The National Academies

ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic S01-26 [Active (Synthesis)]

The Landscape of the FBO Industry in 2022
[ ACRP 11-03 (Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Staff Responsibility: Jordan Christensen
Research Agency: KRAMER aerotek Inc
Principal Investigator: Lois Kramer
Fiscal Year: 2021

Final Scope


ACRP Synthesis 86 Airport Operator Options for Delivery of FBO Services and ACRP Synthesis 108 Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019 established a baseline about the fixed base operator (FBO) industry. These reports identified considerations that FBO’s and airports use to evaluate and provide their services, and baseline trends in the diverse evolving industry. Much has happened at airports, and to business and personal flying, since the pandemic began. The pandemic put extraordinary pressures on airports of all sizes, and additional challenges are emerging. There is a need for a synthesis study to examine the impacts to FBO’s based on the trends in the aviation industry.


The objective of this research is to examine selected recent and current trends in the aviation industry and their impacts on FBO’s at NPIAS airports. The audience for this synthesis are airport operators, FBO’s, industry associations, and policy makers.



The following tasks and resulting information will be described in a concise report:

·       Review existing literature.

·       Download of the FAA’s National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS).

·       Document the state of GA/FBO activity in the US.

·       Identify industry influences/challenges such as the pandemic, infrastructure, aviation fueling, fleet evolution, FBO business models, regulatory, and work force.

·       Identify future influences, such as advanced air mobility.

·       Survey a diverse sample of FBO’s, and conduct follow up interviews with select FBO’s.

·       Document case examples highlighting variations in practices.

·       Describe further research needs to close gaps in knowledge.



Partial Information Sources

ACRP Synthesis 108, Characteristics of the FBO Industry 2018-2019, 2020 https://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/180833.aspx


ACRP Synthesis 86, Airport Operator Options for Delivery of FBO Service, 2018 https://trid.trb.org/view/1503812


ACRP Research Report 192, Airport Management Guide for Providing Aircraft Fueling Services, 2019 https://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/178816.aspx


Airports: Information on Prices for Aviation Services and FAA’s Oversight of Grant Requirements.  U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2019, 42p https://trid.trb.org/view/1669021


Epstein, Curt. AOPA pans FBO pricing report. Aviation International News, 2020, page 27 https://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/177266.aspx 


Epstein, Curt. Independent FBO approaches fourth decade. Aviation International News, 2019, page 50



Epstein, Curt; Leach, David. AIN FBO survey 2017 : worldwide results. Aviation International News, 2017, pages 20-46 https://trid.trb.org/view/1465773


Epstein, Curt; Leach, David. AIN FBO survey 2018 : worldwide results. Aviation International News, 2018, pages 20-38 https://trid.trb.org/view/1510752


Epstein, Curt; Leach, David. FBO survey 2019 : facilities serve growing market. Aviation International News, 2019, pages 20-34, 40 https://trid.trb.org/view/1603002


Wilson, Doug. State of the FBO industry : customer service. Professional Pilot, 2019, pages 8-10



Topic Panel

Courtney Beamon, Delta Airport Consulting, Inc.

Shelly Lesikar deZevallos, West Houston Airport

Mary Miller, Signature Flight Support

Gary Schmidt, Lakeville, MN

Tommy Turner, City of Tuscaloosa

Paul Eubanks, ACI-NA Liaison



Lois Kramer, KRAMER aerotek Inc.




TRB Staff

Jordan Christensen





First Panel Meeting: Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Teleconference: Monday, April 18, 2022
Workplan Delivered:  
Comments Due(Email):  
Draft Report Delivered: 
Second Panel Meeting: Wednesday, October 26, 2022

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