Air Support updates PPS

 - December 18, 2007, 7:10 AM

Danish software house Air Support has rebuilt its Preflight Planning System (PPS) to run on a Windows-based menu system. The change means that the program can interface more readily with any related flight-planning software or services, such as the runway analysis data system from the Aircraft Performance Group from Castle Rock, Colo. The latest version of PPS will also be compatible with Microsoft’s new Longhorn system.

PPS can now send operational updates to the Web-based Crew Briefing System, which Billund-based Air Support launched last year. After PPS generates the ATC routing and enters the flight load, the pilot or dispatcher can, with a single keystroke, automatically upload the flight log to the Crew Briefing server. The pilot can access the flight log immediately via the Crew Briefing Web site under the operator’s user name, with real-time, updated trip-specific surface weather data, notams, wind and other significant in-flight meteorological conditions. This function means that operators can prepare flights up to 36 hours ahead of departure times because the software automatically updates any variables until the pilot starts the engines.

The company’s Crew Briefing System now offers an integrated Webfax semi-remote fax service via personal digital assistants (PDAs). Pilots can access the data by punching in their flight number and an access code. If they don’t have a printer on hand, they can request the server fax a copy of the information to a location where they can collect it, such as an FBO or hotel. According to Air Support sales and marketing director Jens Pisarski, the company is working on an additional upgrade that would allow users to trigger a fax transmission via a text message sent from a cellphone or PDA. Customers pay only for the cost of the telephone connection time required to send the fax.

Air Support has also added a special driver that converts PDF files so that operators can attach their own documents to flight briefings stored and distributed through the Crew Briefing System. This can be done from any PPS subscriber’s company computer.

Another new feature of PPS are complete overflight cost calculations, which allow operators to analyze worldwide ATC en route fees and select the most economical routes. The system also has a flight level optimization module that assesses all variables, including fuel burn, to help operators file the most cost-effective flight plans.

Pisarski said that PPS now has 203 clients in 21 countries, who collectively operate some 1,200 jet and turboprop aircraft. About two-thirds of the clients are corporate and other general aviation operators.