Aircraft operators are always looking for ways to improve their operations while increasing efficiency. Proactive improvement is essential for long-term value creation and growth. The aviation industry's future relies on whether operators adopt state-of-the-art technology and more automated processes.
With the right technology, organizations can create proactive versus reactive business environments. Key components of a successful aviation software solution include ease of use, transparency, and mobility.
Here are 4 integral things your aviation software platform should have to ensure smoother flight operations:
1. Scheduling and Real-time Flight Information
A well-considered and complete flight itinerary will help improve flight operations. It will ensure the flight is properly prepared. Flight planning is also an area where the right tool can make you more efficient and give you more uptime. Schedulers often have to perform inefficient duplicate data entry across applications, instead of using a fully integrated solution. This results in increased labor costs, burnout, and increased risk of human error transcribing data from one application to another.
If you’re looking for a solution, be sure to choose a platform that:
- Tracks and manages aircraft, fleet, and compliance with a single view.
- Integrates real-time maintenance data on the flight schedule view.
- Includes an open API infrastructure to sync trip itineraries automatically via third-party integrations. For example, Flightdocs Operations integrates with other platforms, including FlightBridge, FuelerLinx, and ForeFlight Dispatch.
- Offers seamless tax data reporting using integration with Flight Tax Systems.
- Automatically sends flight operations data to internal business intelligence tools.
Streamline communication between schedulers, dispatchers, and crew with Flightdocs Operations. The trip will be displayed on a calendar, the flight time with each leg will populate automatically, and you’ll have a function to add information like the pilot in command, crew members, and passengers from a single dashboard.
“The time saved on having a paperless tracking system like Flightdocs is irreplaceable,” said Josh Wexler, Lead Maintenance Technician at Hospital Wing. “There’s less paperwork and less time-consuming documentation for everyone. Our pilots really love the ability to update flight times with the faster, cleaner, and more streamlined iPad functionality.”
2. Electronic Flight logs
If you need to pull data from a logbook, is that information always right at your fingertips? Too many operators rely on paper flight logs and inefficient manual processes to document and report aircraft times from the cockpit to the maintenance tracking platform. This results in:
- Increased risk of human error when times are manually transcribed from paper to digital systems.
- A lag in getting the maintenance tracking times updated with actual aircraft times resulting in operators not being able to confidently fly them up to maintenance limits.
- Increased risk of overflying components and inspections.
To obtain smoother flight operations, look for a platform that offers:
- Customizable electronic flight logs for each aircraft in your fleet to collect relevant data points so you can capture every key detail of a flight and access all your digital flight logbooks from one location.
- Automatic validations that can catch errors early and often reduce the chances of inaccurate logs.
- A user-friendly app that pilots can instantly draft and submit flight logs directly to the maintenance tracking system.
- Single sign-on solution that seamlessly syncs all electronic flight logs to the maintenance tracking system.
Flightdocs Operations provides operators with the tools needed to eliminate paper processes and manual communication across operations and maintenance departments. We take everything you normally have to write down on paper, on a post-it notes, or in an Excel sheet and put it in an easy-to-use web-based platform. With all your information in one place, you can instantly search maintenance records and logbooks, so you always know an aircraft’s status. Create trips, manage crew, and communicate with team members, in a single up-to-date calendar view.
3. Mobile Functionality & In-App Communication
Communication between schedulers, maintainers, and crew is often inefficient because the tools are outdated. This results in:
- Risk of miscommunication and potential cancellations.
- Over-reliance on email, text, and phone calls to communicate and coordinate with crew, maintenance teams, and passengers.
- Trip-related information spread across many systems that may not be secure.
Utilizing real-time data to stay ahead of schedule changes is only helpful if operators can receive that information as it arrives. When delays and disruptions shift flights unexpectedly, crews should be able to collaborate to achieve performance goals. Increased efficiency requires increased collaboration across all departments. Keeping crews in the loop can improve overall performance.
To achieve smoother flight operations, look for a platform that offers mobile functionality with the following features:
- In-app chat to send trip sheets, passenger itineraries, and calendar invites directly to crew and passengers from within the trip.
- Live trip sheets and automated change notifications so you never have to worry that your passengers have an outdated itinerary again.
- Automatic email notifications that send calendar invites to crew and passengers.
- A record of all communication and customized push notifications securely associated with the trip it relates to in the scheduling system.
Flightdocs Operations streamlines communication between crew, schedulers, and dispatchers using a flight scheduling app. In-app notifications, trip watching, and real-time status updates eliminate duplication of work, data errors, and lag time for critical information.
Mobile apps have become a critical part of operations’ ability to be efficient and accurate when inspecting and maintaining their aircraft. The Flightdocs mobile apps provide secure and reliable access to data and information from anywhere in the world. The apps reduce paperwork, eliminate duplication of tasks, and provide compliance tools to access, update, and sign off records in real time. Pilots and crew can view and update maintenance data, submit non-routine maintenance reports, sign off checklists, receive updates, and more.
“Mobile accessibility to applications is important for us,” said Jeff McClean, Aviation Director at Procter & Gamble. “We’re able to take care of issues and don’t have to be at the hanger. The data is always accessible no matter if a cellular connection on iPhone or logged into the internet.”
With the Flightdocs platform, you can access all your data anytime, anywhere with web, mobile, and offline applications so you’re never tied to a desk.
4. Streamlined Data Flow
Historical data is critical to improving overall aircraft efficiency. It’s important to get access to aircraft maintenance data and status in real time. Data collection enables predictive aircraft maintenance, which is key to ensuring maximum aircraft availability and uptime.
To obtain smoother flight operations, look for a platform that offers:
- A cloud-based system that eliminates time-consuming manual processes and stores information securely.
- Real-time maintenance data and open work orders that you can easily view.
- Non-routines reported within a flight log.
Flightdocs Operations captures every update anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re in the hangar, on the flightline, or at the office, you can easily track maintenance issues or see your fleet’s health in real time. The system stays up and running because it’s cloud-and web-based, so you don’t have to worry about a server going down and affecting your data. If you need customer support, we’ve got you covered, all day, every day, 24/7/365.
“So much of our data now is just fed into the database automatically from the aircraft or another program,” added McLean. “Technology has helped take out the chance of human error and improve transparency. We’re not wasting time tracking someone down. Everyone has visibility and is engaged. Transparency translates to better production, better use of our time, and we feel like we’re spending time on valuable work – and saves money.”
There are many things an aircraft operator can look for in a software solution for smoother flight operations. Easy-to-use flight scheduling, electronic flight logs, mobile functionality, and streamlined data flow are all critical must-haves for smoother flight operations.
Don’t let outdated software cost you millions.
It’s time to adapt to modern methods and tools for maintenance tracking, inventory management, and flight operations. Not only do these tools provide the means to have the most effective and efficient operation possible, but they also ensure ease-of-use and accuracy for smoother flight operations.
The Flightdocs Difference
Flightdocs is the answer for complete flight department scheduling software, delivered in a single seamless solution. The Flightdocs software suite gives you everything needed to manage your operation effectively. This fully integrated solution is proven to eliminate inefficiencies, reduce costs, and increase aircraft uptime with scheduling software in a modern and secure cloud-based environment.
What Flightdocs Operations Customers Are Saying
Before using Flightdocs Operations, Coterra Energy was tracking flight times, cycles, and their load manifest on paper. Transferring information by hand onto a paper copy with information about city pairs, passengers, and flight times took a significant amount of time out of their day and created room for mistakes. In addition, because they weren’t using the Flightdocs Operations platform to integrate their flight operation data into the maintenance platform, they had to do this manually.
“We used to have to put the plane away and then record everything that was pertinent to us, make sure there weren’t any mistakes and then submit,” said Trahern Timblin, Captain of Aviation at Coterra Energy. “All we’re doing now is just clicking send and walking away from the plane and we’re done for the day. Before, I would normally spend 30 minutes just on paperwork.”
Using Flightdocs Operations, Coterra Energy can conveniently complete their flight logs from their mobile or desktop devices and instantaneously upload all their flight operations data into Flightdocs Operations and sync it to their Flightdocs Maintenance platform – solving two problems with one integrated platform.