When will the FBO be built?
In July of 2013, the City Council directed staff to negotiate a lease. On November 25, 2013, the City Council approved a long-term lease to Five Rivers Aviation, LLC at the City Council Meeting.
Five Rivers Aviation, LLC will submit a development application for environmental review and project approval. The environmental and development review of this application is anticipated in Spring or Summer of 2014.
If the Five Rivers Aviation, LLC development project and environmental review is approved, construction of the first phase of its proposal, totaling 25,000 square feet of building area, will happen in 2015.
What is an “FBO”?
An “FBO” stands for “fixed base operator”, and is a privately owned aviation supporting business located at an Airport, such as a fuel provider, an aircraft maintenance facility, a flight school, or any other aviation related business.
What is a “full service FBO”?
A full service FBO provides both maintenance services as well as aircraft fueling services.
Why is a “full service FBO” being proposed at the Livermore Airport?
At a minimum, a “full service FBO” would provide aircraft maintenance facilities and services, as well as provide fueling of aircraft. Construction of a needed maintenance facility at the Airport will allow aircraft based at Livermore to have maintenance performed at the Airport, rather than having to fly out of and return to the Livermore Airport for maintenance.
The City of Livermore has provided fuel services directly for many years, and it is proposed to have this service transferred to the private sector. Under this proposal, the City will relinquish its fuel sale concession to the “full service FBO”. The full service FBO would use fuel sales to support financially its overall services to the aviation community.
What is being proposed for a full service FBO?
Five Rivers Aviation, LLC has proposed to construct three phases of hangars (link to view project layout) at the Airport. The initial phase would be for 25,000 square feet of hangar space, subdivided into 5 work spaces. Some of this space would be used for aircraft dealerships, and some space would be used for the FBO Administration and for overnight hangar storage of visiting aircraft. A second and third phase would each add another 25,000 square feet of hangar space, for a total of 75,000 square feet of space. It should be noted that there are 670,000 square feet of hangar and other building development at the Airport. Thus, each phase of Five Rivers Aviation’s proposed project would add about 3.7% to total building space at the Airport.
Will the Airport be expanded to accommodate the FBO?
No. There will be no physical expansion of the Airport beyond its current boundaries.
Previously, the Livermore Airport was planned for an additional 1,253,000 square feet of development in addition to the 670,000 square feet of development within the current Airport boundary. In 2010, the City completed a rezoning of the Airport, reducing the remaining planned development of the Airport from 1,253,000 square feet to 748,000 square feet. This represents a reduction of 40% of planned development. All three phases of the Five Rivers Aviation, LLC project constitutes only 75,000 square feet of development.
A full service Fixed Base Operator will provide additional maintenance services that are needed to actually reduce the number of flight operations by aircraft based at the Livermore Airport because tenants will no longer need to fly to nearby airports for maintenance facilities.
Additional services that would be provided by a full service FBO to the aviation community include towing services, lavatory and cabin cleaning services, catering and concierge services, aircraft sales, and lounges for pilots.
All of these services enhance the Livermore Airport in serving economic development in the Tri-Valley.
Isn’t this a second full service FBO that is being added at the Airport?
No. Although in 2007 the City Council approved a full service FBO lease contract with Livermore Aviation Center, LLC to build up to 150,000 square feet of development, the company was unable to proceed with its project. The City Council rescinded that lease in October of 2012, and directed the release of a Request for Proposals in early 2013 for a replacement full service Fixed Base Operator. Five Rivers Aviation, LLC has submitted a proposal for only 75,000 square feet of development, to be constructed in three phases over a number of years. There would be only a single full service Fixed Base Operator at the Livermore Airport, and it would be only about half the size of the earlier proposal.
Won’t the FBO bring unacceptable noise to the Airport?
The 2010 Airport Rezoning Environmental Impact Report evaluated the aircraft noise impacts of all forecast flight operations through 2030. Noise impacts will be mitigated by the City of Livermore to an acceptable level, so that no noise impacts exceed State, Federal, or Livermore standards.
It should be noted that on February 14, 2012, President Obama signed the “FAA Modernization Reform Act of 2012” which was passed by Congress. This final approved federal legislation prohibits the use of noisy “Stage 2” business jets in the contiguous U.S. after December 31, 2015. This ban affects the noisy jets that are of concern to the community.
Won't the new FBO increase the number of aircraft operations?
Over the last decade, there has been some community concern about how individual projects built at the Airport may strongly influence the number of flight operations at the Airport. However, a review of historical annual flight operations at the Airport reveals that there is no one local variable that significantly influences the number of flight operations. Rather, the number of flight operations is influenced by macroeconomic trends that are difficult if not impossible to predict.
Starting with the 1975 Airport Master Plan, forecasts of aircraft operations at Livermore have varied significantly and have not correlated with subsequent actual operations. Flight operations were originally predicted to be over 340,000 operations annually, yet current annual operations are in the range of only 138,000 operations. Aviation forecast are typically related to the population base within the region the airport serves along with the region’s economic strength, and the ability of the region to sustain a strong economic base over an extended period of time. Aside from regional socioeconomics, the national economy (interest rates; cost of insurance, fuel, parts, etc.) plays a significant role in the overall affordability to operate and maintain most privately-owned General Aviation aircraft.
As a practical illustration, the last major installation of hangars in the late 1980’s was followed by an increase in flight operations to over 282,000 in 1993. But since that time flight operations have actually decreased to approximately 138,000 flight operations annually. Thus, there is no direct enduring correlation between hangar facilities and flight operations in this example. Further, flights to airports are made to serve the needs of passengers, recreational pilots, and cargo transportation, not to obtain aviation services that are found at most general aviation airports throughout the Bay Area.
The following graph shows how flight operations have changed since the mid-1980’s:
Livermore Airport Annual FAA Tower Operations Graph 1984-2012