Business Report

Among FBOs, acquisitions remain a hot topic; offering 'integrated solutions'

Michael Szczechowski, senior vice president for Jet Aviation, agrees with the integrated solutions approach. However, his company must first complete its repackaging of its brands - Jet Aviation and St. Louis-based Midcoast, which it acquired earlier this year. At NBAA, the company announced that it is rebranding the Midcoast FBO in St. Louis as a Jet Aviation facility, while the maintenance base there, as well as other key maintenance locations, will be rebranded Midcoast.

Another potential emerging trend, or at least one which some FBOs are considering, is the concept of contracting with an airport sponsor to provide FBO services under a management agreement instead of a long-term leasehold. Million Air reports it is having success with its recent management contract at Albany, NY.

Meanwhile, on the topic of security, there is ongoing disagreement as to what requirements may come from the Transportation Security Administration in the future. Van Allen at Signature says he is almost resigned to the fact that in time all business aviation FBOs will have to deploy airline-type baggage screening in their facilities, such as Signature is required at Chicago O'Hare. Others, however, express optimism that TSA will keep a mostly hands-off position with what they see as a secure industry segment.

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