A new FBO has signed a lease to begin operations at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International airport in Alabama. The new operator is Houston-based Million Air, which will build new hangars and a new terminal to service aviation users at BHM. Million Air is to take over the BHM East side FBO from Atlantic Aviation, while Atlantic will continue to operate the West side FBO at BHM. Million Air currently operates similar aviation businesses in 38 airport locations across the United States. After participating in a rigorous public proposal process, Million Air was selected to take over the East side FBO at the airport. The official signing of the agreement between the Birmingham Airport Authority and Million Air Birmingham was the last phase of the process which commenced more than a year ago.
“This partnership represents a lot of hard work and a commitment to elevating our game here at the airport,” says Bill Smith, member of the board of the Birmingham Airport Authority and chair of its review committee. “Million Air is committed to making a huge investment in this community and creating an upscale experience for all customers.”
FBOs are similar to full-service fuel and convenience stations that specifically cater to general aviation, commercial and military aircraft. FBOs typically offer aircraft fuelling, parking, storage and maintenance, along with flight planning support services and a long list of other amenities. FBO agreements at commercial airports are normally structured to include a pledge of significant capital improvements in exchange for a longer-term land lease agreement. At the end of the term, the improvements revert to airport ownership.
Million Air's development plan includes: a new 10,000 sq ft terminal to serve pilots, aircraft owners and guests, military and corporate business travellers; a new 24,000 sq ft community lite aviation hangar designed specifically for smaller, privately owned aircraft; two new 30,000 sq ft community corporate hangars; and a total of 94,000 sq ft in new development.
“We are proud to partner with Birmingham Airport Authority, whose commitments to the airport's growth and development are paralleled with our own,” says Roger Woolsey, CEO of Million Air. “Our plans are to develop a fully modernised Million Air Birmingham. We are confident we can deliver a facility, level of service and amenities that will be unrivalled at this airport.”
The new terminal and hangars will replace old ones at the current East side location, some of which were built back in the 1960s and 1970s. The new facilities will make room for servicing and storing general aviation aircraft of all sizes.
In addition to the investment in new facilities, Million Air is proposing to raise the bar at BHM with amenities such as: Starbucks with staffed baristas; Mercedes crew cars; valet parking for customer vehicles; a pilot's lounge; Hertz rental car on site; and dedicated concierge services.