Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Business Administration in Aviation


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Thomas Tacker

Committee Member

Dr. Bruce Chadbourne

Committee Member

Professor Rudolf Knabe


This thesis investigates whether a private entity can compete with fixed base operators (FBOs) for airline ground handling contracts. Separating the research method into five phases, the author first conducts a need analysis. Then, the author dissects the structure of existing ground handling contracts. Thirdly, the average service charges presently in place are tabulated. Fourthly, a financial analysis is performed including the calculation of the break-even point at a profit. Finally, a model of ground handling operation is simulated using an existing air carrier’s ground handling contract.