Bangor International Airport (BGR) in Maine is the first airport in North America to install FBO One, an on-line aircraft handling and fuel management program.
The airport’s GA traffic will benefit from faster turnaround times following the installation, which will also mean greater efficiencies for its ground handling and back office staff, according to company officials.
The closest US port of entry from Europe, BGR owns its FBO, while also owning and operating a 2.9 million gallon fuel farm. That makes it a sizeable regional player, capable of meeting the needs of every plane that comes its way, from light aircraft and corporate jets to the giant Antonov An-225, as well as regular scheduled and diverted commercial aircraft, officials noted.
“With the new program we will be able to accept airside credit card payments for fuel using hand-held tablets on which the FBO One system is also accessible,” says assistant airport director James Canders. “This will save pilots the hassle of waiting while we process their payment in the office before returning it to them. This will now be a simple ‘gas and go’ operation.”
Fuel temperature conversion is critical, especially when just a 1% variation in outdoor temperature can make such a substantial difference to volumes. Developed by Amsterdam Software, FBO One is thought to be the only program that meets BGR’s needs in this regard, while also integrating with the airport’s existing fuel truck meters, according to officials.
BGR’s ground handling services include GPU, air starts, lavatory and water service, aircraft cleaning, air conditioning and heat, bottled oxygen, preheats and arrangements for airframe maintenance.
On-field aircraft maintenance services are available around the clock, as is de-icing for any type of aircraft with types I and IV fluid. Dispatch services and flight coordination are also available, while BGR is open 24/7 for refueling, aircraft servicing, federal inspection, passenger services and all transit needs. Together, all these services provide a huge amount of planning, paperwork and communications between all parties and departments involved, company officials said.
“Keeping track of the bigger picture is vital,” says Ries Vriend, Amsterdam Software’s CEO. “One huge benefit of FBO One is the elimination of redundant data capture and data re-entry. The program connects and facilitates the workflow of the FBO customer service representatives, dispatch, ramp staff, the accounting back office and airport management.”
Prior to its installation BGR’s daily flight programs were compiled by the dispatch department using a stand-alone tool. These overviews were then distributed by fax and email to various employees at the airport, such as the FBO’s service representatives and line staff.
During the day, these overviews could become outdated quickly, while maintaining and managing the flow of information also proved problematical. Now, with FBO One, all flight reservations are kept up to date centrally, company officials said.
When aircraft arrive and remain parked overnight, FBO One tracks their current stand and automatically applies the ramp fees to the invoice, based on the customer’s contract rates and the aircraft type. FBO One invoices are produced automatically and exported to Sungard, the accounting system used by the City of Bangor, which owns and operates the airport. This saves considerable time and eliminates unreliable paper trails, company officials noted.