Brittany Griffin recalls her early days as Columbia Jet Center’s charter coordinator well. New to her position, Griffin was handling flights on a shortened runway due to construction, which ultimately impacted the flight schedules of the Mizzou University football team. A nearly $115 million program with large ties to the Columbia, Missouri community, The Mizzou University football team was a major customer that Griffin wanted to foster a lasting relationship with. Despite the road blocks the FBO was facing, Griffin and her team worked tirelessly to ensure the football team could travel to and from its hometown airport with ease.
“That moment really helped build our relationship with the University,” Griffin said. “Now, the University comes here, and they know they are going to be treated like family. That was my turning point – I realized that I could make a difference in the customers we service every day.”
A small team of thirteen, Columbia Jet Center’s service is anything but little. They not only pride themselves on exceptional customer relations, attention to detail and quality of product, but their operations are swift, accomplishing quick turnarounds daily.
“We regularly get pilots who request a quick turn,” Griffin said. “I am incredibly grateful for our team on the ground and fuel partner, Phillips 66, who help us get the job done, often in a mere 15 minutes, depending on the request. Whether private or charter, if you ask for quick service, we give you everything we can to meet that need for you.”
Since its founding in 1977, Columbia Jet Center is truly a home-away-from-home that keeps customers coming back to the FBO. It’s the seemingly little things that also matter the most, Griffin emphasizes, as many customers enjoy the array of complimentary snacks available to customers, and are happy to see the FBO using new, updated courtesy car vehicles.
“Every day, we strive to be an inviting FBO,” Griffin said. “At Columbia Jet Center, you are always welcome. We are speedy, efficient, and fun – expect a good time when you come visit us.”
Multiple employees at the jet center are cross-trained, including Griffin, who began her days at Columbia Jet Center as a line personnel.
“When I first started at Columbia, I was pulling, pushing and fueling planes, and helping out with sports charters,” Griffin said. “I took this experience to become what I am now, which is charter coordinator.”
As charter coordinator, Griffin manages the ground activities for the FBO, mainly working with several local sports teams, while also assisting on the line when needed. A seasoned-veteran, Griffin’s days in the aviation industry began at American Airlines.
“My father worked for American Airlines for a couple of years and my grandfather worked for Northwest Airlines for quite a few years,” Griffin said. “It’s one of those things where once you are in aviation, you either love it or don’t, and I love it – it’s in my blood.”
It’s Griffin’s passion for the industry and her strong team that have made Columbia Jet Center the FBO of choice for several corporate-based customers. The jet center’s new fuel farm has shown how the FBO is still growing, also a living testament to its 45 year relationship with Phillips 66® Aviation.
“We were in desperate need of updating our fuel farm and Phillips 66 really came through to help us out,” Griffin said. “In no time, we were up and running with Phillips 66 fuel and look forward to working with their team in the years to come.”
Phillips 66 provided grants, conducted necessary inspections, and granted a permit, giving the jet center a much-needed change for the better.
In addition to being the fuel provider, Columbia Jet Center also offers Phillips 66 WingPoints®, which continues to be a great incentive that Griffin says is paramount for many pilots.
“We are also a member of NATA, which alongside Phillips 66 have both provided us with all the training necessary for all of our new line tags to make sure we are following safety protocols on the line,” Griffin said. “We get computer-based training and also have their drug and alcohol safety program.”
With a recently expanded runway, Columbia Jet Center looks forward to more renovations and additions in the coming years.
“We are planning to renovate our entire FBO starting in late 2022 or early 2023,” Griffin said. “We are also updating our concierge program that allows us to go completely paperless with the fuel trucks and dispatching the trucks to the aircraft.”
The FBO also hopes to update several hangars and potentially add a few more in the near future.
In addition to serving its fuel and maintenance customers, Columbia Jet Center is also focused on community-wide efforts. In March 2022, the jet center held its first fly-in food drive with the Central Missouri Foodbank. In collaboration with other FBOs, private aircraft owners and its customers, Columbia collected 557 lbs. of non-perishable goods. In return, participants received incentives like fuel discounts, comped ramp fees and more.
Dubbed the 2022 Food Flight, the drive additionally brought in $225 for the food bank, which will aid families in Central and Northeastern Missouri.
It’s not only the FBOs service, but events like the Food Flight that have made Columbia Jet Center a trusted FBO – known for its care for the community.
“At the end of the day, the biggest thing for us is being there for our customers and community,” Griffin said. “When folks come to Columbia Jet Center, they can be assured they’ll not only be in and out fast, but more importantly, want to return to our FBO for continued service and support.”