Big Island Jet Center, a premier FBO under construction at Ellison Onizuka International Airport (PHKO) in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, is set to open in December. It will be the airport's only independent FBO.
The modern FBO’s large, open-concept executive terminal will have a distinctly Hawaiian feel, showcasing a true “aloha spirit” while providing cutting-edge amenities and services. Designed to support private aviation passengers and flight crews, Big Island Jet Center’s Pacific oasis will have all the amenities expected of today’s FBOs and more: luxurious waiting areas, well-appointed restrooms, high-tech conference areas, and wireless connectivity throughout the facility and ramp.
The 9-acre ramp will support aircraft up to a B737-800 or Airbus A319. To safely house aircraft, Big Island Jet Center plans to construct environmentally sensitive hangars to the highest standards of Hawaiian building codes with regard to wind and storms.
With safety and hospitality top of mind, Big Island Jet Center will employ local line and customer service specialists who will be fully trained in fuel safety and security via NATA Safety 1st, and in customer care via an aviation-adapted version of the Ritz Carlton training program.
Long-time aviation executive Tom Owen will serve as the general manager of Big Island Jet Center.
Owen has 18 years of experience in business aviation operations and is best known for his time as a key member of the FBO management team at Avfuel Corporation, supporting the operational success of some of the industry’s most highly respected FBOs.
Owen brings to the Big Island Jet Center leadership team experience in fuel supply chain logistics, in addition to his expertise in guest and business aviation services honed during his tenure as general manager of the award-winning Sonoma Jet Center (KSTS) in Santa Rosa, California.
“The ownership group of Big Island Jet Centeris excited about bringing a new first-class facility and experience to the Big Island, and even more excited to have Tom lead our new FBO,” said David Johnston, senior partner of Big Island Jet Center. “Tom’s diverse experience, dedication to safety, attention to detail, and focus on the customer experience is exactly what our group was seeking in a general manager.”
“After working with some of the best FBOs in the country, I am thrilled to help combine the best FBO operational practices, hospitality and safety, and integrate that with the Spirit of Aloha prevalent with the people on the Big Island of Hawai’i,” said Owen. “The Kona district has an amazing combination of beautiful beaches, clear waters for spotting dolphins, mantas and sea turtles, as well as world class golf resorts, hiking trails, historic Hawaiian landmarks, and spectacular mountains growing world famous Kona coffee.”
Owen has already relocated to Kona in preparation for Big Island Jet Center’s opening in early December 2023. Toward this end, the FBO’s large ramp is nearing completion, a 50,000-gallon fuel farm is under development, and a luxury temporary terminal is being placed until the completion of its world-class, 7,500-square-foot executive terminal complex in 2024.