FBO stands for “Fixed Base Operator“, and is basically a private airport terminal or lounge used for luxury and business aviation. They are often separate from the airport’s main terminal. FBOs offer various services for passengers, aircraft, and flight crew and play an integral role in the overall flight plan for travelers.
FBOs offer a range of services including aircraft refueling, ground handling, ramp and/or hangar parking, GPU (ground power unit – an electric power supply) access, oxygen and lavatory services, aircraft maintenance, catering, rental car and hotel booking and general concierge services.
Private pilots and charter services, as well as their passengers, are the primary customers who utilize FBOs.
FBO addresses are publicly listed and often have their own parking so you’re not stuck in congested traffic for passenger pickup/dropoffs. Smaller airports may only have one or two FBOs, while larger airports may have several, giving you a choice of which you prefer to use.
FBO business hours range from certain hours and/or days of the week to 24/7. Airport traffic typically determines the hours of service for an FBO.
FBOs offer a host of amenities including passenger and pilot lounges, wi-fi connectivity, restrooms and showers, refreshments, flight planning, printer access, as well as additional services for aircraft like hangar space parking and detailing.