ExecuJet is expanding its presence in Sydney, Australia, with the acquisition of an FBO to complement its existing maintenance, flight operations and administration facility.
Reflecting on the recent World Cup in Brazil, one might wonder what planning is exactly required by a fixed-based operations (FBO) facility for a sporting event of this magnitude with regards to private aviation.
One thing that any nation hosting the World Cup can count on is a massive influx of spectators from all parts of the globe - and a good few of these, including the players, are fortunate enough to be arriving by private jet. For the FBOs in the host country, there is no greater logistical challenge.
Mark Abbott, Group FBO Director at ExecuJet, knows exactly how much of a challenge this can be. ExecuJet was at the heart of managing private jet flight movements when South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup. Mark previously gained a wealth of experience during the 2006 German World Cup. "What we saw there were private jets arriving well ahead of the World Cup Opening Ceremony, and we had the same experience here in South Africa," he remembers.
"Before the tournament begins, you have an influx of private flights as FIFA officials, delegates and tournament sponsors arrive. Your planning, right from the outset, has to take into account the tight security that any host country is going to wrap around the tournament.
"Our FBOs are very conveniently located at Cape Town International Airport and Lanseria International Airport and we have plenty of space there, which made planning a lot easier for us than it must have been for the Brazilians, who were very tight for ramp space at many of the match airports," he comments.
Lanseria FBO has a 9000-square-metre hangar with a large apron. The Cape Town FBO has a 5,000 square-metre-hangar and sufficient ramp space. Both locations were able to make use of additional airport parking which was secured well before the event started.
"On the day of the World Cup Final we had some 200 aircraft parked at Lanseria, while at Cape To