Air Support’s Preflight Planning System (PPS) is the brainchild of former professional pilot Per Jensen, who started working on the software in the late 1980s. He and his development team continue to invest a lot of time in listening carefully to what operators actually want to achieve with the system.
Today, Air Support has 250 clients in 29 countries flying 2,200 aircraft comprised of more than 200 different types, ranging from Cessna piston twins to Boeing and Airbus models. Its Internet-based CrewBriefing service handles about 3,000 flight plans per day, while the company also handles about 700 more plans filed each day for customers who do not use this feature. Last month, Air Support moved into a new headquarters at Billund Airport in western Denmark.
The purchase prices for PPS vary according to how many aircraft an operator has in its fleet and how large they are. For example, an operator with three larger business jets (weighing more than 60,000 pounds each) would pay €19,710 ($30,550) for the first year and then €7,100 ($11,000) in subsequent years to cover update service charges.
Rental charges for the service also vary according to fleet size. Annually, these range from around €2,920 ($4,526) for a single aircraft weighing up to 12,500 pounds to approximately €14,980 ($23,000) for a much bigger fleet of large-cabin jets. The company calculates installation and training fees for either purchase or rental options separately according to an operator’s needs.
Air Support draws up proposed PPS contracts for prospective clients following a detailed evaluation of their actual needs and operating structure. Once a contract is signed the after-sales team works on detailed customization of the system to incorporate aircraft performance data and other features such as company logos and administrative structures. The company then installs the system on-site at the customer’s base, and at the same time trains its personnel.
Most of the PPS program revisions are provided free of charge, but there can be charges for updates that involve substantially new modules or features. Air Support provides various levels of product support and commonly uses its own Piper PA-34 Seneca III to visit clients.