Signature Flight Support Acquires Historic Meridian FBOs


FBO network Signature Flight Support, with more than 200 locations in 27 countries worldwide, announced this week it has completed its acquisition of Meridian’s two facilities at Teterboro Airport (KTEB) nearby New York City in New Jersey and Hayward Airport (KHWD) in California. Originally established at Teterboro by World War II Army pilot J. Kenneth Forester Sr., Meridian started out as Mallard Air Service selling and maintaining North American Seabee amphibians and Navion high-performance piston singles. Known as “Ken Sr.” to distinguish him from his son with the same name, Forester served as an engineering test pilot flying bombers, transports and fighters during his military career, including the Bell P-59, the nation’s first jet aircraft.

Ken Forester Jr., an Air Force Academy graduate and F-102 fighter pilot, took over management of the family business in 1974. Mallard became a Million Air franchise in 1986 and launched Meridian as an independent business entity in 2006. The elder Forester died in 2016 at age 94.

Ken Jr. said of the Signature deal, “We embarked on this journey having a strong sense of which company would best build on the incredible legacy we’ve created, delivering award-winning service to our customers and treating our team members like family. Signature is best positioned to do just that.”

Tony Lefebvre, Signature CEO, said, “Meridian has a phenomenal history of exceptional service that we look forward to preserving and leveraging across our network.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.


  1. There goes any reasonable pricing at TEB. Signature will just increase pricing to match their other facility at TEB. Wonder if anybody in government will stop this or even care?

    • Nope! congressmen will probably not even think of it as they cash the campaign checks from the private equity firms making so many corporate acquisitions happen.

  2. Many mom and pop FBO are being bought out. Then the upgrades and updates to the facilities ensued.

    As with the prices to anyone needing their services…..

  3. Someone needs to take action in congress as these big fish as eating up little one jacking up redicilous landing fee n ramp fees along overnight n hikes in fuel prices. So it’s sad news that is the GA pilots gets pushed to the curbs n no one can help GA community!!! There are no laws for price gouging in GA for sure !! If I do same operating model in my convenience stores I be in national TV n have some certified mail at my door step in a week by some DA cause locals complain. This is BS ! Help us congress

    • Check out Cutter Aviation in Colorado Springs. We recently spent the night and they parked our Cessna 180 over night and there were no charges whatsoever! Very nice facility and great people!

  4. I worked for both Ken Sr. and Ken Jr. [ Forester ] when it was named ” General Aviation ” and they were still overhauling and selling used Navions. Prices were still reasonable in those days; you could rent a straight tail 150 from them for $ 12 bucks an hour wet. They prided themselves in keeping the costs as low as possible.
    I again worked for them in the 1980’s / 1990’s when the franchise swung to Millionaire and over to Meridian.
    Then the fees, and high prices took hold .
    Back around 2004, or thereabouts, I recall flying into TEB in a friend’s 182 and the alternator failed, on their ramp, and the desk clerk wanted $ 135 over night parking fee charge until the next morning when we could install a rebuilt alternator that was being flown in for us by yet another pilot friend.
    Signature is even worse than Millionaire or Meridian could ever be where fees and ultra high pricing is concerned towards light GA.
    If you own a Falcon 7x this is the place for you.

  5. Oh nice, more Signatures. The Comcast of FBOs. Yeah, they’ll “leverage” Meridian alright, levering cash out of your pocket with price hikes and patience out of your day with excellent customer service.

  6. Well…that’s another airport I won’t be visiting (not that I do on a regular basis, but, still…).

    They don’t want the spam cans cluttering the ramp and taking up space for the high and mighty, for whom multi-c-note service fees don’t even show up in the rounding error of their portfolios.

    Smaller fields are friendlier anyway…

  7. Can’t get any worse. They are listed as a “General Aviation Reliever Airport”. They forgot to mention their version of General Aviation is probably large turboprops or executive jets. Light aircraft need not apply. I called yesterday to see about overnight tiedowns for a few days for my Van’s RV-4 and they said there are none available for my aircraft. None of the 4 or 5 FBO’s on the field would give me any space. Disturbing. Wonder what J. Kenneth Forester Sr. would think if he was still alive.

  8. I fly a King Air for a 135, and we go into Meridian at TEB quite often. Curious now to see if the fees change.