A fixed base operator (FBO) offers a unique service to the general aviation industry for handling private jets and small aircraft. The FBO Manager’s role is crucial to the success of the FBO as well as the safety and efficiency of the operation. It is a role well suited to an aviation professional or ex-pilots seeking a ground role which is still challenging and holds authority, yet is ’hands on’ and interactive.
What is the Role of a FBO Manager?
The main duties of a FBO Manager are to oversee:
- Line operations
- Fuel, avionics and hangar sales
- Aircraft sales, rental and management
- Air taxi service or charter flight service
- Flight training and ground school
- Customer service
- Human resources and staff training
- The FBO meets all appropriate laws and regulations
Some tasks that you will be required to do are:
- Business development and customer retention
- Co-ordinate and plan storage and distribution as well as transportation
- Provide leadership and sets standards for the FBO
- Follow the market and growth of the FBO
- Financial management
- Competitive analysis
- Make operational decisions quickly regarding safety, flight regulations and costs
- Ensure that equipment and staff are used effectively
- Quality control
- Health and safety compliance
Basic Requirements and Qualifications
A FBO Manager should have a degree in air transport, airline operations or aeronautics and have at least 3 years’ experience in aviation. Ground operations experience and knowledge of business software is also essential.
Essential skills that a FBO Manager should have are:
- Excellent communication and teamwork
- Excellent co-ordination skills
- Can remain calm under pressure
- Have a high attention to detail
- Strong health and safety awareness
- Good problem solving ability with strong judgment
- Good presenting skills
- Consistent customer orientated service
- Strong time management skills
How to Apply
Some FBO Manager jobs are advertised directly by the operator of the FBO or jobs will be advertised on specialist aviation job websites. Many people work their way up to the role through the FBO, from FBO Supervisor to FBO Manager.
Hours, Salary and Benefits
As an FBO Manager, you will work both inside and outside at the airport as well as liaising on the aircraft. You would normally work a 40 hour a week shift with overtime and at any time of the day or night you may be on call.
Salary is made up of basic, plus overtime.
Other benefits may include health and life insurance, staff travel and pension, depending on the operator.
Future Opportunities and Prospects
Once you have worked as a FBO Manager, you could also work as a director of flight operations for a corporate operator. It is also possible to move into airline or airport management. If you have not undertaken pilot training previously, this may be something of interest to further your career.
Corporate aviation is always expanding and has very specific needs - project management and new drives within the industry will keep an FBO’s potential progress and initiatives high. The FBO manager will always be forward focused to keep up with the demand and changes, so it is a role that will never stay the same and still offers future growth and potential as well as challenges and lots of possibilities.
This is clearly not a job that just anyone can do and it is highly specialized. However, if you feel that you have the correct skills, love of aviation and drive, then maybe this is the right career for you.