Belfast International airport-based Global Trek Aviation is experiencing significant demand for its FBO services, and commercial director Colin Gordon says that it is looking to offer an alternative to Shannon for tech stops. “We do receive a lot of traffic outside of normal operating hours, but because we are a 24/7 operation there are no additional out of hour fees,” he says. “We are all ex-Ocean Sky, RSS Jet Centre and Landmark Aviation staff who were based at Glasgow Prestwick prior to the nationalisation of the airport by the Scottish government.
“The private FBO facilities on the airfield of Prestwick were closed down and everything was taken in-house. Ninety per cent of us regrouped and sought investment really quickly. At the moment our traffic levels are very healthy, considering we only opened our doors about seven months ago,” Gordon explains.
The company has struck deals with major trip planning organisations and authorities, and he says that having a good relationship with them previously has hastened the process.
“We do want to compete with Shannon as a fantastic transatlantic option for fuel stops flying between Europe, the Middle East and the US and Canada,” he continues.
“Some have already taken us up on this to try us out, and they are coming for a return visit. It is a very attractive fuel price that we have obtained, and we have been heading out to the major shows such as NBAA, EBACE, BGAD and Schedulers & Dispatchers, the latter of which is especially relevant.”
Global Trek is a full service FBO and is able to support aircraft of any size on a demarcated ramp, having worked closely with the airport operator and UK Border Force. Gordon drew on his existing relationships with former work colleagues, which he built up during his time at Prestwick, Manchester and Luton airports.
“We are not one of the big powerhouses, but we are doing things ourselves and we are walking before we start running. It's a personal adventure for us all and we are giving it a personal approach. If we want to make a decision on something, we can make it on the spot. We don't need to report to any higher authorities to authorise any particular decision. The airport authority has understood our aim to increase traffic levels and has reduced the landing fee to traffic over 10 tonnes with this in mind.
“We firmly believe that we are equal to Shannon in what we offer. We also offer 'over the water' survival equipment rental to any operator requiring this service, including rafts and survival suits.”
Gordon says the company has been receiving much positive feedback on its website: “It is nice to receive such feedback without reaching out to them. We are opening up a market of true vip service in Belfast which perhaps wasn't there before, as previously you always had to park on a main terminal stand, leading to security ramp access issues. Crews can now walk freely between the FBO and their aircraft. “We perform all our own airfield escorts and aircraft marshalling. We are qualified refuellers and this helps with quick stops. With Belfast, we have replicated everything we were doing at Prestwick, and added to it,” he concludes.