Aviation Services Management (ASM) has expanded its flight support services operation in India with the introduction of a new subsidiary company called Aviation Travel and Tourism Services (ATTS).
The company, who has also opened a new office in Dubai International Airport, is hoping to continue to expand and take on more employees this year.
Flight support services for business aircraft is a niche marketplace, but offers a critical service in a sector that generally does not have the backing of a flight operations department in the same way that the commercial sector does.
Flight support services provider, Rockwell Collins’ ARINCDirect also offers a comprehensive suite of solutions for business jets, including a multi-source flight tracking service, in addition to a wide range of aircraft communications options. ARINCDirect, launched in 2003, was the pioneer of exclusive business aircraft support.
It has been announced that Florida-based Harris Corporation has been awarded a contract by the FAA to upgrade and manage the Alaskan GA flight services system that delivers flight planning and real time weather capabilities.
The 10-year contract, made up of three base years and seven one-year options, is worth a projected $98 million and will involve the implementation of Harris’ OASIS II program.
Under the contract, flight planning and real-time weather updates and briefing will be supplied to FAA flight service specialists in addition to handling NOTAMs messages.
OASIS II – Operational and Supportability Implementation System – will utilise System Wide Information Management (SWIM) in the National Airspace System (NAS) and will be the first consumer.
Following community feedback, the Washington State Department last year started the process of bringing back the deactivated, privately-owned weather reporting system for the Methow Valley State Airport facility in Winthrop.
Located near the airport, the Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) will provide weather updates and flight planning access to local pilots via radio.
A small airport, operating mostly for private aircraft and national services, such as wildfire co-ordination, Methow Valley will benefit from the weather reporting system as the nearest current system is located around 30 miles away at Omak Municipal Airport, who experience different weather patterns.
Weather reporting systems are vital to flight operations, giving pilots access to up-to-date weather changes or adversities enhances safety.
Modern commercial aircraft cannot operate without reliable weather reporting and many modern systems provide radar overlays, graphical weather and wind speeds data information.
In a move to further enhance efficiency for pilots, dispatchers and flight schedulers, Rockwell Collins has introduced new features to its ARINCDirect Flight Operations System (FOS).
Now available for download, the updates offer current customers access to new and improved features including flight tracking, U.S. and Canadian slot requests, online flight plan filing, graphical and text weather and overlay trips on the ARINCDirect mapping tool.
Rockwell Collins recently announced consolidation of Ascend flight information solutions and ARINC Direct services into one enhanced solution and the integration is a part of that move. With new cabin solutions and flight operations management, subscribers to the flight planning and data link can look forward to the new features.
Pilatus have announced that the new PC-24 business jet is ready to be rolled out, expecting to make its first flight before the end of the year.
The stunning new jet will be fitted with a Honeywell Primus Apex flight deck, branded as the Pilatus Advanced Cockpit Environment and will support graphical flight planning on a moving map displayed on one of the four impressive 12-inch displays. The cockpit will also feature an integrated navigation data service (INDS) for the iPad, supporting the paperless cockpit initiative.
Already, the Pilatus PC-24 has received 84 orders, causing a temporary suspension of new bookings with all projected delivery positions now taken from the end of 2017 to the end of 2019. As the program continues, the company plan to reopen the order books for the $8.9 million aircraft for 2020.
The aircraft combines the performance of a light jet with the range and size of a midsized aircraft and seats up to 10 passengers in a commuter figuration or six to eight in an executive arrangement with options to remove seats to create a larger baggage compartment.
Certification from Europe and the U.S. will be planned for 2017.
Jeppesen, part of Boeing’s Commercial Aviation Services, has launched the latest version of its Electronic Flight Bag software for Windows 8. FliteDeck Pro has been specifically designed for use with Windows 8 operating systems for tablets and can help to streamline the use of data for navigational information and flight planning for airlines, business jet operators and military fleet programs.
iPad applications are becoming increasingly popular within the business aviation industry as a significant contributor to weight-saving initiatives and fuel consumption savings and is another step closer to a paperless cockpit environment.
Electronic flight bag (EFB) providers aim to streamline the entire process of flight planning and filing flight plans and many applications give pilots and flight crew direct access to all operational information via tablets. Cloud-based applications give comprehensive access to critical data and allow simplified data sharing amongst relevant parties under a secure connection.
Jeppesens’ EFB solution has been integrated by Delta Airlines to increase efficiency in a scalable data management initiative. Managed by the global Jeppesen Distribution Manager Pro, the secure network offers reliability throughout operational activity.
“Pilots will now be able to open two applications side-by-side on screen to access critical flight information such as text and enroute charts in a split view, with Windows 8,” said Tracy Issel, Microsoft general manager for retail, consumer goods, hospitality and travel. “The full HD 1080p Surface tablet provides seamless delivery of real-time flight data from Jeppesen in all lighting conditions, and pilots can configure their tablet to provide the right information at the right time.”
Private jet operators are noticing that as executive aircraft get bigger, faster and with longer-range capabilities, the demand for parking, hangar space and landing slots is causing problems. There is a widespread call for improved infrastructure to allow some flexibility within the flight plan.
Flight planning involves many thousands of minute calculations, including slot management and route management and as executives fly to further-flung destinations with fewer facilities, parking problems are causing increasing headaches for operators.
Many International airports are unprepared for the volume of business jets, having been designed 10-20 years ago when business jets were traditionally smaller. This has resulted in rising parking charges and, in some cases, limited slot times that require faster turnaround times on the ground and parking elsewhere before returning to collect the owners.
Flight planning must take all these factors into account and is a service that is offered by third-party providers for business aviation. Most individual owners cannot afford the luxury of a full-time planning department as commercial carriers employ. Flight planning providers, such as ARINC Direct, specifically cater for private jet operators, whether with one aircraft or an entire fleet.
Manufacturers are working towards making improvements to the infrastructure of business aviation, Gulfstream, for example, opened the first service centre in Asia; in Beijing, and has added four full-service airport centres with maintenance and hangar facilities exclusively for business jet aircraft. Earlier this year Bombardier opened a service centre in Singapore, realising that growth will spell more demand.
Current customers of BaseOps International will be able to look forward to utilising a new flight planning portal from June 2014. The company announced the forthcoming launch at the Geneva EBACE this week.
The web-based system will enable customers to plan routes and file the flight plans in addition to access NOTAMs and weather information, pre-order fuel and arrange aircraft handling, catering, hotels and even rental cars.
Web-based flight planning tools and services can assist military and business aircraft operators, providing secure and flexible solutions that are easily accessible from portable devices.
Other flight support services and flight planning tools providers, such as ARINC Direct for business aviation, bring packages that can be tailored to each individual customer, whether for a fleet of executive jets or for a single private aircraft.
Dubai-based United Aviation Services (UAS) has opened a new facility in Johannesburg, South Africa, to be managed by the group’s new director of business development for Africa, Wynand Meyers. Meyers has a career history with Jeppesen, the subsidiary of Boeing that manages flight planning.
UAS’s plans will involve the opening of more offices across Africa, to provide flight planning and flight support services to the growing business aviation sector. Mr Meyers’ experience includes overseeing the ground-handling network for India, the Middle East and Africa with Jeppesen.
UAS will also be getting involved in the training and preparation of local employees and have set up a scholarship to encourage participation developing countries in addition to running the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) ground handling management course. Business aviation is taking off in Africa and essential flight support services providers are wise to be setting the scene for future operations.
Canadian flight operations software and services company, Navtech Inc are experiencing success with their Navtech Flight Plan (NFP) product this year.
Flight planning tools and support services are critical to today’s’ airways, providing operational productivity, flexibility and solutions to the ever-growing demand for cost optimization.
As the flight deck boldly strides towards a paperless environment and so does the flight bag, the need for flight planning tools to be seamlessly reliable is also an issue for operators.
Navtech Flight Plan is amongst the most popular choices for flight planning services for commercial airlines and brings complete control to the management of mission critical resources and messaging solutions.
Business aviation leaders, ARINC Direct, offer comprehensive flight planning tools and services for executive jet aircraft operations and rely upon a unique partnership with Iridium and Inmarsat satellite networks to furnish the sector with seamless connectivity on a global scale.
As business passengers are searching for new business in every corner of the globe, it is becoming necessary for flights to achieve further-reaching capacity than ever before.
Flight planning, flight support and passenger communications are swiftly becoming on par with flight deck communications for importance in business aviation as passengers want to travel further, in comfort and with all the necessary communications in place to continue with business as usual.