation enthusiast uses his humble beginnings to encourage others to achieve their dreams by leveraging the sky. Oshinuga made history in 2015 at the Reno Air Race National Championship by becoming the first African American rookie pilot to hold the first-place position after his third heat, which led to a second-place win. Today he shares his passion for flight with everyone he meets.

“I grew up poor in California, and locating funds to fuel my passion for flying was an early challenge,” says Oshinuga. “I later discovered that passion was the fuel I needed. My partnership with EPIC Fuels gives me a platform to serve as an ambassador for an industry that is more than an essential service. It is integral to our economy.” 

Oshinuga will present special COVID-related care packages at each tour stop as a special thank you and acknowledgement of the FBOs’ role in supporting both their customers and the industry. The symbolic packages contain EPIC-branded masks, hand sanitizers and mugs. They demonstrate and remind the FBOs that EPIC Fuels has their backs.

Special Guests and Media Welcome
The Reach Tour kicks off in San Diego, CA, then loops around the nation through EPIC-partnered FBOs in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon and back to California. Due to the pandemic, event attendance will be limited to a small number of invited guests and media. 

Take Part Virtually 
Throughout the tour, EPIC Fuels and Oshinuga will be posting regularly to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Included are his insider’s view on tour prep for his Pitts, ensuring his aerobatic plane can successfully conduct this ambitious long-distance tour. Follow along with the hashtags #ReachForTheSky and #GoEPICFuels. 

Additionally, Oshinuga’s remarks and presentation of the special care package to FBO owners will be livestreamed on Facebook Live at two key locations: American Aero, Fort Worth, TX (KFTW) on Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 19; and Corporate Air, Pittsburgh, PA (KAGC) on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 23. 

Media requests for interviews with Oshinuga should be directed to Deanna Harms, dharms@gretemangroup.com or 316.214.3467.

For more information, please visit the site: EPICFuels.com/Reach.

About EPIC Fuels
EPIC Fuels provides aviation fuels, supplies and services at approximately 175 branded fixed base operation (FBO) locations. It is part of Signature Aviation, which in addition to EPIC Fuels includes Signature Flight Support, Signature Select and TECHNICAir. Signature provides premium full-service flight and home-base support including refueling, ground handling and MRO services through the world’s largest FBO network for business and general aviation users with approximately 200 locations covering key destinations in North America, Europe, South America, Caribbean, Africa and Asia. Signature Aviation pic changed its name from BBA Aviation pic in November 2019. For more information, please visit www.signatureaviation.com.

About Sun Air Jets

Sun Air Jets operates one of the safest rated private jet fleets in the nation with a flawless safety record spanning over 20 years. Serving the greater Los Angeles area, Sun Air Jets, a SIGNATURE SELECT™ member FBO, provides aircraft management, maintenance, private luxury hangars, and private charter jet services on a diverse fleet including Gulfstream, Bombardier, Citation, Hawker and Falcon aircraft. Along with maintaining the highest safety standards in the industry, Sun Air Jets remains dedicated to serving clients with the highest levels of operating expertise and personable customer service. With bases located in Camarillo and Van Nuys, California, including a full-service FBO at the company’s KCMA headquarters, Sun Air Jets is a fully certified Part 145 repair station and 135 charter operator. To learn more about Sun Air Jets, visit sunairjets.com.