Wilson Air Center is doing a brisk business at its four U.S.-based FBOs, particularly at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (KCHA), where it is the sole FBO on site since TAC Air sold out in January 2014 to the Airport Authority for $12 million.

“We are moving forward with the operation at Chattanooga,” said Dave Ivey, VP in charge of all FBO operations. “I think all parties were happy with the results.”

Wilson Air now manages both facilities for the Airport Authority and provides all FBO services at KCHA. It has no equity stake in the operation, but its contract has been expanded to handle all airport operations. All transient arrivals/departures use the west side new FBO terminal. The east side of the field, where TAC Air was formerly based, is used for base tenants.

Wilson has heard the complaints that the Airport Authority has a monopoly at Chattanooga, where competition is non-existent. In response, Wilson Air promised to give pilots six-month updates on its price for Jet-A, as compared to fuel prices at other FBOs in the U.S. south. Chattanooga offers the second lowest fuel price in the southern region, with Concord, N.C. being number one and Charlotte being number three, according to a Wilson Air sampling of FBOs in the south. Wilson Air samples airports of similar size to determine which facility has the lowest and highest fuel prices.

“So you actually have three government-owned entities having the lowest posted retail jet fuel price in the southern region,” said Ivey. The company recently introduced new leases for the former TAC Air tenants “with no price increases,” he adds.

At Chattanooga, Wilson Air provides fuel and related services for military, cargo and for the 280 annual flights of Allegiant Air. It has two new hangars planned, which has no available space presently. It also plans a ramp expansion to handle additional aircraft. Ivey said that Wilson Air employs the same FBO management model at Chattanooga as that it employs at its facilities at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and other locations.

Wilson Air is a tenant at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport and continues its expansion plans there despite the recent decision by the Houston City Council to approve a sixth FBO, Galaxy, on-site. Wilson’s multi-phase project at Hobby includes plans for an additional Gulfstream G650 hangar and a new 10,000-sq.-ft. executive terminal. One new G650 hangar is complete and Wilson Air is in the design phase for another, and in September, the airport approved two option tracts for the company’s expansion to the north, allowing it to construct the new terminal.

“We tried to explain to the (Hobby) airport about market share profitability, but the airport had a different mindset,” said Ivey. “At present, all plans are to proceed with the new terminal.”