Some FBOs may view clubs as competitors and a threat to income, particularly if a club has a flight training program or does its own maintenance. But there are a few simple solutions that can help ease tensions and build a good relationship that benefits both the club and the FBO.
A good starting point is to recognize that a healthy aviation community needs both FBOs and flying clubs. Approaching the relationship as a partnership in which both can benefit will go a long way to building a sense of community on the field and help both the club and the FBO succeed.
Anything the club can do to provide a direct source of revenue for the FBO will always help. Here are some ideas:
Don’t forget that flying clubs can also be an important source of indirect benefit to the FBO. AOPA’s research showed that 32 percent of all pilots are former members of a flying club (i.e. for tens of thousands of people, a flying club was a stepping-stone into a lifetime of flying and aircraft ownership).
Finally, think about your communications with the FBO. Your goal is to establish a reputation with the FBO as “a neighbor with good intentions”—with this in mind:
“What do you think?”
Sr. Technical Specialist
Center to Advance the Pilot Community