Business Aviation Market Intelligence

Signature Revamps Anchorage FBO

Signature Revamps Anchorage FBO
Signature Aviation

Signature Aviation recently opened a revamped Anchorage, Alaska, facility, which it hopes will capitalize on an increasing number of general aviation visitors to the airport.

As well as a destination in its own right, Anchorage is a vital stopping off point for aircraft flying from the US to Asia, and vice versa. It is this traffic that Signature is hoping to attract, and why it has spent so much money revamping its existing facilities at the airport.

The revamp comes at the perfect time. As the world begins to normalize in the post pandemic era, an increasing number of business and general aviation aircraft are visiting the airport. And whereas they would previously have to pack at Signature’s FBO on one side of the airport, clear customs and then head across to the opposite side of the airport to use the FBO facilities, the newly revamped facility offers a one-stop shop, complete with customs and immigration facilities on site.

This is one of the biggest advantages of the new facility, and it helps save visiting aircraft some time, which is especially valuable for aircraft making a quick tech stop en-route to somewhere else.

But it isn’t just the quick visiting aircraft that Signature had in mind when they redesigned the facility. The facility, known as Kulis locally after the US Air Force Base that once sat on the site, has been completely redesigned from the ground up, and now takes on a unique Alaskan Home aesthetic. It’s this redesign that puts the facility in the top 10 Signature locations according to the company’s Operations Director, Niall Mulcahy.

I would place it within the top 10 of all locations as far as its premium amenities and its facility standards. We really went above and beyond in the quality of this facility,”

says Mulcahy. “It has its own customs facilities as well, which is an alternative to what was previously offered to general aviation users, where they would have to taxi to the commercial terminal and clear customs there, and then have to relocate to an FBO.”

Overall, Mulcahy says that Anchorage is key location in the Signature network, and one that is seeing a good amount of growth.

“Anchorage is a really key location of ours that is seeing growth in general aviation movements, whether it be foreign dignitaries transiting, overseas military movements, or high net worth individuals, you really see a lot of diversity in our customer base moving through Anchorage and we’ve already been really proud of the results of the new facility,” says Mulcahy.

Keeping true to its Alaskan surrounding was a key consideration when revamping the facility, with the design brief behind the remodelling set to give the facility a distinctly Alaskan look and feel. The centrepiece of the remodelled facility is wood burning fireplace, which gives the lounge a distinctly cozy feel, much like you would expect to find in a typical Alaskan home.

The company was so keen to ensure that the facility stays as true to its Alaska routes as possible that it even went as far as to have local Eskimo’s attend the opening ceremony.

“When we opened, we had native Eskimos come and help us celebrate and christen the facility,” says Mulcahy. “But it is also very modern and there are some things that we do to focus on our clientele. We’re currently looking to open a restaurant at the facility with Asian cuisine and although that hasn’t been finalized yet, it’s something that’s been long in our plans.”

Attracting Asian visitors to the new facility seems to be one of the key reasons behind the remodelling of the facility, as according to Mulcahy, there has been a notable uptick in aircraft movements from the US to Asia. Anchorage is, and always has been, an important stopping off point between the US and Asia because of its geographic location.

“And so we are actually starting to see a lot of the Asian market reopen since COVID and a lot of those important customers start to transit that new facility,” says Mulcahy.

Those important customers are not just the business jets that transit through the facility, with Mulcahy saying that almost any aircraft you can think of passes through the airport, from the smallest of aircraft, right up to the biggest. They pass through for many reasons, from delivery flights of small piston engine aircraft, right the way through to airliners that are making one last stop to their final resting place after years of commercial service, and Signature says that it can handle all of those types.

“We made a really large investment in Anchorage for that reason, that reason and many others,” says Mulcahy. “From an infrastructure perspective, the airport is really important to Alaska, as there are more aeroplanes flying around than cars driving around. So of course, our revamp is important for the community, as well supporting the interests of general aviation.”

Having opened the first stage of the facility earlier in 2023, a further stage will see more facilities added to the FBO, all of which will not only help visiting customers, but also help the local community by creating more jobs.

And for Signature, that seems to be an important factor, it is not only looking to expand its services, but also looking to support and grow the number of jobs in the markets that it operates.

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