Private jets can always fly out of big-name commercial airports such as JFK or LAX, but why do that? One of the major perks of chartering a private jet is not having to fly out of those congested, inconveniently-located airports. Most private jet charter flights originate in one of the thousands of convenient, amenity-rich regional airports that are off-bounds to commercial aircraft.
What Airports Do Private Jets Use?
Charter flights can choose a private-jet-only regional airport for convenience, its FBO, or many other reasons. Here are a few reasons private jet charter travelers choose to patronize regional airports instead of commercial airports:
Convenience and choice
Regional airports can be more convenient since they are often located closer to a traveler's starting or ending location. Space-hungry commercial airports sprawl across large tracts of land well outside of the city, but smaller airports squeeze into tinier parcels of land.
There is a much wider choice of regional and private airfields than commercial airports. For example, there are 5,000 airports in the United States alone, but fewer than 500 of them are large enough to be used by commercial airlines. In contrast, private jets can access all 5,000 of those airports. In many cases, the smaller airports cater only to private jets.
Avoidance of security and delays
With strict security checks and high traffic volumes, delays are very common in big commercial airports. Air traffic controllers may relegate some flights to a "holding pattern" while prior-delayed flights land. Although such delays are mostly par for the course for commercial travel, they detract from the VIP experience that private jet charter passengers expect.
Another reason flights might be delayed at commercial airports is through obtaining landing slots. Since certain flights have priority for landing and takeoff slots, other flights may have to wait for those slots. Regional airports, however, rarely have problems issuing landing slots unless they expect many private jets for a significant area event.
Landing fees at regional airports are about 90% less than commercial ones. Therefore, nearly all private jet charters are hangared at regional airports. Although cost may not be a primary consideration for private jet travelers, there’s no need to spend more than they have to.
What Is Fixed Base Operator (FBO)?
Another advantage of regional airports is private jet charter travelers’ access to premier FBOs. FBO stands for Fixed Base Operator, a term that dates from the inception of itinerant aviation in the 1920s. Regardless of the quirky acronym, an FBO is a private jet terminal at an airport. It offers a variety of services and amenities for private jet travelers, aircraft, and crew.
If the entire airport caters strictly to private jets, such as London's Farnborough, the FBO will be the main lounge. Commercial airports have FBOs, too, but those are usually small lounges within the general airport terminal.
Some private airports serving major cities offer several FBOs in one location. Le Bourget in Paris, Europe's busiest private jet airport, boasts eight FBOs—more than any other airports on the planet. Teterboro Airport in Greater New York also has five FBOs.
If an airport has more than one FBO, passengers will be told which FBO to report to or will be offered a choice. Some private jet passengers may have a favorite FBO and will specify which FBO they want to use.
What to expect at an FBO?
Passengers are always greeted warmly by the reception staff at the desk and meet their captain at the FBO. Needlessly to say, they can also sit comfortably in the lounge enjoying some snacks while waiting for the rest of their party to arrive. However, private jet passengers can move through the FBO so quickly that they experience very little of the FBO.
Those who spend time in the FBO will generally find WiFi, light refreshments, and bathroom facilities. Large FBOs can offer services for passengers traveling with families or pets, as well as luxury concierge, conference, and hotel rooms.
Whether the FBO is large or small, it is the passport to a VIP private jet charter experience. After the grand welcome, FBO personnel conduct swift, seamless security and immigration checks as required.
Passengers may walk out to board the jet if it is parked directly outside. If a longer walk is required, travelers are usually transported right to their plane by a golf buggy. FBO staff will make sure private jet flyers receive whatever assistance they need, including help with their luggage and valet parking.
In addition to services provided to private jet charter passengers, FBOs also offer vital services to crew and aircraft. They provide rest areas and accommodation for the crew, and aircraft maintenance, hangars, refueling, and de-icing.
Airacer Private Jet Charter
Private jet charter offers enjoyable, customized travel experiences with a maximum of convenience and a minimum of wasted time. Enjoy zipping across the globe on your timetable with your chosen guests. You can engage in discussions with business associates or spend quality time with family members.
Despite the exclusive advantages, private jet charter is surprisingly accessible and affordable. Founded in New York in 2015, the industry leader Airacer is a professional and reliable platform to handle all your private jet travel needs and desires. Contact our professional flight consultant now or request a free charter quote for your next travel!