At their July 12 Board meeting, West Michigan Regional Airport Authority (WMRAA) approved the transfer of their existing fixed based operator (FBO) contract with Flyby Air to FlightLevel Aviation. A FBO is a private business contracted with an airport to maintain operations, fuel service, maintenance, flight instruction and more.
“After careful evaluation, we are pleased to welcome FlightLevel Aviation to WMRA as our FBO. Not only does FlightLevel Aviation provide the same high-quality services that we received under Flyby Air, they have shown great interest in furthering the airport’s goals of business and community development,” said WMRA Director Aaron Thelenwood.
By purchasing Flyby Air, FlightLevel Aviation has acquired their existing 20 year contract with WMRA. This contract is not exclusive, and WMRA reserves the right contract with other FBOs to service the airport. As part of the agreement, FlightLevel has also agreed to maintain staffing levels and provide jobs to all current Flyby Air employees.
FlightLevel Aviation provides FBO services to ten other airports throughout the North Eastern quadrant of the United States and will continue to provide the same services offered by Flyby Air.
“We are impressed with FlightLevel’s expertise, proven track record of success, positive customer reviews, and their commitment to the region,” said board chair Russ Sylte. “They have already shown commitment by meeting with local economic development organizations and their growth plans are in alignment with those of the Airport Authority.”
The transfer was closed on July 15 and FlightLevel will begin the transition immediately.
Learn more at WestMichiganRegionalAirport.com
Q & A
What all does an FBO manage?
A Fixed Based Operator, or FBO, manages aeronautical services for airports. FlightLevel Aviation will continue to manage the services offered by Flyby Air such as aircraft maintenance, runway management, aircraft rental, flight training, airfield maintenance, t-hangar maintenance, charter services, front office administration, customer service and aviation fuel & oil dispensing services.
Will you still be offering all the same services?
Yes, service offerings will be the same as they were under Flyby Air.
How will this change impact our tenants?
Tenants should not experience any changes to service. As an experienced FBO partner, FlightLevel Aviation service offerings are the same as those of Flyby Air.
How do we anticipate this change will influence the cost of fuel & maintenance?
We do not expect this change to influence the cost of fuel & maintenance.
Will this change impact taxpayers or the community?
This change will not impact taxpayers or the community. FlightLevel Aviation will be taking on the current agreement of Flyby Air.
Why is this happening?
As a privately owned company, Flyby Air withholds the right to sell their business and its assets at the approval of the Airport Authority. Seeing the growth opportunities and potential at West Michigan Regional Airport, FlightLevel Aviation reached out as a potential partner. FlightLevel Aviation is excited about the growth opportunities and development goals of the airport authority board. With a strong regional airport, supportive business community and the established reputation of professionalism and excellence of Flyby Air, FlightLevel Aviation offered to purchase Flyby Air.
Did you consider other FBOs?
Ultimately the sale of Flyby Air is up to the privately-held FBO itself. The board must review and approve any proposed sale. However, the approval cannot be unreasonably withheld.
When will this take place?
The sale took place on July 15th.
Does FlightLevel have the expertise to handle this?
FlightLevel is a well respected FBO, serving ten other similarly-sized airports. Operating since 2007, they have continued to grow as a profitable company. Not only have they been financially successful and grown in their expertise, they are excellent customer service providers with glowing reviews.
What opportunities does WMRAA see through this partnership?
This new FBO provides great opportunities for our airport. FlightLevel offers the appropriate staffing, resources, structure and experience to invest in our community and further the airport authority’s goals of future business development and community growth. FlightLevel has a great reputation throughout the East Coast and can help expand West Michigan Regional Airport’s marketing reach.
Is FlightLevel equipped to serve the West Michigan business community?
Yes, FlightLevel has shown leadership in their existing ventures with 10 airports in the Northeastern U.S.. They have already taken the initiative to introduce themselves to the local business community and truly understand the opportunities, objectives and needs of our region.
Do they have a track record of working with Corporate and GA pilots?
FlightLevel has an established history of partnering with both large and small aviation groups. Pending board approval of this sale, FlightLevel has committed to maintaining existing charter staff.
Do they have a history of safety and working with emergency management?
Yes, FlightLevel has worked with multiple other emergency management services and holds safety as a fundamental value of their company.
Where can I get more information on the sale?
For more information on the sale, please contact Terry Boer, President of Fly by Air (616) 392-7831.