FBO Connection

Follow Us



« Urgent: Isolate DEF Additive from Operations | Main | Aviation Leaders Can Learn from the Legacy of John Rahilly »

Best FBO Industry Practices: Don’t Give It Away!

New Series Will Educate FBO Managers About Best Practices for the Industry

Beginning with this blog post, we are embarking on a new series that will highlight the best practices we have encountered over the past two decades in working with numerous FBO enterprises.

Included in the mix will be our personal file of best practices garnered from operating and managing a 21-base FBO chain, Mercury Air Centers, along with 11 insightful years of conducting the popular NATA FBO Success Seminars and, recently, the NATA Certified Customer Service Representative (CCSR) program.

We will cover almost every area of an FBO operation. We’ll discuss best FBO industry practices for:

  • Dealing with Contract Fuel/Third Party Fuel Agreements
  • Maintaining Profitable Fuel Margins
  • FBO Marketing
  • Airport Lease Negotiations
  • Negotiating Fuel Supplier Agreements
  • IS-BAH Registration & the Auditing Process
  • Lowering Your Insurance Rates
  • Enhancing the Customer Service Experience
  • Efficient and Safe Fueling Operations
  • Building Profitable Revenue Streams & Updating the U.S. FBO Business Model
  • Dealing with Unprofitable Customers
  • Building a Better Internal Safety Culture
  • FBO Business Evaluation: How Much Is Your FBO Worth?
  • Positioning Your FBO For Sale
  • Better Ramp Towing Operations
  • Safe Hangar Movement Operations
  • Profitable Hangar Leasing
  • The Ins and Outs of Fuel Hedging
  • Better Credit Card Transaction Fees
  • Utilizing FBO Enterprise Software for Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Competing on Customer Service, Not Price
  • Building Long-Term Profitable Customer Relationships
  • Soliciting a Customer Recommendation
  • Developing Better Stakeholder Relationships

Throughout the process, you’ll receive tips on running a more successful FBO business. To get started, here is a practical thought to keep in mind: Don’t give it away!

Sometimes we get caught up with trying to keep up with a competing FBO or trying to make a habitually grumpy customer happy. The tendency, all too often, is to give something away, either hoping to attract a customer from your competitor or to get the grumpy customer out of your face.

Our advice again: Don’t give it away. Compete on customer service, not by deeply discounting your fuel. The real loyal customer will keep coming back if you charge them a fair price and treat them and their aircraft with care and respect.

As for the habitually grumpy customer, chances are he takes up way too much of your time, does not buy much fuel, if any, and slow-pays on hangar rental. Perhaps it is time to invite this customer to leave and take his concerns to the competition. That just might be the wakeup call he needs.

If you would like us to cover a subject that is not listed, please let us know by leaving a comment below. If you have any questions, please give us a call or send us an email:, 404-867-5518;, 972-979-6566.


John Enticknap has more than 35 years of aviation fueling and FBO services industry experience and is an IS-BAH Accredited auditor. Ron Jackson is co-founder of Aviation Business Strategies Group and president of The Jackson Group, a PR agency specializing in FBO marketing and customer service training. Visit the biography page or for more background.


Subscribe to the AC-U-KWIK FBO Connection Newsletter

© 2018 ABSG

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.