Lane Aviation – not your typical FBO
New FBO hires are typically required to take orientation classes that cover topics such as safety, quality control, line operations, etc. However, history lessons are generally not included on the training roster. Not the case with Lane Aviation, an FBO celebrating its 80th year serving aviation customers at Port Columbus International (CMH).
As the great depression deepened, Lane Aviation began to soar, opening up its doors in 1935. Founded by Foster and Ruth Lane, the FBO had modest beginnings. The original letters of incorporation include a list of what was owned - a desk, a chair, paper, a pencil and a Driggs Skylark III biplane, purchased with a down payment of $300 and a promise to pay off the $1,800 balance.
Today, the FBO is still family owned and operated. While the staff of approximately 125 persons are not all direct descendants of the Lanes, each and every employee, and customer for that matter, is treated like family. "Lane is really all about the people," said Steve Evans, vice president, operations.
"We're very blessed with the quality employees we have working with us. That's really the difference – good people and good equipment - that's the backbone of our business."
Lane supports the aviation industry with fueling, ground handling, aircraft maintenance, GSE maintenance and deicing services on a 24-hour, 7-day a week basis (they never close). To ensure there is enough supply to fulfill the demand, Lane owns and operates the main airport fuel farm ensuring plenty of Phillips 66 quality jet fuel on-site.
Memorabilia abounds around the FBO. There is a 2012 plaque sitting on a shelf congratulating Lane on its 30th year as a Phillips dealer. However, according to Chris Burk, GSE maintenance manager, that plaque is not quite correct. He remembers when the two Phillips fuel trucks were delivered new to the FBO in February of 1979. By the way, both trucks are still in operation today.
Quick turn commitment
Anticipated to open in early March is a brand-new U.S. Customs Border Patrol general aviation (GA) facility at Lane that will streamline the process of clearing international business aircraft arrivals. The state-of-the-art facility will be capable of handling any size business aircraft with 21 passengers or less. Once the aircraft is cleared by customs, Lane's trained and certified Line Service professionals will guarantee turning around an aircraft within a mere 15 minutes.
Brad Primm, the president of Lane, has over thirty-five years of experience in the aviation industry. "Columbus is a very successful city from an international business perspective," said Brad. "The city is headquarters to at least 20 Fortune 1000 companies and many of these corporations do business around the globe. The new customs facility will provide an easy and efficient entry point for international flights and promote Columbus as a prospective business location and opportunity for investors worldwide."
Donna Lane Earl and her husband Ted Earl are currently in the business. Stastia Wing, the youngest of Foster and Ruth's three granddaughters has been involved in the day to day business for over 20 years. Statsia's husband, Bob, who came to the company with a 20-plus year financial background, serves as business manager at the FBO.
"It's diversity that kept us alive," said Bob. "We're very forward thinking and we've built an infrastructure that only comes with time and experience."
To learn more about historic Lane Aviation, visit www.laneaviation.com.