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  • https://ban.aero/images/Blog/Art/fboconfidential/The_FBO_business__what_does_it_take_to_be_a_great_FBO_Facilities_Privacy_Customer_Service.jpg1. Customer service

    Customer service is crucial. An FBO that does not strive to provide customer service that is above and beyond client expectations simply will not succeed. Clients of private jet travel are accustomed to the highest levels...
    https://ban.aero/images/Blog/Art/fboconfidential/The_FBO_business__what_does_it_take_to_be_a_great_FBO_Facilities_Privacy_Customer_Service.jpg1. Customer service

    Customer service is crucial. An FBO that does not strive to provide customer service that is above and beyond client expectations simply will not succeed. Clients of private jet travel are accustomed to the highest levels of service, and a personalized approach to each client’s needs is an absolute must. FBOs have to know who their clients are, and they have to combine their knowledge of customer preferences and wishes to deliver an experience that will remind the client why they are using this FBO and not the one next door. Small gestures can have a huge impact. Giving a birthday present is something that many businesses do. However, a great FBO will know precisely what kind of gift will stay in the client’s memory. Or, understand that the client does not like to receive gifts at all and be reminded of there birthday! Knowing how each client will react to small gestures is paramount. It might be inappropriate for one client, but a perfect surprise for the other. Another aspect of customer service is being able to deliver one-stop service. The passenger flying with a private jet might also need a helicopter to reach his final destination, but the operator might not have enough local knowledge to organize reliable last-mile transport. Here the FBOs with local knowledge steps in, providing the client with reliable transportation. In the end, it comes down to knowing the client’s wishes and being able to deliver exceptional services consistently.


    2. Reliability

    An FBO can also make points for itself by being a reliable partner of the passengers and operators alike. During irregular operations, when everything goes wrong, being able to have a safety net to fall back on is priceless in business aviation. This is valid for both, operators and passengers. A passenger that knows he can rely on the services of the FBO and will be taken care of by the FBO personnel is less likely to be negatively affected by minor drawbacks. Operators know that and often prefer a reliable FBO over a cheaper one. Reliability in business aviation is priceless.


    3. Flexibility

    Part of what makes an FBO reliable is the ability to react to adverse and unexpected situations. The only constant in business aviation is that you never know what tomorrow brings. A great FBO will have employees able to react to those unexpected issues, equipped with smart and quick solution-oriented thinking and empowered to take action. Those issues might be coming from all sides of the business, be it the passengers, the operators or outside vendors. The most important thing is to keep any negative effects away from the clients. Another important aspect is that FBOs will eventually have to deal with unexpected client demands. Taking care of anything from financial needs up to catering wishes, being able to accommodate the requests without going astray from company principles and guidelines and keeping up with time-restrictions can be challenging.


    https://ban.aero/images/Blog/Art/fboconfidential/The_FBO_business__what_does_it_take_to_be_a_great_FBO_Facilities_Privacy.jpg4. Privacy

    Private jet passengers choose this exclusive type of transport for many different reasons, due to the perceived luxury, cost-effectiveness or relaxed experience. However, almost all of them want a private jet due to the unmatched privacy it provides. Hence the name private jet. An FBO is a crucial part of this private experience. While onboard the jet, privacy is guaranteed, on the ground it has to be achieved with the utmost care. If you are speaking for example about a famous celebrity or a well known politician, you can expect that one or other interested party will eventually find out where the passenger might be departing or arriving  from. Again, experienced and trained FBO personnel will know how to handle those situations and prevent any unauthorized person from being present while the passenger arrives and boards the airplane. Ideally, even views from far away can be made impossible due to the way the entrance is positioned. Also important is that everyone working at an FBO is aware that unlawful attempts at retrieving information from the FBO might be made, and to be on guard for those attempts.


    https://ban.aero/images/Blog/Art/fboconfidential/The_FBO_business__what_does_it_take_to_be_a_great_FBO_Facilities.jpg


    5. Facilities

    Besides the above mentioned soft products, FBOs also need to deliver great a premises and facilities experience. Passengers expect a wide range of luxurious options while they wait for their aircraft. From entertainment options to relaxing treatments, FBOs are becoming more and more similar to top 5-star hotels. Private rooms within the FBO itself are also welcomed by the client, allowing for maximum privacy. A modern look combined with stunning views to the aircraft is almost a guarantee to be a hit with all visitors of the private terminal. The FBO should also take care of the flight crews with dedicated spaces for rest and work. Often, crews spend hours at an FBO waiting for their next flight and have plenty of time to inspect the facilities. Their evaluation will eventually reach either the passenger or the operations departing of the aircraft operator, both vital to the FBO business.


    A great FBO will excel in all the mentioned points without comprising. That is demanding and not easy to achieve, but FBOs are dealing with some of the most demanding clientele in the world and know that delivering less than a perfect service is unacceptable. If they can combine all those points, a client will have almost no reason to complain and leave the FBO with positive memories.

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  • 1. More technology


    This prediction does not even need the magic crystal ball. Over the past years, we have seen the transformation of pretty much all aspects of Business Aviation into a more technology-heavy side. From crew scheduling to...
    1. More technology


    This prediction does not even need the magic crystal ball. Over the past years, we have seen the transformation of pretty much all aspects of Business Aviation into a more technology-heavy side. From crew scheduling to document management, many tasks that were previously painstakingly done by hand are now automatically managed. Algorithms and machine learning are no longer sci-fi terms, even for the traditionally slow to adapt BizAv world. Another area warming up to the latest technology is ground handling. Plenty of companies are offering comprehensive solutions for the management of FBOs and their core business, making handlers move away from paper and whiteboards to track requests. Further on, we will probably see more and more announcements concerning drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), with the commercial introductions of drone flights coming ever closer. 


    2. More online brokerage


    The next trend is also tech-related and has been touted for a couple of years already. Stratajet, PrivateFly, Victor, and others launched the trend of fast and easily accessible online brokers some time ago. Being able to see the expected prices has been proven to be a key decision-point for many business jet passengers, especially for the millennial traveler. And why wouldn’t it be? Time is precious, and having to wait for the traditional broker to quote back might be less desirable than getting an immediate quote that, in the end, might be off by a small percentage. Although we can expect to continue seeing both types of brokerages in the near future, online brokers will continue seeing their market share increase in 2020. 


    3. More sustainability


    Speaking of millennials, what else is of utmost importance to them, besides the immediate availability? That’s right, environmental concerns. We have already seen the frenzy around the sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) at last year’s EBACE, and this is bound to continue. We have also seen more and more airports looking into offering SAJF, with fuel providers trying to appear greener and more sustainable. And no, this is not only an issue for the concerned millennial. Other companies focussing on a green reputation will not want to be an easy target of criticism when it comes to the usage of their private jet fleet. Any initiative promising to reduce the carbon footprint will find it easier to gain backers and interested parties. 


    4. More economic uncertainty 


    Talks of an upcoming economic downturn have been common, and the first signs have already appeared in Business Aviation. As the industry is usually quickly affected by the bad moods of the international markets, the number of flights might see a noticeable decrease. If there are fewer flights and the competition further increases, smaller operators might struggle in their fight against operating costs. Apart from the more drastic and permanent solution, options like buyouts or group purchasing organizations are appearing. As they promise cost savings and efficiency gains, small operators will have to decide how to handle a period of less activity without hitting rock bottom. 


    5. More regulations


    By now, pretty much everyone in Business Aviation is (or should) be aware of the ADS-B deadline. For the US, it will come sooner, in January 2020. Maintenance providers are reporting decreasing availability for the installation of the required components. If you are still looking into the options, it is now time to act as the deadline will most probably not pushed back, as many in BizAv had hoped. But not only ADS-B is looming on the horizon. Brexit is still a complete uncertainty, and especially British operators are concerned which framework will work for them in the time after Brexit (eventually) happens. Add to that the new regulations like CORSIA or voluntary regulations like IS-BAO, and you will understand why more operators are dedicating more and more time to this topic. 


                   As we all know, if there is one certainty in Business Aviation, it’s the uncertainty. While the general direction (=using technology to reduce costs and stand out) might seem more or less clear for most players in the BizAv market, the practical usage and outcomes are yet to be defined. All of which poses challenges for many of the traditionally oriented companies, as they might struggle to commit, leaving their well-established comfort zones. However, this also means that the rewards for the ones committing are higher. Depending on the economic situation, we might see the results of those decisions rather quickly. 

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  • What is Wi-Fi speed, and how much do I need? 


    Most internet providers now offer unlimited amounts of data usage for the home or office. Although on mobile phones there are still limits, the trend goes to remove those limits and let the...
    What is Wi-Fi speed, and how much do I need? 


    Most internet providers now offer unlimited amounts of data usage for the home or office. Although on mobile phones there are still limits, the trend goes to remove those limits and let the customer use as much internet as they want. In the air, that is not yet the case. Almost all options are subscription-based and have either a limit on the included data or even charge per megabyte (Mb) used. To have a comparison, loading a website should consume between 1-5 Mb. Streaming a YouTube video, depending on the length, can be 700 Mb or more. Then there’s the speed at which this data loads. On average, the speed at home and in the office ranges between 15 Mbps (if the connection is wireless) and 100 Mbps (if wired).


    With those numbers in mind, you can then think about your needs and how you plan to use internet on-board. Simple WhatsApp texting or just replying to emails might be enough for the business executive, while a family of 4 might want access to Netflix and YouTube and thus requires much more data. You should also take into consideration how many passengers (or even crew members) plan on using the connection, as the available speed and data must be shared among all on board.


    Not long ago, all you could do on-board was send and receive tiny amounts of data at slow speeds. Now, almost every week, we see new announcements and speed limits crushed. This means that when choosing a connectivity option, the rapid development of technology must be weighed as well.


    Lastly, but quite important, is the aircraft. Different technology uses different hardware, some quite large and heavy. The necessary antennas and equipment come in different sizes and shapes, are placed in different parts of the plane, and can impact the obtained internet speed. Certain connectivity solutions will simply not fit into a light jet, for example. Another consideration. If your aircraft is a smaller jet, or if you simply never fly outside of the US, do you really need to consider systems that cover flights over the oceans?


    The options – satellite or ground-based systems


    When looking into connectivity solutions, you will hear a lot about popular of brands. Gogo Business Aviation, Honeywell, and Satcom Direct are some of the most popular brands. They offer different solutions, but the main classes are satellite or ground-based solutions. Satellite is a newer and more expensive system. Here, aircraft usually share the infrastructure with fewer users. On the other side are the air-to-ground (ATG) systems. They use conventional cell towers on the ground, which makes the system cheaper but also more “crowded.” Geographically speaking, satellite systems work globally, except in the polar regions. ATG systems are practically only available in the continental USA and small parts of southern Canada. Within those two categories, we have further specific technologies:


    Satellite:



    • Ku-band: Although older, this system offers up to 4 Mbps, with newer versions going even up to 18 Mbps. The installation costs are rather high; above 400k USD are not unusual.
    • Ka-band: This is the newest and most expensive satellite solutions, with speeds up to 33 Mbps. Typically, this service is offered as a subscription with a data cap, much like cellular phone internet service, which can cost up to 30k USD per month and with an installation cost of up to 800k USD. Due to the larger size of equipment, this system can only be installed on large-cabin jets.
    • L-Band: The oldest satellite system, offers relatively lower speeds (enough for checking emails) and usually, is charged per Mb used.
    • SwiftBroadband (SBB): The SBB system comes in 3 different sizes. With the bigger one, the coverage will be much better, but it won’t fit into a smaller jet. Due to the flexibility, this subscription-based system is one of the most popular solutions currently available.
    • Iridium: This is a more basic service, offering only voice and text communication.


    For smaller planes, there are two popular options; the Iridium Go option (hardware from 600 USD, subscriptions from 50 USD per month) and the BendixKing Aerowave (installation cost of approx. 25k USD and time packages available at different prices).


    Considering the future developments, two systems that have not been launched yet but look promising are:



    • Iridium Certus: The Certus system will be available from 2020 on. It will be compatible with older hardware for lower speeds, while the higher speeds (up to 1.4 Mbps) do need an upgrade. It can be fitted into smaller jets, and the coverage will be global.
    • European Aviation Network (EAN) for EU + UK, Norway, and Switzerland. Use a mix of ATG and satellite and ground towers. Speeds are not yet known and expected to launch in 2020 for BizAv, earlier for commercial aviation.


    Ground:


    Many providers exist for ATG connectivity, but the technological principle is pretty much the same among them. Gogo Business Aviation is the market leader, with SmartSky Networks also being a popular option. Speeds up to 3.1 Mbps are reachable, but Gogo is expecting to launch 5G services already in 2021, which should bring quite a boost to those speeds.


    Is your data safe while flying?


     The answer is easy: it depends. Mostly, it depends on the safety nets that you are using on the ground. In this aspect, inflight Wi-Fi is not much different from terrestrial usage. Just like on the ground, many points of entry for a malicious actor trying to access data exist. Internet providers will cover some, but most are dependent on the user. 


    If you are using a VPN, for example, you will be able to use it on-board as well. A common myth, however, remains a myth. Inflight Wi-Fi is never connected to the aircraft electronics, so no, a hacker cannot control your aircraft from the ground using your Wi-Fi. They can, however, try to access your data for other reasons. Contrary to the average home internet user, the bizjet passenger is more prone to highly organized groups spying on industrial secrets than the scammer looking for a quick buck.


    The benefits of having an aircraft with internet capacity are clear. Not only does it increase the value of your aircraft, but it also keeps you connected to the world and your office anytime. Some systems give the same experience as the internet on the ground, but they don’t come cheap. If there is a limited budget, speed will have to be sacrificed, maybe coverage too. Once your priorities are set, and the respective technology is understood, there will surely be an option that fits your business aircraft travel needs.

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  • wifi_png Get your private jet connected – what are the current inflight Wi-Fi options? Range, cost, and “apron presence” are some of the traditionally essential aspects when choosing a business jet. But lately, another consideration has grown in importance: Inflight Wi-Fi and connectivity. As the constant connection to pretty much, everything via the internet becomes a standard expectation. Passengers demand the same level of connectivity when in the air, especially if they are sitting in a multimillion-dollar private aircraft.
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  •   Bright Ibeawuchi reacted to this post about 4 months ago
    Bright Ibeawuchi uploaded a new video
    Piaggio Aerospace Corporate 2017
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  • 1 Almost a year ago, in October 2018 at the NBAA-BACE in Orlando, Embraer took most of the business aviation community by surprise and launched two new business jets, the Praetor 500 and the Praetor 600. Derived from the Roman word for a preeminent soldier, the unusual name indicates a bit the strategy of the Brazilian manufacturer. After selling the majority of its commercial jet division to Boeing, Embraer will now focus on defense and business jets, with the Praetor models being the standard-bearers of the upcoming generation. Since the Praetor 600 has already received certification from the three main regulatory authorities and seen the first delivery, let us have a more detailed look into those two aircraft. 
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  •   Greg Leischner reacted to this post about 5 months ago
    Bright Ibeawuchi created a new event

    2020 West Palm Beach Regional Forum

    NBAA's West Palm Beach Regional Forum will bring current and prospective business aircraft owners, operators, manufacturers, customers and other industry personnel together for a one-day event on Jan. 29, 2020 at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI).

    29th Jan, 2020
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