Business aviation operators: there's an app for that!
Key players are leveraging their flight planning expertise to make it easier for operators to take control of their flights from anywhere in the world. Dave Calderwood has been finding out more.
It’s not easy being a business aviation operator. There are so many variables, often with tight time constraints, plus weather, aircraft performance and international borders to contend with. One mistake and the flight’s profit could evaporate.
Now, however, help could be at hand.
At last year’s European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), we saw a teaser of the upcoming all-in-one trip planning and weather UAS FlightEvolution mobile app and website, and at the US National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) event in November, the product was launched by UAS International Trip Support.
Jay Ammar Husary, UAS executive vice-president said: “UAS FlightEvolution is truly cutting-edge technology that has never been seen before. The advancements in flight planning and mapping technologies brought to the industry by this platform will completely change the way users construct and execute their flight plans. It puts a three-dimensional view of your mission in the palm of your hands.”
UAS FlightEvolution was designed as an app for the Apple iPad and iPhone, but can also be accessed by laptops and desktop computers via a dedicated website, meaning it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. However, the mobile app can also be used without a connection – that’s only essential when it’s time to file a flight plan.
“It provides access to flight plans, weather, charts, procedures, and global position on a high-definition moving map, as well as synthetic vision technology. Hazards, special events, and restricted areas are well defined, and the platform provides the users with unprecedented situational awareness,” said UAS.
“Users can run optimised routes based on time, speed, and ride quality, as well as choose routes from an extensive route catalogue. Graphical manipulation of routes (‘rubber-band routing’), and worldwide weather and weather depictions are integrated seamlessly into the flight planning process and available throughout the entire flight.
“The solution will soon provide advanced features such as equal time points (ETPs), drift down calculations, extended range twin operations (ETOPS), runway analysis, weight, and balance, reclearances, and much more,” continued the UAS spokesman.
Also having its public debut at NBAA was Jeppesen Operator, which takes flight planning a stage further, claiming to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for business aviation operators.
Specifically, Jeppesen Operator integrates flight planning, runway performance, weight and balance, crew scheduling and management, aircraft scheduling, domestic and international trip planning and reporting (financial, maintenance and custom, customer account management, real time pricing and cost accounting.
Operator also ensures compliance with regulations, business policy and procedures, and provides a trip check list, which is automatically generated and provides insight into the complexity and requirements for each trip and determines if additional resources are needed.
It’s the result not just of Jeppesen’s 40 years’ experience of flight planning and international trip planning, but also a collaboration with BoldIQ, a provider of on-demand flight operations management.
“The introduction of Jeppesen Operator represents the culmination of years of meticulous research and proven in-production software, understanding customer-driven requirements and design work performed to create the next generation business aviation tool,” said the company’s Mike DiDonato.
Jeppesen is aware that international trip planning can be difficult and there’s a button called ‘concierge’ to summon extra help from its global experts. They can assist with flight plans, permits, and handling arrangements, or to establish a line of credit. The idea is to eliminate anything that could jeopardise the flight.
Just in case you were wondering about the apps you may already be using, Jeppesen says Operator will work with leading mobile apps for navigation, electronic flight bag (EFB), and pilot operations.
Airport, FBO, and vendor data for Operator’s systems is generated by the Jeppesen aviation database, arguably the most comprehensive in the aviation industry.
“The complexities and real-time dynamic nature of on-demand aviation operations are significant and much more than many other industries we have seen,” said Roei Ganzarski of BoldIQ. “The combination of sophisticated industry-proven technologies with in-depth experience-based know-how are what make the Jeppesen solution so powerful and applicable.”