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.