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2023 Landscape of the FBO Industry in 2022 A Synthesis of Airport Practice Lois Kramer KRAMER aerotek, inc. Boulder, CO Research sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration Subscriber Categories Aviation A I R P O R T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M ACRP SYNTHESIS 129
ACRP SYNTHESIS 129 Project 11-03, Topic S01-26 ISSN 1935-9187 ISBN 978-0-309-70915-6 Library of Congress Control Number 2023946659 Â© 2023 by the National Academy of Sciences. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the graphical logo are trade- marks of the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, APTA, FAA, FHWA, FTA, GHSA, or NHTSA endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. Cover photo credit: iStock.com/lindenblade NOTICE The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transporta- tion Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board does not develop, issue, or publish standards or spec- ifications. The Transportation Research Board manages applied research projects which provide the scientific foundation that may be used by Transportation Research Board sponsors, industry associations, or other organizations as the basis for revised practices, procedures, or specifications. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the Airport Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names or logos appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. Published reports of the AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to https://www.mytrb.org/MyTRB/Store/default.aspx Printed in the United States of America AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Airports are vital national resources. They serve a key role in transpor- tation of people and goods and in regional, national, and international commerce. They are where the nationâs aviation system connects with other modes of transportation and where federal responsibility for man- aging and regulating air traffic operations intersects with the role of state and local governments that own and operate most airports. Research is necessary to solve common operating problems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the airport industry. The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the airport industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for ACRP was identified in TRB Special Report 272: Airport Research Needs: Cooperative Solutions in 2003, based on a study spon- sored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ACRP carries out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating agen- cies and not being adequately addressed by existing federal research pro- grams. ACRP is modeled after the successful National Cooperative High- way Research Program (NCHRP) and Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). ACRP undertakes research and other technical activi- ties in various airport subject areas, including design, construction, legal, maintenance, operations, safety, policy, planning, human resources, and administration. ACRP provides a forum where airport operators can cooperatively address common operational problems. ACRP was authorized in December 2003 as part of the Vision 100â Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. The primary participants in the ACRP are (1) an independent governing board, the ACRP Oversight Committee (AOC), appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation with representation from airport operating agencies, other stakeholders, and relevant industry organizations such as the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), the American Asso- ciation of Airport Executives (AAAE), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), Airlines for America (A4A), and the Airport Consultants Council (ACC) as vital links to the airport community; (2) TRB as program manager and secretariat for the governing board; and (3) the FAA as program sponsor. In October 2005, the FAA executed a contract with the National Academy of Sciences formally initiating the program. ACRP benefits from the cooperation and participation of airport professionals, air carriers, shippers, state and local government officials, equipment and service suppliers, other airport users, and research organi- zations. Each of these participants has different interests and responsibili- ties, and each is an integral part of this cooperative research effort. Research problem statements for ACRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the AOC to formulate the research program by identifying the highest priority projects and defining funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each ACRP project is assigned to an expert panel appointed by TRB. Panels include experienced practitioners and research specialists; heavy emphasis is placed on including airport professionals, the intended users of the research products. The panels prepare project statements (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing coop- erative research programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, ACRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Primary emphasis is placed on disseminating ACRP results to the intended users of the research: airport operating agencies, service pro- viders, and academic institutions. ACRP produces a series of research reports for use by airport operators, local agencies, the FAA, and other interested parties; industry associations may arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, webinars, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by airport industry practitioners.
e National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. e National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. e National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. e three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. e National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. e Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. e mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence-based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of transportation. e Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 8,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. e program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
CRP STAFF FOR ACRP SYNTHESIS 129 Waseem Dekelbab, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Marci A. Greenberger, Manager, Airport Cooperative Research Program Jordan Christensen, Senior Program Officer Demisha Williams, Senior Program Assistant Natalie Barnes, Director of Publications Heather DiAngelis, Associate Director of Publications ACRP PROJECT 11-03 PANEL Joshua D. Abramson, Barge Design Solutions, Inc., Nashville, TN (Chair) Gloria G. Bender, TransSolutions, LLC, Fort Worth, TX David A. Byers, Quadrex Aviation LLC, Melbourne, FL Traci Clark, Allegheny County (PA) Airport Authority, West Mifflin, PA Brenda L. Enos, TRC, Boston, MA Cameron Thompson, Birmingham Airport Authority, Birmingham, AL Keila Walker-Denis, Orlando International Airport, Orlando, FL Scott Wintner, San Jose Norman Y. Mineta International Airport, San Jose, CA Patrick Magnotta, FAA Liaison Liying Gu, Airports Council InternationalâNorth America Liaison Christine L. Gerencher, TRB Liaison TOPIC S01-26 PANEL Courtney Beamon, Delta Airport Consultants, Inc., Midlothian, VA Shelly Lesikar deZevallos, West Houston Airport, Houston, TX Mary Miller, Signature Flight Support, Washington, DC Chris Rozansky, City of Naples Airport Authority, Naples, FL Gary Edward Schmidt, Lakeville, MN Molly Fierro, FAA Liaison Paul James Eubanks, Airports Council InternationalâNorth America Liaison C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S
ABOUT THE ACRP SYNTHESIS PROGRAM Airport administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which information already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This infor- mation may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to the airport industry. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the entire airport community, the Airport Cooperative Research Program authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing project. This project, ACRP Project 11-03, âSynthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices,â searches out and synthesizes useful knowl- edge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute an ACRP report series, Synthesis of Airport Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. FOREWORD By Jordan Christensen Staff Officer Transportation Research Board ACRP Synthesis 108: Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018â2019 provided a quantitative snap- shot of the fixed-based operator (FBO) industry and established a baseline of useful metrics to track FBO trends. Much has happened to the aviation industry since the report was published, includ- ing the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected business and personal flying. This synthesis provides information on how general aviation functioned during the pandemic and how FBOs met pandemic challenges. The objective of this study was to follow up ACRP Synthesis 108 by examining selected recent and current trends in the aviation industry and their impacts on FBOs at National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) airports. Information used in this study was obtained through a literature review and survey of FBOs, which can be found in ChapterÂ 4. Lois Kramer, KRAMER aerotek, inc., Boulder, CO, synthesized the information and wrote the report. The members of the topic panel are acknowledged on page iv. This synthesis is an immedi- ately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.
AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Curt Castagna, Aeroplex, National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Peter Truszkowski, AIrPlx Justin Barkowski, American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Megan Eisenstein, Jake Legere, Shannon Chambers (NATA) Alex Gertsen, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Mickey Hines, Virginia Highlands Airport (VJI) Keith Holt, Virginia Tech/Montgomery Executive Airport (BCB) Scott MacMahon, DM Airports, Ltd., Operators of Morristown Airport (MMU)
Note: Photographs, figures, and tables in this report may have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at nap.nationalacademies.org) retains the color versions. 1 Summary 4 ChapterÂ 1 Introduction 8 ChapterÂ 2 Recent Trends in Aviation and the U.S. Economy 8 Quick Takes 8 COVID-19 Impacts on Aviation Activity 11 Pandemic Impacts on Different Categories of Airports 13 Local Factors Heavily Influenced Pandemic Impacts and Outcomes 16 Boom in Private Jet or Turboprop Aviation 18 Mixed Signals for the EconomyâDirection Still Unfolding 24 FAA Aerospace Forecasts 26 Wrap-Up on Aviation Trends 28 ChapterÂ 3 Current Landscape for U.S. FBOs 28 Quick Takes 28 Observed Changes in FBO Ownership and Facilities Since 2018 35 Enduring COVID-19 Impacts Affecting FBOs 37 Ongoing FBO Challenges 43 Looking Ahead 48 Wrap-Up on FBO Trends 49 ChapterÂ 4 FBO Survey Results 49 Quick Takes 49 Introduction 50 Survey Demographics 50 Fuel Sales 53 Other FBO Services 53 Customer Mix 54 Outlook for the Remainder of 2022 55 Near-Term Challenges 55 Challenges in the Next Five Years 56 Timeline for Electric Aircraft 57 Wrap-Up on the FBO Survey 58 ChapterÂ 5 Conclusions and Future Updates 60 Appendix A FBO Survey 69 Appendix B References and Bibliography 73 Appendix C Abbreviations C O N T E N T S