Behind the Scenes: A Day in the Life of an FBO Manager

If you’ve ever looked up at the skies and marveled at the aircraft gliding above, you might not have considered the bustling world on the ground that makes it all possible. Fixed-Base Operators (FBOs) play a crucial role in the aviation industry, ensuring that flights run smoothly from takeoff to landing. In this blog, Onward Aviation will take you behind the scenes to explore a day in the life of an FBO manager, shedding light on the intricacies of this demanding yet rewarding profession.

Early Start and Planning

For an FBO manager, the day typically starts early, often before the first flight takes off. The manager reviews the schedule for the day, taking into account arrivals and departures, maintenance requirements, and fueling needs. Coordination is key, as multiple departments within the FBO, including customer service, fueling, maintenance, and ground support, must work in harmony to ensure a seamless operation.

Ensuring Safety and Compliance

Safety is paramount in aviation, and FBO managers are responsible for ensuring that their facility operates in strict compliance with aviation regulations. They review safety protocols, conduct inspections, and address any issues promptly. This commitment to safety extends to both the aircraft and the FBO’s personnel, as aviation is an industry where precision and adherence to regulations are non-negotiable.

Customer Service Excellence

FBOs are often the first point of contact for travelers, and providing exceptional customer service is a top priority. FBO managers oversee a team of customer service representatives who assist passengers and crew members with a wide range of needs, from catering requests to ground transportation arrangements. They ensure that every guest is treated with courtesy and efficiency, making their journey as comfortable as possible.

Managing Resources

Efficiency is essential in the aviation industry, and FBO managers must carefully manage their resources. This includes staffing levels, fuel inventory, maintenance schedules, and equipment availability. They must make strategic decisions to allocate resources effectively, ensuring that all flights are serviced promptly and that the FBO runs smoothly.

Problem-Solving on the Fly

In the world of aviation, no day is entirely predictable. FBO managers must be adept problem solvers, ready to address unexpected challenges as they arise. Whether it’s weather-related delays, last-minute flight changes, or technical issues, FBO managers are the linchpin that keeps everything on track. Their ability to think on their feet and make quick decisions is a testament to their expertise.

Building Relationships

Building and nurturing relationships is a significant aspect of an FBO manager’s role. They interact with various stakeholders, including pilots, aircraft owners, aviation authorities, and service providers. These connections are vital for the FBO’s reputation and growth. FBO managers often attend industry events and networking functions to stay informed and expand their professional network.

Wrapping Up the Day

As the day comes to a close, FBO managers conduct a final review of operations, ensuring that all flights have departed or are safely grounded for the night. They assess the day’s successes and challenges, making notes for improvements. The manager’s commitment to excellence extends beyond just one day; they continuously work to enhance the FBO’s operations and services.


While the world of aviation may seem glamorous from the outside, it’s the dedicated professionals behind the scenes, like FBO managers, who make it all possible. Their days are marked by early starts, meticulous planning, unwavering commitment to safety, and a dedication to providing outstanding service. The role of an FBO manager is demanding, requiring a unique blend of leadership, problem-solving, and customer service skills. Yet, for those passionate about aviation and dedicated to excellence, it’s a career that offers immense satisfaction and the opportunity to play a vital role in the skies above.