Understanding The Profile Of Airport Management Firms

Commercial airports have multiple stakeholders, and the entire management work needs to be supervised at different levels. This is precisely where airport management firms come in the picture. In this post, we will try to unleash the roles played by these companies, along with things that need attention, especially if you are seeking services of such companies.

The varied definitions

An experienced airport management firm can be an FBO, MRO or a ground handler. All of these roles are pretty similar or at least connected to each other. However, the definitions are extremely different in every other continent. In Europe and North America, most of the airport management services are offered by Fixed-Based Operators (FBOs). The term is more dominant here and is also gaining prominence in some parts of Asia and the Middle East, as well. On the other hand, people in other countries call these companies as ground handlers, because they manage all the below wing services, including management of baggage and local tasks.

Knowing the difference

Airport management services can be provided by different parties. In most cases, such firms have direct licenses with the airport to manage the airport tasks, while they can also work directly with commercial carriers and other stakeholders for personal needs. FBOs are imperative and they often do all the things that are expected from an airport management firm. In fact, full-service FBOs are extremely popular in the Europe and the US. Ground handlers, on the other hand, usually work with airport directly and are mostly associated General Aviation task. These companies are often partly owned by the airport and operate in associate with private owners in some cases. MRO is another service altogether, which is related to the management, maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft. MROs can work with private jet owners and commercial carriers, depending on the contract.

Understanding other things

In the world of aviation, there are two very distinct segments – Above wing services and Underwing services. The first one is associated with everything related to the service onboard the aircraft. From shifting passengers to and from the airport to managing the on-air catering jobs, these companies do it all. On the other hand, below wing services are entirely different and deal with all kinds of other things, including management of baggage, fuel coordination, and arrangement of all the ground tools, tow bars, and even power units.

Relevance and choosing a firm

Airport management is a serious job, and even at the largest airports, there are just four to five key companies that take up such tasks. When it comes to aviation, the experience is an aspect that cannot be ignored. These companies do much more than managing lounges and attending to special requests. They help in ensuring the smooth working of the airport and have been relevant to the industry for decades now. With time, the roles have shifted, but finding a company for such jobs is still about the experience, and if a company can do it all for you, it’s always an added benefit.