Avantair Opens New Ops Center at Clearwater HQ

 - June 1, 2010, 12:06 PM

Fractional provider Avantair, which operates only Piaggio Avanti turboprop twins, officially opened its newly renovated operations center at its headquarters at Clearwater/St. Petersburg (Fla.) Airport this morning. The facility–which features three 200-inch screens to track aircraft 24/7 and monitor weather and breaking news–now serves as mission control for all Avantair flights. Specialized crews of pilot services, maintenance controllers, flight specialists and flight followers sit in stadium-like seating facing the screens. According to Steve Santo, Avantair CEO, operations personnel started using new, real-time optimization software about two months ago and have seen efficiency gains of between 5 and 10 percent, thanks to fewer deadhead flights and less outsourced charter. He told AIN that his company used “zero” outsourced charter over the Memorial Day weekend because of better scheduling. Avantair currently has 55 Avanti and Avanti II twin turboprops in its fleet and more than 1,100 customers, of which about two thirds are fractional share owners and the rest aircraft card holders. The internal renovation of the ops center took about six weeks and the company’s sales offices will be renovated next, Santo said.