Located at the San Marcos Regional Airport (KHYI), Phillips 66® branded FBO Redbird Skyport is San Marcos’ one-stop shop for aviation offerings under one roof, from flight training and simulation to award-winning Customer Service, world-class facilities and an on-site cafe. Since its founding as a simulation-based FBO, Redbird Skyport continually explores new avenues to ensure that the aviation community is always growing.
The Sky’s the Limit: Advancing the Future of Flight Training
Redbird Flight Simulations, the parent company of Redbird Skyport, has a rich history as an advocate and friend to the aviation community. From Redbird’s humble beginnings in a barn in Austin, Texas, where founder Jerry Gregoire designed the first Redbird Flight Simulator, to celebrating 10 years in the business in October 2017, Redbird Flight Simulations has stayed true to its mission to make aviation and first-rate pilot training services available to all, in the safest, most timely and cost-effective way.
Continuing to push the limits of what is possible in the world of aviation, Redbird Flight Simulations is currently in pursuit of industry-changing research that will redefine the resources available to pilots and students, and how they conduct flight training. Redbird Flight Simulations boasts a “laboratory” mentality, in which Redbird Skyport, the FBO, is used as a testing ground to ensure that all efforts are operating at maximum safety and efficiency. The “laboratory” collects live data through the simulators during training, allowing for adjustments and improvement of the products based on the information received.
“With the simulator, we can now practice maneuvers like stalls from the ground. Then, when in the sky, students know what to expect when they see the stall with an instructor. The introduction of affordable motion simulators by Redbird Flight Simulations has drastically reduced the cost of flight training to students, reduced the time needed to achieve a pilot’s license, and has successfully proven to produce safer and incredibly skilled pilots,” says John Koenreich, general manager of Redbird Skyport.
Introducing Redbird Skyport
Redbird Flight Simulations opened Redbird Skyport in 2011, a standalone FBO, as an ancillary service for them, and a live “laboratory” to support ongoing experimentation and research. Redbird Skyport, similar to its parent company, has a vision of bolstering general aviation in San Marcos, a rapidly growing and promising corridor between Austin and San Antonio.
“We want people to start flying again and we believe that the cost of being a pilot and owning a plane shouldn’t stop people from pursuing their passion for flight,” says Koenreich. “We’re dedicated to advancing the efficiency of flight training, and it’s our goal to put more people in the air by providing more students with forward-looking resources and education offered at Redbird Skyport. We are also committed to providing the best of the best in FBO services and amenities at significantly lower cost to our customers, making San Marcos Regional airport a very viable alternative to the area’s larger metropolitan airports like San Antonio International (KSAT) and Austin Bergstrom International (KAUS).”
Redbird Skyport is notably known for conducting a limited-time 99 cent 100LL avgas promotion in 2013 to gauge how the cost of general aviation affects flying. In two weeks, Redbird Skyport serviced 3,800 airplanes and pumped over 100,000 gallons of Phillips 66 fuel. The FBO recorded that 25% of the airplanes that flew in during the promotion had not been flown in years. The offset of one costly element of aviation encouraged around 1,000 pilots to get back in the air.
As Redbird Skyport continues to grow, the FBO’s focus remains on its unique ability to understand the needs of the aviation community. In addition to flight simulators, award-winning customer service and world-class facilities, Redbird Skyport also rents outs its spectacular hangar for filming, parties, conventions or business meetings.
Steady Supply = Up and to the Right
At its onset, Redbird Skyport reached out to Phillips 66 in hopes of finding a fuel supplier that shared the same commitment to aviation; they have been working together ever since.
“We could not be happier with the relationship we have with Phillips 66 and with CityServiceValcon,” says Koenreich. “They do an excellent job of understanding and supporting our single FBO location. This facilitates our ability to be competitive in an industry that is dominated by large corporate chains.”
Regional manager for the southern region of CityServiceValcon, a long standing aviation marketer with Phillips Aviation, Steve Archambault, also shares, “Redbird Skyport’s commitment and vision made them an excellent addition to the Phillips 66 FBO network. We’ve had the opportunity to support and witness the growth of the facility. It has been truly wonderful to be associated with the FBO team, watching their vision take hold and evolve into what it is today.”
Despite trying times for the aviation community and historic economic downturns, Archambault reports that fuel sales at Redbird Skyport continue to rise with the Skyport approach.
Redbird Skyport proudly participates in Phillips 66 WingPoints® Rewards Program, NATA 1st Safety Training and utilizes Phillips 66® Aviation Personal Credit Cards. To learn more about Phillips 66 FBO support and incentive programs, click here.
For more information about the FBO and service offerings, visit their website http://redbirdskyport.com/