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Entries in NATA (9)


Get Ready to Post Fuel Prices and Other Fees

Six aviation associations are encouraging FBOs and aviation service organizations to be more open and transparent about fuel prices, fees and charges. Visibility and openness in the FBO business are industry best practices. These qualities come with the realization that FBOs and aircraft owners and operators need each other in the best possible way. It is very much a symbiotic relationship.

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Urgent: Isolate DEF Additive from Operations

The FBO industry should be on alert for accidental Jet A fuel contamination from the misuse of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).

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NATA's New CSR Certification Program

By John L. Enticknap and Ron R. Jackson, Principals, Aviation Business Strategies Group (ABSG)

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is breaking new ground by developing a CSR Certification program designed to strengthen the core competencies of key FBO personnel who seek to deliver a better customer service experience.

We believe this strategy is spot on. As we have written in previous blogs, FBOs who compete on customer service don't have to compete on fuel price in order to attract new customers. While some aircraft operators will always look for the lowest fuel price, the majority of loyal customers will choose FBOs that provide both a good value and a great customer service experience.

The goal of this new CSR certification program is to provide a course curriculum that results in a well-rounded FBO employee who is capable of being a team leader by demonstrating exceptional customer service skills.

Over the last two decades, NATA has led the industry with its popular Safety 1st Line Service Training curriculum. Just as FBOs don't condone accidents on the ramp, they are becoming more conscious of preventing customer service miscues that can cause a loyal customer to defect. This was the impetus for developing this new certificated program.

The new NATA CSR Certification Program contains five modules that need to be completed in order for an individual to become a Certified Customer Service Representative (CCSR). The first module is completed online and covers all the fundamentals of working in an FBO or aviation services industry environment including operational procedures and best practices.

The next four modules are completed at a two-day CSR Certification Workshop. We will be speaking during these workshops. The first workshop is scheduled for September 27-28 at the AirFlight, Inc., facility in Long Beach, Calif. This inaugural workshop costs $275 for NATA members and $400 for nonmembers. This price includes both the fundamental online course as well as the two-day workshop.

For more information, please visit the NATA website.

Please leave a comment on this subject 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.


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Tip of the Week: Make Your FBO Data Driven

By John L. Enticknap and Ron R. Jackson
Aviation Business Strategies Group

Just as pilots rely on the instrument panel to keep up and stay ahead of potential problems, FBOs should rely on data-driven dashboards to do the same thing.

Operational and financial data fed on a regular basis to the FBO operator is an essential element of running a successful business. They’re a quick snapshot you scan to make sure the engine of your company is running smoothly.

Setting up a dashboard is similar to a pilot setting up waypoints. You preselect the data you want to see and have it delivered to your desktop on a daily basis.

Here are some suggested data points to set up on your dashboard:

Line Service Business

  • Review your previous day’s retail fuel sales.
  • Contract Fuel Sales.
  • Airline Fuel Uplift.
  • Month-to-Date retail fuel sales.
  • MTD Contract Fuel Sales.
  • MTD Airline Fuel Uplift.
  • Budget retail fuel sales, contract and airline fuel sales.
  • Number of Customer Contacts Yesterday.

Maintenance Business

  • Mechanic Hours Billed yesterday.
  • Mechanic hours of vacation, paid leave.
  • Mechanic hours paid.
  • Yesterday Mechanic Productivity.
  • Month-to-Date Productivity.
  • Budget Productivity.
  • Parts Sales Dollars.
  • Budget Parts Sales.
  • Support Staff hours paid.
  • Number of Customer Contacts.
  •  Number of annuals/100 hr./inspections bid.

Flight Operations

  • Flight Instructor hours billed yesterday.
  • Flight Instructors hours paid.
  • Flight Instructor Productivity.
  • Charter hours billed.
  • Charter hours available.
  • Charter Productivity.
  • Customer Contact - Flight Instruction.
  • Sale Contacts for Charter.

You’ll notice we are getting sales data, labor data and marketing data. After cost of sales, labor is your biggest expense. Labor hours must be reviewed and managed to assure you maximize productivity.

Also, you must keep track of your marketing activity. This is something you should touch on daily, focusing on both retention of existing customers and obtaining new customers. We know this is stating the obvious, but if you don’t grow, you go out of business. Every year there can be as much as a 30 percent churn in turnover of base customers and regular transient customers.

In setting up your dashboard data requirements, make the adjustments with your accounting personnel as well as department managers to collect this data.

If you are uncertain as to how to set up a dashboard properly as well as the interpretation of the data, we suggest you attend an NATA FBO Success Seminar. The next seminar is scheduled for March 9-10 in Las Vegas. At these seminars we suggest a number of simple strategies and tactics to assist you with data management.


FBO Success Seminar: Take Time to Sharpen Your Axe

By John L. Enticknap and Ron R. Jackson
Aviation Business Strategies Group

Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

          -Abraham Lincoln

FBO operators, managers and supervisors often find themselves dealing on a daily basis with situations that need immediate attention. These are the bugs and gnats that creep into our schedule unannounced and take away from quality time needed for planning, preparation and, quite frankly, sharpening the axe.

As Abraham Lincoln so wisely put it, work goes a lot easier if you take time to hone your tools. In the case of the FBO manager and supervisor, that’s time spent in keeping abreast of the FBO industry by learning new strategies and tactics that will move your business forward and help you focus on the things that matter most. 

That’s why we’ve dedicated this blog to providing tips that help in three key areas of FBO operations:

  • Maximizing Profits.
  • Reducing Expenses.
  • Improving FBO Productivity & Bottom-Line Performance.

In 2008, we teamed with the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) to develop a comprehensive two-day FBO success seminar. The original training syllabus was based on our proprietary 10 Steps to Building a More Profitable FBO.

Now we are starting our eighth year in conducting this seminar, which has evolved over time and provides an opportunity to sharpen the axe.

A key session is titled Don’t Give it Away! In a nutshell, this means that FBO operations need to take a close look at all the things they are giving away on top of demands from customers and third-party fuel providers to discount fuel prices.  

An important takeaway is that every aircraft operator that arrives on your ramp must contribute to your revenue stream, even if they don’t buy fuel. That’s why we are seeing an emergence of facility fees and other fees to help FBO operations become and stay profitable.

Please take time to sharpen your axe and join us at our next NATA FBO Success Seminar, March 9-10 in Las Vegas, as we discuss these types of key issues in detail.

About the bloggers:

John Enticknap has more than 35 years of aviation fueling and FBO services industry experience. 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. For more background, visit the biography page or