Baer Air joins Avfuel network

Baer Air_exterior-edit

The Avfuel-branded network of FBOs has expanded with the addition of Baer Air FBO Services, operating at Florida’s Melbourne International Airport (MLB). A division of Baer Air, Inc., an FAA-certified charter service, Baer Air FBO will now offer Avfuel products and solutions in addition to the range of services already provided.

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Earning a seat at the table

Jamie Beckett is a CFI and A&P mechanic who stepped into the political arena in an effort to promote and protect GA at his local airport.

In December 2008, my home city of Winter Haven, Florida, cut the ribbon on a new terminal building at Gilbert Field. With millions of dollars invested and a golden opportunity to celebrate the occasion, city hall pulled out all the stops. They even included airline pilots holding the ends of a bright red ribbon. At the center of that ribbon was a wooden prop turned to the vertical. The mayor and the full contingent of city commissioners were on hand to cut the ribbon, open the terminal, and pose for photos.

What many of the airport users found objectionable that fine morning was the unavoidable lack of integrity to the big moment. You see, the airline pilots weren’t really airline pilots. They were members of the city’s IT staff – the computer geeks who keep the digital wheels of government turning. They weren’t pilots at all. In fact nobody involved in the ceremony had any direct connection to the art and science of moving an aircraft from the ramp into the airspace above.

It would be entirely reasonable to characterize the relationship between city hall and the aviation community as tense. You might even say it was hostile. [Read more…]

Be specific when talking to the press

During a recent newspaper interview about the management of the local airport, the reporter stopped me and asked for clarification. “I’m sorry, “ he said, “What’s an FBO?”

“FBO stands for Fixed Base Operator,” I answered. “The FBO is the primary business on most general aviation airports.” The reporter appeared curious, so I expanded on the concept. “The FBO traditionally provides four core services,” and I ran down the list quickly.

“Can you repeat those services?” the reporter asked.

“Sure,” I said. And this is where I made my mistake. “The FBO typically provides fuel sales, aircraft maintenance, aircraft rentals, and flight training.”

That seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Well it certainly does to you and me. You’re an aviation enthusiast. You know what each of those terms means. Just as I do. Just as I assumed the reporter did. But I was wrong. [Read more…]

Yes, we can reach out and make a difference

A question I recently found in my e-mail inbox intrigues me. “So how do we, as aviators, get the general population to engage?” Steve, from Midway, Georgia, poses this query. And in doing so he puts his finger on what is arguably the greatest challenge to pilots and aviation enthusiasts in the political arena. Because without engaging the public at large we are little more than a minority splinter group that appears to insist on special treatment.

More often than not, that’s the public perception of us. Fortunately, we can change that.

The easiest way for us to make a pro-aviation impact is on a personal basis, one-on-one. [Read more…]