Avian Solutions Inspires Future Aviators

Many years ago, we hired three or four high school students to work part time as line service technicians at IAD. We trained them to do everything except tow aircraft into or out of hangars. All of the JR. hires were the sons and daughters of customer corporate pilots that were based with us. After a few weeks, several parents stopped by and told us that they had never seen their kids so enthusiastic about anything. They all got caught up in something bigger than themselves and the energy that this industry generates. Today, all of these new hires are captains on a variety of corporate jets. – submitted by David F. Brinson, Avian Solutions, LLC

Fontainebleau Aviation Lives up to Its Name

With a name like Fontainebleau, customers expect a certain standard of excellence.  The 60-year-old Fontainebleau brand, most notable for the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, is extravagant, sophisticated and glamorous.

And that’s exactly what customers experience when they stop at Fontainebleau Aviation, an FBO at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport (KOPF). Owned by Turnberry Associates, one of the country’s premier real estate development and hospitality groups which also owns the famed Fontainebleau Hotel, Fontainebleau Aviation pride themselves on living up to their name, providing a luxurious destination and customer service to match.

“Fontainebleau is operated by a bunch of young, energetic, high-tempo, relentless professionals that don’t stop. We’re truly representative of what defines the city of Miami,” said Bobby Courtney, Vice President of Aviation and General Manager of the FBO. “Our team is passionate about aviation and our business, and that energy, passion and grit is very apparent to our customers.”

The FBO offers 235,000 square feet of first-class hangar space, a 12,000-square-foot arrivals/departures canopy – the largest in the southeast region – and a chic two-story terminal complete with conference rooms, pilot’s lounge, snooze rooms and a mini market. The facility sits on 42 acres of land, providing 17 acres of ramp, a dual-access terminal and one of the longest runways in the country, accommodating all types of aircraft. 

A History and Future of Growth

The FBO was originally a private jet facility, Turnberry Aviation.  In 2012, the company acquired its own fuel service and began operating as a full-service FBO, which the owners decided to rebrand into today’s Fontainebleau Aviation. At the time, the company had only 18 employees and sold 1 million gallons of fuel per year.

After only a few years, but much hard work and determination, the operation grew to 60 employees and sold four million gallons of fuel per year. At that time, ownership decided to build a brand-new 115,000-square-foot facility. This $27 million expansion, which took two years to plan, design and build, was spearheaded by Courtney.

“It was important for us to design a facility that matched the Fontainebleau brand,” said Courtney. “With the rebrand came major expectations to live up to the prestige of the existing brand. So we made sure the new facility is just as chic and glamorous as somebody would expect.”

The new facility opened in March 2017, and today, the operation employs 80 staff and sells 6 million gallons of fuel per year. Over the last two years, the business has seen a 150 percent increase in revenue, and while the management team is proud of what they’ve accomplished, they have no plans to slow down.

“We’re still focused on winning clientele, earning trust and building a product that’s better than anything else out there – not just in South Florida, but compared to anything in the country,” said Anthony Banome, Director of Sales for Fontainebleau Aviation. “We want people to say we have the best set-up, the best facility, the best people they’ve ever come across. The keyword being ‘ever.’”

Fontainebleau is already planning their next expansion in preparation for Super Bowl LIV, which will be held in Miami in 2020. The operation plans to build another 32,000-square-foot hangar and an additional 60,000 gallon fuel farm.

Hurricane Preparedness Alongside Phillips 66

Fontainebleau has been a part of the Phillips 66® branded FBO network since 2013 and relies on Phillips 66 to supply their aviation fuel in the most critical circumstances – such as when a natural disaster strikes. In hurricane-prone Miami, a reliable fuel supply is a must to keep an FBO operational during a crisis.

“We need a reliable fuel supply, and that’s what I know Phillips 66 offers,” said Courtney. “I knew that hell or high water, Phillips 66 would move mountains to get me what I need, when I need it. The entire Phillips 66 team is second to none.”

Due to the dependable fuel supply from Phillips 66, Fontainebleau was the only one of three FBOs at OPF that was able to stay open during Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Because of this, the FBO was able – and proud – to aid in the relief effort and help the community return to normal. Their hospitality and support during the hurricane was even recognized by the Florida Army National Guard.

In addition to relying on Phillips 66 for fuel, Fontainebleau utilizes various programs the company offers their FBO network, including the Partners-Into-Plane Contract Fuel Program, Phillips 66 WingPoints® Rewards Program, and the Phillips 66 Aviation Wings® Card.

To learn more about Fontainebleau Aviation, visit their website.

To learn more about Phillips 66 Aviation Branded FBO programs click here.


Clay Lacy Helps Launch Careers for the Next Generation of Aviation Leaders

At Clay Lacy, we believe in giving back by paying it forward—helping a new generation of pilots, technicians, cabin attendants and other professionals achieve their full potential.

We partner with schools and community organizations where we live and work, giving thousands of children and young adults the opportunity to achieve their dreams of a rewarding career in aviation.

In recent years we have spoken to hundreds of young adults in classrooms and career days, hosted internships and job shadow days, and provided more than 100 scholarships to students pursuing aviation careers at community colleges, universities, local school districts and professional trade schools.

  • Mechanic scholarships at Los Angeles Unified School District Aviation Center
  • Pilot scholarships at the University of North Dakota
  • Pilot scholarships at Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California
  • Aviation scholarships through Flight Path Learning Center, Los Angeles
  • Aviation Career Day at Van Nuys Airport
  • Internships and career mentoring
  • Job shadow days
  • Hosting STEM classes
  • Volunteer teaching
  • Aircraft donations

For more information about Clay Lacy Aviation and the many annual scholarship opportunities, visit claylacy.com/company/giving-back.

Astin Aviation Provides Aid in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

After the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, Astin Aviation became a strategic location for supply aircrafts performing search, rescue and recovery missions throughout Houston and Beaumont. Harvey produced the largest amount of rainwater ever recorded in the United Sates from a single storm and Astin Aviation spearheaded the relief efforts without delay. Working 12 to 14-hour shifts, the Astin team provided everything from hotel reservations to catering for over 700 military personnel.

For 120 continuous hours, the staff handled calls from various military divisions, while simultaneously keeping up with fueling and procedural requirements for over 100 airmen, soldiers and sailors. When the dust settled, Astin Aviation had warehoused 1,430 tons of supplies, pumped over 200,000 gallons of fuel and transported 50 tons of cargo.

Astin Aviation is conveniently located adjacent to Texas A&M University, the George Bush Presidential Library and Kyle Field. Their mission is to offer superior quality aviation support, with a strong commitment to safety and customer satisfaction. Astin Aviation provides mission-focused concierge services, hangar rental, fuel service and a host of amenities. The experienced Ground Support and Customer Care staff is NATA certified for customer’s safety, and dedicated to making trips a pleasant experience.

For more information on Astin Aviation’s work in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, or their dedication to serving the Bryan-College Station community, contact Zane Henderson at 979-775-9913 or zhenderson@astin.us.

Additional Photos: http://bit.ly/AAV_HHarvey_Rspns_20170912

Holman Aviation Makes Safety a Priority

For 68 years, hard work from a dedicated family has served as the backbone of Holman Aviation, a Phillips 66® branded Fixed Base Operator (FBO) in Great Falls, Montana. Dwight Holman has been President of Holman Aviation for the past 26 years. Holman succeeded his father, Homer Holman, a proud Marine and flight instructor, who founded the FBO in 1950. In addition to providing outstanding service, Holman Aviation is also a certified repair station, a military landing hub and a U.S. Customs port of entry.

Customs, Military & Safety
Malmstrom Air Force Base, one of the few U.S. nuclear missile bases, is located only 10 miles from Holman Aviation. Due to its proximity, the FBO regularly services and assists military aircraft and personnel. “Whether we are serving top brass generals, a special engineering squadron or courier flights, it is imperative that safety is our number one priority,” says Holman. “I am proud that we can do our part to guarantee the safety of our visitors by ensuring that our staff are NATA Safety 1st trained and certified, a program offered by Phillips 66 to branded FBOs.”

Holman Aviation not only has the honor of welcoming military personnel and aircraft visiting Malmstrom Air Force Base, but the FBO is also located at Great Falls International Airport, serving as a U.S. Customs port of entry. This includes servicing aircraft entering the U.S. for the first time, stopping to get Phillips 66 fuel before continuing to their final destination within the U.S. “Our visitors are not only aircraft from Canada, which is only 100 miles away,” says Holman, “but we also have a lot of aircraft coming in from Europe and Asia – including Russian flights that fly over the top of the world to land here in Montana!”

Future Female-Led FBO
Following in her father and grandfather’s footsteps, you can find Jamie Ronholdt at Holman Aviation, playing a pivotal role in assisting in helping the facility’s operations running efficiently. Ronholdt, now 34 years old, returned to Great Falls after receiving a business degree from Montana State University in Bozeman. With a business background and a passion for aviation, Ronholdt leads customer service and serves as the primary administrative assistant at Holman Aviation.

Ronholdt hopes to continue the family legacy by becoming the next president of the FBO. She would be the first female president of Holman Aviation, working alongside the FBO’s first female Chief Financial Officer, Roxann Tveter. “I would be honored to sit behind the desk that my father and grandfather have manned for 68 years,” says Ronholdt. “As I grew up and learned more about the business and about my own passion for flying, I knew that I wanted to land back at Holman Aviation.” – Casey Warnick, The Company/Phillips 66

Banyan Air Service Gives Back to the Community

Banyan Air Service based at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport is consistently voted a top national FBO and has earned the recognition of the #1 FBO in the Southeast United States by Fltplan.com Pilots’ Choice Awards for over 10 consecutive years. This recognition comes from providing excellent aviation services. However, that is only part of the story. Don Campion, Banyan’s President says, “At Banyan we strive to be more than just another aviation company, not only by what we provide our customers, but also by what we give back.”

This is such a part of Banyan’s culture that you can read it in their guiding principles, “We contribute to the communities we serve.”

Several years ago, Banyan’s spirit committee selected 4KIDS of South Florida as their corporate charity and continually supports their efforts with toy drives, special events, rebuilding homes and financial donations.

In addition, Banyan has led the way in partnering with organizations, teammates, customers, and individuals in the rebuilding, re-equipping, and re-staffing of Egbe Hospital in Nigeria.

Banyan also contributes to numerous charity and corporate events, such as:

  • Challenge Air – this is an annual event to provide flights for disabled youths and their families.
  • Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation providing dream flights for military veterans and senior citizens
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes Adopt a School Tailgate Party fundraiser
  • Hosted the fundraiser for BSO Fallen Heroes fundraiser
  • Taylor’s Closet fundraiser
  • Hosted Wheels Up/Miami Dolphins event
  • Hosted Southcoast Church Volunteer Banquet
  • Breast Cancer Donations from special sales at the pilot shop
  • Hurricane Irma Volunteer Flights
  • Christmas toy drive for Puerto Rico orphans
  • Aviation Career Day
  • Collins Foundation WWII Bombers
  • IA Renewal Event
  • Provide tours for school groups and other organization

    Banyan Air Service is truly a company that believes in giving back and goes above and beyond to make a difference in the communities it serves. – submitted by Banyan Air Service

Business Jet Center Hosts Annual Tournament Raising $45,000 for Veterans Charities

Business Jet Center hosted its 5th Annual, Cleared to Land on the Green Charity Golf Tournament on November 10, 2017. A record breaking $45,000 was raised on a picture-perfect day and donated to Folds of Honor and Patriot Paws Service Dogs. Both charities assist families of military veterans by providing assistance through educational scholarships or living assistance.

To date, Cleared to Land on the Green has donated over $150,000 in support of those who have and continue to serve our country in the armed forces.

“Our hearts are so full with the amount of support we have received over the years, and especially this year. We know freedom comes with a hefty price and this is one small way we can say, ‘Thank you’. It is also such an honor to work with all of those who support our tournament, but most importantly, our veterans. From the sponsors and golfers to the volunteers, everyone makes this event such an exciting day that we all look forward to more and more each year,” said Cat Clay, Tournament Coordinator.

Hosted at the elite Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine, TX, the day was kicked off with a gourmet breakfast, followed by a putting & chipping contest, prior to a shotgun start. Tournament participants then enjoyed a variety of games and competitions at each hole, as well as a plethora of giveaways, snacks and specialty drinks throughout the day. One of the highlights of the event took place on hole number four where golfers were given the opportunity to shoot their golf ball 400 yards out of a custom cannon onto the green in exchange for a small donation to the tournament charities. A new contest to the tournament this year took place on hole 18 called “The Big Stik” where golfers had the opportunity to hit a drive with an oversized six-foot driver, also in exchange for a small donation.