Introducing ‘The New Banyan’

Banyan Air Service has experienced tremendous growth at Ft. Lauderdale Executive, despite a location that was challenging at best. A new terminal complex now puts Banyan front and center.

Campion credits airport manager Clara Bennett, a winner of the NATA Airport Executive Partnership Award, with changing the business climate of the airport.

“Executive airport at one time was a place to get the cheapest gas,” he says. “It was a gas stop airport in the mid-80s. With customer expectations rising as business aviation grew, Banyan and the airport drifted away from the idea of having the cheapest gas to investing in what the professional pilots and their passengers needed — first class fuel trucks; well-trained people; the front desk staffed and knowledgeable.”

In the ‘90s, Bennett and her staff conducted an analysis as a result of the Banyan proposal and because a series of other leaseholds getting below the 15-year threshold, explains Campion. “There was a lot of energy and debate put into what formulas they would use. We were way over the limits that they finally agreed upon.”

The Sheltair Relationship
Through the years, one of the keys to Banyan’s growth and success, according to Campion, was the relationship with Sheltair. The company has three divisions — Sheltair Aviation Services, which operates FBOs in Florida and is expanding in the Northeast; Sheltair Aviation Facilities; and Holland Builders, Inc., which offers build-to-suit services — evidenced by the new Banyan complex.

Sheltair Aviation Facilities is the master leaseholder for much of the property at FXE, and controls properties at another eleven Florida airports. The unique arrangement for Banyan is one in which the FBO helps find customers to base in the hangars on its 80-acre footprint and then reaps the benefit of providing line and technical services. The customer writes the check to Sheltair for the space, and to Banyan for the services. Banyan is also responsible for finding tenants for the upper floor of the new FBO, which is nearly full.

Says Campion, “We’re running the complex as it relates to aviation activities. We work together with Sheltair as the property manager to try and get strategic tenants that contribute to the complex.”


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