24 May 2023


What are FBOs?

When using a private jet charter, it is useful to know what FBO's are and what kind of services they can provide for your maximum comfort. Lets look into some key facts of so-called 'Fixed Base Operators':

FBO stands for Fixed Base Operator. They are essentially VIP terminals for private aviation customers, also known as Private Jet Terminals, where individuals will board or disembark from their aircraft. Some airports have entire terminals functioning for private jet customers with a choice of several FBOs and others have only small lounges inside the main airport.

When you book a private flight, Cielo Aviation will advise you from which FBO your flight will be departing from. That way, you can take advantage of the luxury of a separate and more private space inside the airport, with extra facilities accessible to very few people.

FBOs do not only provide a full range of services to customers, but also to pilots and aircraft: depending on the scale of the terminal, you will find the sale of aviation fuel, pilot training and specific facilities for aircraft repair and maintenance.

While private jets can usually access more airports than commercial airlines, not all airports have FBOs. In those cases, you will be looked after by a local handling company.

Which facilities and services do FBOs offer?

The main purpose of FBOs is to provide maximum assistance and comfort for private jet customers and their crews.

FBOs offer luxurious lounges for passengers departing and arriving on private flights at their airports, as well as crew lounges and comfortable facilities for sleeping and resting in between flights. Often, there are also drinks and complimentary snacks available.

Basic amenities include Wifi, comfortable chairs and toilets or showers where customers can freshen up before they board their plane. Some of the bigger FBOs also offer private meeting rooms, movie theaters, duty-free shopping, restaurants, bars and concierge services.

How do FBOs earn their money?

Refueling was and continues to be the main source of income for Fixed Base Operators, but also aircraft services are a major profit center: whether you need your aircraft cleaned while you wait or if you need it repaired, you can find an FBO that will handle it for you. Many FBOs employ qualified mechanics that are ready to service your plane efficiently.

Other services include hangar rental, aircraft sales, charter or pilot training. Not all FBOs will offer these varying amenities, but the majority of the larger ones do.

Examples of FBO airports around the world

There are around 4,500 FBO airports worldwide. While some smaller airports might only have one FBO or a small lounge, other airports will instead have two or more – giving you the choice of which to use, with many passengers having a preference based on the services provided.

Signature London Luton FBO (Luton, UK) for example, has consistently been voted the best European FBO by readers of Professional Pilot magazine for its full range of services and amenities. Its uniquness is its designated children’s area with toys and kids snacks, like popcorn and milkshakes, turning this terminal into a family-friendly area.

Another award-winning FBO is Jet Aviation Dubai (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), dedicated to providing tailor-made services to passengers and crew that fly into the Middle East. Here you can find professional and comfortable conference rooms for meetings, or you can relax at the refreshment center with a vast selection of delicious snacks and drinks.

Paris Le Bourget, Europe’s busiest private jet airport, offers a choice of eight FBOs providing Advanced Air Support, including Signature Flight Support and Jetex Paris - 2022 winner for World's Leading FBO Terminals.

Cielo Aviation and FBO airports

FBO airports are a crucial part of the private jet service, as they are valuable not only for the aircraft itself but for all the crew and passengers embarking on their journey.

Cielo Aviation will select your FBO, depending on your requirements and where you need to travel. You can request certain services and facilities, and we will try to accommodate them according to the availability at your departure aorport or destination.

Contact us on +39 02 87 157 524, by e-mail at charter@cielo-aviation.com or simply use our online booking form, we will get back to you as soon as possible:

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