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The Rise of Gateway Aviation


September 27, 2022 
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Winner of Wings Rising Star Award, Gateway Aviation was opened in December 2020 as a full service FBO. (Photo: Gateway Aviation)

Gateway Aviation of Windsor, Ontario, has won three prestigious WINGS Magazine awards including Top FBO in Ontario (1st place), Top FBO in Canada (3rd place) and the Rising Star Award for 2022. These awards are a testament to Gateway Aviation’s customer focus while building an FBO from the ground up and opening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The concept for Gateway Aviation came from a need for hangarage in Windsor (CYQG). With shovels in the ground in 2017, Gateway Aviation was able to open their hangar doors in 2018. Their 20,000 sq ft hangar can accommodate large corporate aircraft like a Global 7500 and was built to the discerning requirements of their owner. They soon found that there was a need in Windsor for high quality FBO services and, naturally, tenants were attracted to Gateway Aviation’s state of the art facility.

In December of 2020, Gateway Aviation opened as a full service FBO. While they are a small FBO with 14 employees and access to charter aircraft, they pride themselves in aligning their superior customer service with the needs of their clients. Gateway Aviation’s business aviation tenants have brought with them major aviation management companies and, as a result, the FBO is buzzing with activity. As an Air Elite member, Gateway Aviation’s facilities, operating procedures and customer satisfaction levels are audited by World Fuel Services to ensure every Air Elite member upholds their standards. Part of the World Fuel network, Gateway Aviation has competitive fuel pricing for both JetA and 100LL.

Building from the ground-up allowed Gateway Aviation to design their FBO, standard operating practices and team to meet exceptionally high standards. Mike Hogan, General Manager and Director of Aviation Services reports: “Mario Santarossa, our Assistant FBO Manager, and I visited several airports and experienced many levels of FBO service. Then, we took the best of the best and incorporated that into the design of our FBO.”

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The design, while offering moderate passenger office space, boasts all 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 and has an open, luxurious feel. The second-floor patio is equipped with lounge seating, a fire pit and BBQ with health-conscious snacks and refreshments. Many of their customers enjoy the FBO as though it were a remote home rather than a remote office.

With the ability to cater to VIP customers, Gateway Aviation has been the choice of high-profile guests from CEOs and musicians to professional athletes and heads of state, including the Prime Minister of Canada. The facility and its amenities are also enjoyed by artists headlining at Caesars Windsor, the city’s premier entertainment venue.

Critical to Gateway Aviation’s success is their people. Each employee is hand-picked to ensure that they have a customer-first mentality. In fact, attitude is more important than the aviation FBO experience. Being a smaller FBO allows Gateway Aviation to provide an exceptional level of service to their clients, and having reliable, dedicated employees often results in an above-and-beyond experience.

In a short period of time, Gateway Aviation has created a first-class aviation hub, delivering an uncompromising customer-first experience. With no legacy baggage, they have a unique working environment focusing on fast turnarounds for their FBO customers. If they continue their current flight plan, what will be in store for them in 2023 and beyond?

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