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Gateway Aviation Growth

Motivation, a passion for aviation and a willingness to learn

September 18, 2023 
Brought to you by by Gateway Aviation

As an Air Elite member, Gateway’s facilities, operating procedures and customer satisfaction levels are audited by World Fuel Services. (Photo: Gateway Aviation)

Gateway Aviation of Windsor has won two prestigious Wings magazine awards including Top FBO in Ontario (first place) and Top FBO in Canada (second place). The concept for Gateway Aviation came from a need for hangarage in Windsor (CYQG). With shovels in the ground in 2017, Gateway Aviation opened its hangar doors in 2018. Its 20,000-square-foot hangar accommodates large corporate aircraft like a Global 7500 and was built to the discerning requirements of its owner. They soon found that there was a need in Windsor for high-quality FBO services and with tenants attracted to Gateway Aviation’s state-of-the-art facility.

Mike Hogan, Gateway Aviation’s Director of Maintenance and the FBO’s General Manager, reports: “Gateway Aviation is incredibly excited to receive these awards and it’s important to note this success wouldn’t be possible without the collective effort fuelled by our passionate team.”

An underpinning to Gateway Aviation’s success is its staff, who the company credits for the unique and exceptional level of guest services offered at the FBO. The management team looks for specific character traits when hiring and helps employees transition to the roles that suit them best.

Motivation, a passion for aviation, and a willingness to learn every day are crucial qualities for the Gateway team. Staff who are onboarded then have the opportunity to learn from veterans of the industry and move up in the world of aviation. Ed Jones, Gateway Aviation line crew, has been working at the Windsor airport for the past 50 years and plays an active role in mentoring younger crew members. Dedicated and hardworking, Ed shares his knowledge and experience with the next generation, like Mario Santarossa, Gateway Aviation’s FBO Assistant Manager. Mario started at Gateway Aviation five years ago and had the opportunity to work with Ed during this time. Over the course of learning the operation of an FBO, the fuelling of aircraft, and providing excellent customer service, Ed’s expertise has been successfully shared, and he has proven to be an outstanding mentor for Mario. 


With each employee, management takes an active role in supporting them, cultivating transferable life skills and setting them up for success. Another perk offered to staff is the ability to network with business leaders in Windsor, make connections, and build career opportunities in the city.

“Our goal is to elevate each employee to reach their highest potential with any career goals they may have,” says Mike. “Ed’s unwavering dedication and mentorship have played a pivotal role in honing the skills of our entire team.” As Ed prepares for retirement, his knowledge will continue to be passed on.

As for Mario, he brings his own unique skillset to the team, both as a member of the management team and as a corporate pilot flying more than 500 hours a year. Through his corporate flights to other FBOs around North America, Mario takes note of the operational processes and services offered at other facilities, providing his observations through both the lens of a manager and that of a pilot. This helps Mario bring back the best of customer service to fulfill expectations for all types of clientele, an advantage that helps set this award-winning FBO apart.

“Winning Top FBO in Ontario and second place for Top FBO in all of Canada is an impressive reflection of our facilities, but even more importantly, it’s a true recognition of the continuous dedication, passion and hard work of our employees,” echoes Mario, his sentiment parallel to his colleague’s.

Gateway Aviation’s facilities are not only known for exceptional customer service but also for their cutting-edge infrastructure. While on cross-country flight in the Commander 114B that I fly, I had the privilege of experiencing this firsthand and was truly impressed. The terminal design offers passenger office space and boasts all of the amenities that passengers and air crews expect from a world-class FBO operator. The freshness of the new build incorporates modern designs and materials with an open, luxurious feel. The second-floor patio is equipped with lounge seating, fire pit and BBQ with health-conscious snacks and refreshments. Many of Gateway’s customers enjoy the FBO as if it were a remote home rather than a remote office. The fully equipped open-concept kitchen allowed me to recharge after spending the morning in unseasonably high temperatures. The bright open spaces of Gateway Aviation’s terminal building were a great environment to review my flight plan and weather briefs. Thanks to Gateway Aviation’s efficient operations, I experienced a quick turnaround during my flight. It was a seamless process allowing me to continue my journey home, refreshed and ready.

In addition to providing exceptional service, Gateway Aviation’s remarkable facility has also attracted high-profile VIP guests, ranging from CEOs and musicians to professional athletes and heads of state, including the Prime Minister of Canada. Several entertainers headlining at Caesars Windsor, the city’s premier entertainment venue, have passed through its facility. You never know who you will bump into at Gateway Aviation, but with guest privacy and confidentiality a top priority to the team, my attempts to extract celebrity names prove futile.

Gateway Aviation is a success story rooted in a motivated and supportive team and an uncompromising customer-first experience. Celebrating its staff for these recent achievements, the Gateway Aviation crew expects to soar to even greater heights in 2024 and beyond.


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