The History of Francis S Gabreski Airport

Located on 1,451 acres three miles north of West Hampton Beach in the Town of Southampton in Suffolk County, Long Island, county-owned Francis S. Gabreski Airport is both a civil and military facility and serves as the gateway to Long Island’s famed Hamptons. It has a rich history.

Constructed in 1943 as a World War II United States Army Air Force sub-base of Mitchel Field, it was later assigned to the First Air Force, whose 437th Army Air Force Base flew anti-submarine patrols. After the war, it was designated a civilian field.
Once again reverting to military application in 1951 because of the Korean War National Emergency, it was renamed Suffolk County Air Force Base. The Air National Guard’s 103rd Fighter-Interceptor Wing, along with the 118th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron and its fleet of Republic P-47N Thunderbolts, was federalized that year and relocated from Brainerd Field in Connecticut to the air base on June 1.

The 103rd Fighter-Interceptor Wing was replaced by the 45th and 75th Fighter-Interceptor Squadrons in November of 1952, which operated North American F-86 Sabre Jets as part of the 23rd Fighter-Interceptor Group.

After three years, the group itself was reassigned to Presque Isle Air Force Base in Maine and replaced by the newly activated 52nd Fighter-Interceptor Wing.
Because of the Vietnam War-caused financial constraints, the Suffolk County Air Force Base was deactivated in 1969 and was once again transferred to Suffolk County for civilian operations for the purpose of “the development, improvement, and operation and maintenance of the airport” under the auspices of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Yet military operations were reintroduced in June of 1970 when the 102nd Air Refueling Squadron of the New York Air National Guard was transferred there from the now-closed Floyd Bennett Field Naval Air Station, basing its Boeing KC-97 Strato-freighters there.

Redesignated Francis S. Gabreski Airport in 1991 after America’s greatest living ace, today it serves as a private, corporate, and air taxi facility and is also home to the 106th Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard, which operates Lockheed HC-130P Hercules and HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, the only fleet of rescue aircraft based in the northeastern part of the country.

With three runways–5,000-foot 01/19, 9,000-foot 06/24, and 5,000-foot 15/33–it offers the longest of any Long Island general aviation field and is only eclipsed by those at JFK. Its facilities include a terminal building with two rental car counters and the Apron CafĂ©; Shelt-Air Aviation Services, the airport’s only fixed base operator, with fuel, aircraft parking, and servicing; the Suffolk County police’s Aviation Section, which bases a helicopter there; and the Hampton Business District, whose eventual 400,000-square foot Industrial Park promotes local community growth.

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Are Personal Flying Vehicles the Future of Transport?

The flying car- it’s been a science fiction dream for as long as there’s been science fiction. It’s a notion so compelling that it’s driven countless designers to attempt to solve the inherent problems with the concept, and for most to fail spectacularly.

Rooted in the unspectacular desire to rid our daily lives of traffic and meandering, indirect roads, the flying car nonetheless conjures up images of a brighter tomorrow and safer towns and cities around the world. It’s a distant dream, or at least, it has traditionally been.

Today, more and more aerospace companies, both big and small, are investigating the possibility of the personal flying vehicle – aircraft capable of carrying single individuals or small cargo through the air autonomously, acting as a sort of air-based taxi.

Indeed, whilst the likes of Airbus have been covertly developing a PSF via their A3 venture capital division, upstart Chinese companies like eHang have launched their very own PSF drones, like the eHang 184, which closely resembling the consumer drones you’ll find hovering over public parks across the world.

The latter is capable of carrying one passenger up to 100kg and their light cargo for up to 30 minutes at a time, with a fully vertical take-off and a cruising speed of 40mph. The passenger chooses between a number of pre-determined destinations on a touchscreen located inside the cockpit and, well, away they go.

It’s not just a concept either. In Dubai, city officials have announced that the 184 will begin ferrying passengers during 2017, and the vehicle also gained permission for test flights in Nevada, where it could show up to help wealthy guests get from airport to casino, or from nightlife spot to nightlife spot.

All of which has posed many to ask the question, are personal flying vehicles the future of transport? Well, there’s some hurdles to overcome first. Namely, passenger capacity and regulatory issues. Though the ability to travel alone is appreciated, many more travel in pairs or as groups. Improving motor technology and passenger capacity would go some way to increasing the likelihood of widespread public adoption.

The other issue a more complicated one – air regulation. At the moment, there are strict laws which prohibit these kinds of vehicles in most countries and cities. It will take countless hours of flight and a great deal of problem solving before aviation authorities around the world consider letting hundreds of autonomous aircraft in the sky.

Review These Aspects of Fixed Base Operators in Aviation

Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) are extremely relevant in the aviation industry. These are companies that offer a broad range of aeronautical services for different parties and aircraft for the purpose of streamlining the activities at an airport. From fueling to aircraft maintenance and passenger handling, FBOs provide a whole range of support services and related assistance, specifically for private aviation operators. Such services are necessary at public use airports, where there is a considerable flow of traffic. FBOs are important to all of the customers they serve in many ways. While the term “FBO” was first initiated in the United States many years ago, their services remain relevant in all parts of the globe.

What to expect?

Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) work with all types of general aviation, including corporate, owner operators, recreational aircraft and Part 135 charter. FBOs also often provide other associated services, such as Aircraft Charter and Management (ACM) and Aircraft Maintenance, Repair, And Overhaul (MRO). Besides basic line service, FBOs are known for meeting all the needs of customers using general aviation. If you need aircraft maintenance or private charter services, your search for a service provider can begin at your local FBO.

How to hire a service provider?

As an aviation asset owner, you should be concerned about three things when you consider FBO management: Safety, Quality of Service, and efficiency of operations. Safety is absolute, and top tier FBO management companies will allow you to audit their safety records and training programs. FBOs compete primarily on Quality of Service and the value proposition as seen by their customers. Efficient operations are critical to maximizing the asset performance and resulting value. When reviewing FBO service providers, keep the following in mind:

1. Experience counts. Aviation is an evolving field, and the range and quality of services have improved drastically in the last two decades. You need a company that has led this transformation and can deliver access to a range of industry leading best practices.

2. Check their track record. Before you hire an FBO management company, you have to verify their experience. Ask for an analysis of their operations across a portfolio of diverse airports and operations such as regional general aviation airports, large international commercial airports and operational experience outside of the U.S.

3. Services offered. As previously mentioned services provided by such companies can differ. If an aviation management company can offer FBO, ACM and MRO services with other specialties such as facility development, it is always a competitive advantage.

4. Accountability counts. Success in FBO and related fields can be well defined, and it is measured using a number of proven metrics and measurements. Look for management companies that provide transparency across the range of operations.

5. Other assistance. FBO management companies also offer specific services such as facility management, capital project management services and marketing & promotional campaigns. Depending on your requirements, you can also ask for customized managerial reporting packages which interface with your existing enterprise platforms.

Visit online now to find an FBO management service company that meet your needs. Remember that first class FBO management companies may also offer advisory and consulting services to assist you in your evaluation.