Belgian company North Sea Aviation Center (NSAC) is preparing to open the first fixed-base operation (FBO) at Ostend-Bruges International airport.

The 900sq m (9,680sq ft) facility forms part a €4 million ($4.5 million) investment in the site by NSAC, aimed at developing the business aviation infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of high-end leisure and executive travellers to the country's northwest.

To operate under the NSAC banner, the FBO is scheduled to open on 1 May, along with nearly 5,000sq m of hangarage that will be used for line maintenance and aircraft storage.

"Ostend airport had 1,750 business aircraft movements in 2018 but until now VIP passengers have been processed through the commercial airline terminal," says NSAC founder Jef De Kinder.

He says there is a "tremendous demand" at Ostend for a facility that provides a swift, efficient, cost-effective and personalised offering for the business aviation community.

"With these new services, we expect to make a good business out of the current traffic numbers alone," says De Kinder.

Located 1.8 miles (3km) from Ostend, the regional airport is an increasingly popular choice for business and leisure travellers visiting nearby commercial and historical towns such as Bruges and Ghent. The facility – Belgium's third-largest airport by passenger numbers – also benefits, De Kinder says, from 24h opening and a 3,200m (10,500ft) runway, which can accommodate "a full range of business aircraft".

Source: Flight International