Redbird Closes Skyport FBO


Flight simulator manufacturer Redbird ended operations at its Redbird Skyport FBO last Saturday. The facility, located at Texas’ San Marcos Regional Airport (HYI), opened its doors in 2011. In addition to the FBO, the Skyport featured a special events center and flight training operation, which also acted as an early test laboratory for the company’s simulator development.

“In its eight years of operation, the Skyport has never made a dime. Not even a profitable quarter,” Redbird founder Jerry Gregoire wrote in a recent blog post. “Had it not been for Redbird Flight Simulator’s explosive growth and profitability over those years, the Skyport might have found itself in deep trouble very early on.”

Gregoire cited “some poorly informed decisions and miscalculations … made long before the project ever broke ground” as reasons for the closure, including the selection of the city and airport in which to open the FBO. According to Gregoire, all Skyport employees who want to stay with Redbird will be transferred to positions at the simulator company. In addition to hosting the first AOPA regional fly-in event in 2014, Redbird Skyport won ACE and STAR awards for best FBO at an airport with less than 4000 annual arrivals in 2018.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. I remember the promotion they ran with dollar fuel, 100LL priced at $1/gallon. I still have my receipt, and the tee shirt. Of course it was super busy during the promotion, but I wondered how such a large facility was constructed or could survive in such a small market.

  2. Difficult business. What happened to the C172 “Redhawk” with the Continental’s 135-hp, 2.0 liter turbodiesel? Small market? Impractical? Irresponsible or gullible media hype?

  3. A simulator can be effective for a couple of things for example instrument scan, learning GPS or autopilot buttonology. But learning basic flying skills – I don’t think so. It can never simulate the feel of the airplane. Since I started flying in 1975, I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a simulator sitting unused in a flight school – speaks for itself.

  4. That’s bad news. They are great folks.
    Unfortunately GA flying seems to gets more complicated, more expensive, but less respected in the public eye. Even my home airport is getting choked with urban sprawl (and noise complaints).