TEB's First Av Services emphasizes privacy and security

First's ramp at TEB offers drive-through parking. (Inset) Lobby features 30-ft windows.

While it may have gone relatively unnoticed, First Aviation Services TEB-located at Taxiways G and Q-has been open since 2007.

Built by Joe and Florence Ritorto, who owned predecessor Beechcraft East TEB, the FBO is based around security, privacy and functionality.

First's ramp has 3 wide taxi lanes and drive-through aircraft parking to reduce congestion and avoid wingtip rash. The configuration nearly eliminates the need for tugs. First Com_munications Consultant Drew Steketee says, "First does about 80% less towing than other FBOs at TEB.

Except for towing aircraft to the maintenance hangar, they can handle more than 150 operations a day before their first tow." First's Part 145 repair station is available 24/7 and has the only air start service at TEB.

In the maintenance hangar-1 of three 40,000 sq ft hangars under 1 roof-is a 10,000-lb overhead crane, making engine changes fast and easy. The entire complex is supported by dual-redundant generators in case of power outage.

Hangar door tracks are heated for winter, eliminating the chance of getting frozen in. Refuelers are supplied from First's own 150,000-gal on-site fuel farm, stocking Air BP products. "First Aviation Services will honor their fuel price as quoted on AirNav," says Steketee.

"Some FBOs run disclaimers saying they won't honor the AirNav price. First keeps its fuel prices up to date on both AirNav and its own site." Access to First's ramp is controlled through a double-gated sally port security tunnel. Catering trucks unload only into a double-sided fridge off that tunnel.

From there, First's own groundcrews retrieve catering on the ramp side for delivery to aircraft. First Aviation Services is set 1/4 mile off public streets behind wooded airport land and a manned Port Authority security checkpoint.

A motor court recessed into the terminal complex is large enough for 12 limos to stand by and another 3 to load simultaneously under a protective canopy. There is also secure parking for more than 150 cars along the 875-ft terminal/hangar complex.

SheltAir recently announced the "soft opening" of its FBO at SAV (Intl, Savannah GA). For the time being it is conducting operations from 1400 sq ft of office space attached to a hangar. SheltAir says it expects to have its 7000 sq ft terminal open for business this summer. The FBO's first 13,000 sq ft hangar at SAV-designed to accommodate aircraft up to the size of the new Gulfstream G650-is complete. Once the terminal is open, SheltAir plans to open additional hangars on its SAV campus.

Flightline First will have its renovated FBO at NEW (Lakefront, New Orleans LA) open by May. The facility features 20,000 sq ft of hangar space, a conference room, pilot lounge and flight planning room. The FBO also offers helicopter service to downtown New Orleans, crew cars and catering. Flightline First is a ChevronTexaco dealer.

Air Culinaire has gone international and is now serving London-area airports. Cecile Salvaggio, technology and quality control VP for Air Culinaire, oversaw staff training and led the opening of the London facility. She will continue serving as a liaison between the company's US and UK branches.

FirstFlight's charter, management, maintenance, sales and acquisition branches have been purchased by John Dow. These will operate temporarily under the name Airborne before adopting the FirstFlight brand name. Meanwhile, FirstFlight will retain its existing FBO portfolio at ELM (Elmira-Corning NY) before it too takes on a new brand and identity. Dow started an FBO operation in 1987 under the name Airborne but merged it into the predecessor of FirstFlight in 2005.

Banyan Air Services is celebrating its 30th year of operations. Don Campion founded Banyan in 1979, it has grown from a maintenance facility at FXE into the number 1 Best Independent and number 2 Best Overall US FBO in Pro Pilot's PRASE Survey. Banyan's Eric Veal and Bruce Woodrell were voted #3 best line tech and #9 best FBO customer support rep respectively in the 2008 PRASE Survey.

Jet Runway Café has opened at FXE. As well as offering an open dining room, the café serves 24-hr catering for airports in Broward County, Dade County and the West Palm Beach area.

NetJets Europe is acquiring QEF (Egelsbach, Germany). Airport operations will continue under Hessische Flugplatz GmbH Egelsbach (HFG), which will now be wholly owned by NetJets. Plans for QEF include installation of IFR equipment, since the airport is currently only capable of VFR ops.

JetEx has completed its acquisition of Flying Group's FBO at LBG (le Bourget, Paris, France). In May last year, the Dubai-based FBO and charter ops company announced expansion plans that included FBO service in Europe, although JetEx has not released details of any plans other than the LBG operation.

Arcadia Aviation has invested $300 million in airport development at MRB (Martinsburg WV), and has opened an FBO there. It has already completed 8 hangars with office space and says it can build to suit customer demands. MRB is home to USAF 167th Airlift Wing (WV Air National Guard) which operates the Lockheed C5 Galaxy-and has a 7815-ft runway.

LJ Aviation has completed a 28,800 sq ft hangar at its headquarters facility at LBE (Latrobe PA). The FBO needed the additional space to support its growing operation. LJ also recently added a Challenger 300, Hawker 900XP and King Air C90GTi to its fleet of charter aircraft.

FBO Manifest

NATA Pres Jim Coyne announced recently that Midcoast Aviation Pres Kurt Sutterer has assumed the association's chairmanship. He replaces Jet Solutions Pres Dennis Keith. Sutterer was appointed chairman during the last NATA board meeting on Mar 11, 2009. He joined Midcoast in 1981 and has served as the company's president since Nov 2004. He has also been president of Jet Aviation's new maintenance and completions organization in North America since 2006, when Midcoast was acquired by Jet Aviation. Joining Sutterer as association vice-chairman is Flight Options Exec VP James Miller. NATA also elected 3 new board members-Duncan Aviation Chairman Todd Duncan, Meridian Air Charter CEO Kenneth Forester and Bridgeford Flying Services CEO Mark Willey.

Michael Lerma was recently promoted to general mgr of SheltAir SAV. He has been with the company for 10 years, most recently as ops mgr. Replacing Lerma in that role is Allie Truesdell, who started work as an air concierge at FLL 5 years ago. Most recently she served as customer service supervisor at SheltAir JAX (Jacksonville FL).